Sunday, March 23, 2008

im a hustla - not

Thanks to Mizrepresent CEO of Firefly imprint for this post.

It is after 3am and as I sit here with a tumbler of George Dickle in hand, I am about to do the unthinkable just to try and make a point – admit that I am a hustler. I am not doing this to garnish attention or even to gather so called street credibility, nor is it done so in the manner of faux hustlers. For a real hustler never announces his hustle, let alone that one is a hustler.

Truth is that it is one’s work ethic, motivation and persistence as calculated via a persons endeavors, that one recognize that you are a hustler; not self-proclaimed or singular acknowledgement. As such, others are free to render accolades or hate accordingly (point of order: hustlers even love haters, for we hate nor have disdain for anyone).

A heap of folk claim to be hustlers, but in all honesty would rather talk and not bestow or put in the work and personal time obligatory to accomplish a goal. And hustlers, albeit exceptional at multi-tasking, tend to focus on one thing, maybe two at a time, as integrated into a larger picture and multi-task within the one or two things that they have selected. So for lack of a better phrase – they are pragmatic visionaries.

For example, my folk own a barbershop called OFF THE HOOK, which is located on Peters Street in Atlanta. This is where I go to get my regular shave and line. Folks come in all the time. But to make a long story short, a hustler should not come into a barbershop, saying out loud for all to hear, that they “got them laptops for the low.” Anyone could be in there. In fact this day, Shannon Sharpe and an Atlanta Detective were in the chairs (both regulars). But I guess it is like my boy, the owner says, “people always want to show and act like they the man and aint bussing’ a grape.”

Hustling and hard work ethic is good, in fact laudable. But talking about what you do if you aint working harder than you talk aint gone accomplish jack. The hustler is synonymous with “carpe diem”. I mean, some folks look while other leap. Beyond that, when a hustler leaps, he has already done his homework and he hits the ground running with faith and an unyielding knowledge of self.

Another misnomer regards attire. Ones clothes does not evince that you are a hustler. In fact, when we making stuff happen, we may not even change clothes, sure we shower, and change sox (I don’t wear draws), but when you get that call or have do what needs to be done, you will put on the first thing you see. I have worn the same jeans for weeks and now, I still have on the same Sean Jean warm-up I had on Friday, namely because I have been on the go. Lesson being it is all about accruing capital and not fame.

Hustlers are also risk takers that not only seize the moment, but also make and define it as well. You can’t make any loot in this new world order without taking risk. And contrary to popular belief, hustlers are not a selfish breed; they are givers, for you have to give to take risk. No mater if it is selling guns (I have no personal knowledge of such), starting a dog clothing store or selling books (the risk starts when you drop that first dime into what ever your project is. For example, The day my latest book dropped (3 days ago), I parleyed a half page interview, with all my other books and photo spread in Rolling out Urban weekly to come out next week. That same day, I had managed to get my folks on the radio station (only nationally syndicated black sports talk show) I used to write for to do an on air interview the week after this. Not to mention, I had to get some more books because I accidentally sold the ones that I had for some other newspapers in the city-LOL. Sure, i could have waited, and gotten more exposure with the reviews, but i did not, and took the $45. Again, taking advantage of the momment for time waits for no one and hustler's know this. Others select to wait and may miss out. This was after two days. And I won’t even go into what I have been trying to get done regarding trying to have my dog clothing store open within next six weeks.

So any who, some folks proclaim the grind, and they might be on it. Me, I don’t have time to proclaim such because I have task to accomplish. Maybe that’s why folks wonder where I get the time to do what I do. Don’t seem like much to me, especially when one can focus. So the next time you hear some one claim they a hustler, compare what they say to what they accomplish, and you will be able to separate the cream from the curd.


D'lee Trecia said...

Thanks for the skooling....One always learn something new over here....

u missing another F in koffee Dyme.....

KELSO'S NUTS said...

T: In me you are preaching to the choir. Go back and review my GAME RECOGNIZE GAME comment. My mentor drives a 2nd-hand Subaru, wears Old Navy cargo shorts, give-away T-shirts and Topsiders. He's not crying for money.

I only bought uniforms when I needed them. As I type, I am barefoot, in Levi's and a black Navy t-shirt. I do not own a car. The only jewelry I wear is a watch. I bought nice uniforms when nice uniforms were required of my work.

Which reminds me of a good tip for all newbies with regard to hustling: if you are a person with a lot of money which you made in the straight world and want to try your hand at playing in private cardrooms, here's a word of advice. If you see players (and especially women players) wearing the outfit I have on plus a baseball cap and a zip-hoodie, just keep your money in your pocket and walk right back out the door. You have no chance.

Yet, if you have mastered the "lsme tourist-look hustle," more power to you. It's hard to pull off.

How do you know I know what I'm talking about? Other than the really simple dice side bets I've written about here, I often write about WHAT I do generally but never specifically who-what-when-where-and-HOW.

Good luck today against State. One reasonably accurate quant place makes Memphis -$5.25 favorite to beat 'em. The middle-price of the sharpest of the off-shore books makes it Memphis-$4.60.

I think you and I (UCLA, which granted me my post-graduate parchment; St John's is my hometown team) may be headed for a final four showdown.

In pure team ability, I make UCLA-Memphis dead even on a neutral court. You've got a tougher assigment next out against MSU than I do the winner of the USD/Western Kentucky.

