It was the late ’90s and I was struggling in my relationship with God once again. See, I couldn’t shake the defeated mentality that I had. I felt dead inside. I always wondered why I couldn’t be happy like the other people around me with whom I worshipped. There was a blockage and I knew that. I was constantly praying and trying. My heart was in the right place, but I felt the same defeat. I ended up leaving church because I got tired of going year after year and being the same person. I was the type who didn’t want to be in church if I was going to have a relationship with a man. Of course, I was the church and although I stopped going to the building, I still belonged to God. He never took his eyes off of me.
I knew that a relationship with a man would eventually lead to intimacy. Sex outside of marriage was something that I knew God was against, and I always felt guilty about it. I still do. I know that there is grace for when we mess up, but I know that sometimes that grace is taken for granted. I’m happy that I can go very long periods of time without being intimate with a man. This is my love for God. Love is obedience as Jesus says. I know that some people will understand what I mean.
I met my ex-boyfriend not long after I stopped reading my bible and attending church, and we eventually moved in together. I was no street girl. I was what people would call a square. At least I looked that way on the outside. Maybe I was. I don’t mind the title. Although I was a girl who stayed home most of the time reading the bible and poetry, I was very attracted to street guys. I guess I thought they were exciting and definitely added that thrill to my everyday life.
The first night I met my ex, he was driving around in his brother’s car without a license and was wanted by the police. Is that what you would call a hot boy? I’m thinking yes. Our relationship was like any other that was steeped in fornication and his street activities. Secretly, I loved the life he lived but then I hated it at the same time. I knew that God didn’t approve of this life I was living. I knew that, eventually, this ride would be over and I would be back to God asking for forgiveness and the ability to stay on the right road.
I have to admit that my ex-boyfriend had great taste in music. He introduced me to some albums during that time that widened my taste in music and gave me a “hot boy” mentality. When I mention this mentality, I don’t mean that I’m someone trying to be tough. I mean that the music planted seeds in me that made me want to take chances with my writing and to be strong in going after what I wanted. I’ve always thought of Hip Hop as the wild side of poetry. I don’t know for sure if some of the artists on the records I listened to did all of the things that they mentioned, but I was very intrigued by their expression. I wanted to be bold and fearless with my life. I have to admit that I was looking for a little bit of danger as well. I took chances that probably should not have been taken but I enjoyed them. I wouldn’t recommend that anyone do any of the things that I’ve done. I’m in no way glorifying them. I am only telling my story. These may seem like small things to some people, but being a square, they weren’t for me.
I recall one night driving my ex’s brother’s car to get some fast food. The car was smoking like crazy and I was listening to a very loud “400 Degreez” by the rapper, Juvenile. I was always riding to that CD, along with his “Solja Rags” CD. I often raided my ex’s music collection. I only drove because he wanted burgers and he didn’t want to drive himself since he was on the run from the cops.
He has since served his time, so there would be no reason for the cops to come after him now. I just wanted to clear that up.
Anyway, I was at a light and a policeman on a bike pulled up beside me. It was after midnight. I was in the driver’s seat of a car, I had no license, and I was blasting a song repeating the words hot boy. At least my ex had a license. I had never had one before. I thought for sure that the cop would pull me over and that my license would be suspended before I even received it. He peeked into the car but then he sped ahead. I believe that if he had seen a Black man in the car that he would have pulled the car over. I also knew that God had rescued me out of another jam into which I had gotten myself. I was so relieved and thankful. After I got home, my ex said they would have definitely pulled him over if he had been driving the car. That episode may not seem like it was all that dangerous, but it was for me. I was breaking the law and that was something that I didn’t do if I could absolutely help it. I didn’t even like to litter.
I both enjoyed and hated that time with my ex, because I always felt guilty when I was being intimate with a man that was not my husband but I enjoyed being with a hot boy. I know that the hate side of it was God’s speaking to my conscience. After a while, I couldn’t take the guilt anymore, so I broke it off and he moved out. I knew that God was breaking us up. He’s a jealous God. We all know this. I’m glad that I met my ex, and he’ll always have a special place in my heart. I’m glad that he introduced me to that hot boy mentality and to those two Juvenile CDs, which subsequently led to my listening to other Hot Boyz material. I’m glad that I was introduced to music that spoke to my inner hustler.