Growing Up in Da Beat

Updated: Aug 7, 2019

I was Born Oct 4th, 1980 to An African American Father and Hispanic Mother she was 15 when she had me, she didnt graduate High School. I'm the Oldest of 3 Brothers and 1

Sister.

Hartbeat in the Lens of a child.

In the 80s My family lived on the Southend of Hartford on Weathersfield Ave. Just to give you an idea if you ever been to Hartford the Southend is what we call Spanish Harlem. I used to love to go to Park st just to look at the mommies walking up and down the street but make no mistake I only looked because My Hispanic Brothers didnt play man you get jumped on the spot, ( things are different now from back then) From Park and Main St until you hit New Park Ave is pure Hispanic Brothers and Sisters. New Park Ave and on was Mixture of Asian, Portugese, Italian. Up until you get to Prospect it becomes West Hartford Ct which is Cacasian and Jewish community. Now when you get to the Northend African Americans with specs of Hispanic, til you get past Albany Ave and Edgewood St then it's pure West Indian section. I dont remember much in the 80s as far as the demographics.

Spanglish as my language.

So at age 4 to 6 I was taught by my Grandmother on my Mom side how to speak Spanish which I did Fluently, however it went from me speaking Spanish to Spanglish. This is where the trouble begin for me because no one could understand me I began fighting Teachers and was even expelled from one school for hitting a teacher in the back with a desk. I took speech for a yr or 2 with my Best friend Chris I knew since kindergarten to now. Chris had a suttering problem he couldn't get 1 word out for 2 to 5mins at a time, smh we tried to speak for each other lol picture that smh. When I was able to speak English clearly I lost my Spanish speaking.

Golden Years

I can remember we used to have a yearly event in downtown Hartford called Kidriffic it was a fair like event Animals games food you name it we even got to be on TV being interviewed by the news anchors from channel 3. Riverfest was always fun, it used to be held on the Upper Plaza level by the Phoenix Insurance Building( also known as the boat building) now the Nassau Re Building. I also remember the original Taste of Hartford was also held on the plaza level it was tents lined up with all types of food live music and you had to use tokens to purchase food. The Old Civic Center was me and my best friend Cedric Favorite place we would be there from 10am til almost time for it to close. It used to have a link that crossed Trumbull St, in which we used to take pictures on it. We always tried to get numbers from women lol, we were bad at it lol. I had to learn 1 way or another. This was our spot until we discovered the West Farms and Buckland Malls in West Hartford and Manchester Ct.

Enter the 90s

Now I'm an 80s baby as you already know however the 90s to me was the best part of my life. From the Rap era to fun I had. I always loved to go to The African and West Indian Parades lol (we used to say Jamaican parade not knowing any better) And even the Puerto Rican Parade. Playing Arcade games Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat were and still my Top 2 games til this day. My Best friend Bedroom was our studio and his Sister Karaoke Machine was the booth. Wu Tang and Bone Thugs N Harmony Both Dropped double Albums (which I got both). However it was also a Dangerous time the Los Solidos and the Latin Kings were at war it as a bloody era drive bys evrynite mostly on the Southend, because they didnt have much turf on the Northend they had from chestnut Edward and Williams St. They were dangerous I remember they jumped an addict in front of of the old Quirk Middle School they beat that man half to death.

From Williams St and on was 20 Love turf, please remember I did alot of observation. So this is why I can tell you this from what I remember. I remember many nites hitting the ground from gunshots. Seeing brawls in the middle of the street me almost getting into fights as well, I was very paranoid sometimes I would carry a knife on me, because I didnt know If someone would try to attack me.

Made my decision

I made up my mind as a kid that no matter what I will not be a product of my environment. Music played a big part in me staying out of trouble. So as I end here I would love to know where you from and your experiences as well. Take care and God Bless.

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