How to be an OG in four easy lessons

Jackie Wilson Asheeke

One of the Fishrot gang calls himself, “Fitty” as a nickname. I have no idea of the etymology of his chosen tag. But, if it is a culturally-appropriated homage to black American rap superstar, producer and actor, Fifty Cent, then all I can do is shake my head. The real “50” (we say ‘Fitty’) and those from my old ‘hood would be disgusted at the kindergarten level mistakes made by the jailed fishy gang. If the aspirations of the crew now behind bars was to be a respected OG (original gangster), they have failed to make the grade.

Here are four OG lessons to learn. NB: I am giving a lesson from the street, so I will use street language in this article.

Lesson 1

“Three may keep a secret, if two of them are dead.” (Benjamin Franklin, Poor Richard’s Almanack) Everybody and their momma knew about the flashy fish crew and all their money. The rumours about this scandal have been flying for years and there were too many hands in the till. The fact that there are six people in lock-up with other names thrown around, means that this was no secret.

If you do the nasty, do it in the dark and tell no one. Handle your ‘bidness’ yourself. If you have a loud mouthed best friend, spouse or momma, then you need to cut them loose. Resign yourself to accept that whatever material goods you hoped to gain form criminality, you lose your soul to tenacious selfishness, isolation, gross paranoia, constantly weaving webs of lies, and emotional distancing from everyone.

Grade given to the Fishrot crew for lesson 1 – “Secret-keeping”: 0 out of 10

Lesson 2

If you stealin’ and hustlin’; shut the f___ up.

Never talk to anyone about anything. If someone asks you your birthday, tell them you woke up one morning fully grown. Don’t murmur in your sleep; don’t keep a diary; never send emails; stay off of social media; use old school tech including an old Nokia flip phone, pagers and floppy disks, no pillow talk after great sex; never take drugs or get drunk – stay mentally alert at all time. If you are on video tape witnessing a crime and six people saw you there, you tell them you are Stevie Wonder.

I saw the television exposé with Esau talking and talking. I saw Shanghala talking and talking; both of them were sayin’ stupid stuff. The brothas in the ‘hood would show that video in a class with the young’uns about how NOT to be a gangsta.

Now, several of the fish bloods in lock-up are in court tryin’ to get bail and talkin’ even more! I hope the prosecutors have their jail cells wired. These guys will tell all. They are breaking down already and will soon start bustin’ and name droppin’.

Grade given for Lesson 2 – “shut the f___ up”: 0 out of 10

Lesson 3

If you stealin’ 10 million live like you have 10 dollars. Criminals must keep their s!*t under wraps. It is utter lunacy to build multi-million dollar flashy houses with expensive furniture using money from unlaundered sources. Why on earth would you own 11 cars bought with funny money? Why make people envious? Jealousy breeds hatred. Why attract attention? In the ‘hood, we call that, “stoo-pid.”

Successful OGs (this is not a color thing; it is a crime thing) buy the most ordinary house in the most ordinary middle-class neighbourhood. They keep themselves to themselves. They drive a 5 year old Toyota and buy a 10 year old Mercedes (with a few dents in it) for their spouse. They buy Beares furniture, not imports from Italy. They might indulge and buy a cutting edge flat screen TV or a great computer set up, but they never invite anyone into their homes so no one sees it.

Being a successful OG is lonely.

There are mafia dons and drug barons living in quiet family communities all over the world. Their neighbours have no idea who they really are. The Fishrot guys did not learn this lesson; so they got caught.

Grade given for Lesson 3 – “Keep your sh*t under wraps”: 0 out of 10

Lesson 4

You gonna git caught. As Malcolm said, chickens always come home to roost. When it happens, you should have prepared since the first day you stole the first dollar. Money for your family or pay bills or to maintain a modest post-jail living standard should have been set aside and cleverly, well-hidden years ago.

Grade given for Lesson 4, “You gonna git caught”: 0 out of 10.

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