[And to any skeptics looking for hypocrisy on my part, I gave away NO INFORMATION AT ALL.]

We'll drink those bottles in the back of the virtual pickup and dissect the game afterwards if it comes to pass.

Very important political point you made on tihs post about MONEY not necessarily meaning regressive politics. Do some reading on Carl "The Chief" Rosen -- family now owns the "THEORY" line of clothing among other things -- when you get a chance.


Lovebabz said...

I Love YOU!

Now if you could turn this post into a curriculum and perhaps run it as an after school think tank for young people. (meaning I like this very much)

This may well be one of my favorite post!

Bravo! Mr. Stephens you are amazingly perceptive and wise.

CapCity said...

i may not be a hustla -- but Ev'ry Day I'm hustle-in', Ev'ry Day I'm hustle-in'.... LOLOLOL!

Blah Blah Blah said... don't wear draw'rs?...Why?
*yea, i'm sorta smilin'*

...I mean you put it out there, figured I could inquire...

Tony OH said...

"Don't Sleep, cause even on the solo creep, the mob is ten deep!


Amerikkkas most Wanted!

Mizrepresent said...

Awe, thanks for the shoutout T...yeah you know me, like Cap says "everyday i'm hustlin"...and i ain't mad at ya and you know always supportin ya! The hustle game is old, learned it from my stepdaddy...oh yeah! In the words of one of my fav author/hustler's "Can't stop, Won't Stop!"

The Bear Maiden said...

I knew you were a hustler without you even pointing it out.

Anonymous said...


Another misnomer regards attire. Ones clothes does not evince that you are a hustler. In fact, when we making stuff happen, we may not even change clothes, sure we shower, and change sox (I don’t wear draws), but when you get that call or have do what needs to be done, you will put on the first thing you see. I have worn the same jeans for weeks and now, I still have on the same Sean Jean warm-up I had on Friday, namely because I have been on the go. Lesson being it is all about accruing capital and not fame"

Now that is some old school shit.

Dusty said...

That was a fine lesson for an early Monday Morning..thank you kind sir ;)

Tamra said...

Excellent post--thanks for the lesson.

The hustler is synonymous with “carpe diem”.

That statement says it all right there.

Torrance Stephens bka All-Mi-T said...

d'lee trecia - u welcome youngin lol

Kelso - im not gonna even go there lol and thanks i know u saw us win - if u could

lovebabz - me, im flattered thank u sister

capcity - stay on the grind, how are sales coming as well as the next book?

Blah - they constrict things (no pon intended)

Tony oh - dropping that cube

miz - anytime sister, i cant wait til u put out my next book

Bear maiden - how did u know?

Anon - good look

Dusty - u welcome Kind sir, u know how we old school folk get down lol

Tamra - y thank u hon, glad u liked it

Don said...

hustlers even love haters

There's always something to be accomplished, right?

I didn't know your book dropped. You stay on your grind. No doubt about that.

Remember how they say, "Good things come to those who wait..."

I never believed that. All that ever comes to a person who waits are leftovers.

Don said...

@ capcity: lmao

memphiz said...

you caught me off gaurd with the dont wear draws lol but anywho i agree it seems like most guys that claim they're a hustler are not but just likes the idea of it.

Doug said...

I'm in a situation right now where I have to carpe diem or stay in a less-than-great space for my family. Scary stuff. Thanks for a reminder of what it's all about.

Love the cover art on the new book. I just ordered my copy through paypal.

karrie b. said...

(once again) you have so much shit on your page, it takes me 8 mins to make a comment...

by the time your page actually loads, i'm over it, so sorry for the lack of commenting.


Dusty said...

M'dear sweet Torrance..I happen to be a female :)

Dusty said...

And yes..I am old school too!

D'lee Trecia said...

I see you calling me youngin now huh... its cool... cause no matter how old i get, always looking YOUNG....

The underear bit didn't even surprise me.. you funny for trying to give a vision.. (the comments you got lol)

jalishouse said...

My favorite hustler tune is "Don't Knock The Hustle" - I'm responding to cap - AND singing louder.

Congrats on the new! I want one, but I want a signed copy from the trunk.

KELSO'S NUTS said...

Torrance: Good idea not to go there. I wasn't trying to hustle you. I don't hustle friends. Besides, this is the kind of spot the books could make a bad price with. Maybe Memphis-4 points. Or Memphis-170/+160 UCLA take back. That would be a gift. Equally if they make UCLA too big a favorite, I'd take off my fan's hat and put on my player's hat and be right there rooting for Memphis.

I do think that barely a fraction of one free throw separates the two teams barring injuries.

I suggested that if Memphis and UCLA meet in the semis, we'll have a few drinks over the phone or skype and discuss the game AFTERWARDS. I think it will be a great game if it goes and if Memphis wins, I'll congratulate you as a sporting gentleman should.

VertigoVirgo said...

HEY Big Brother!!! My Easter was great...I went to church with my brother, then came home and had biscuits with grits and chicken with gravy...then I pretened to write my paper...I was actually watching Lifetime movies and falling asleep intermitantly(sp)...then enjoyed dinner with my Mother and Brother, we had lamb chops, Basmati rice and broiled asparagus and carrots! That's it was a blessed day even though some family members were unable to take part in it. How about you!? :)

Torrance Stephens bka All-Mi-T said...

Vertogo- just basketball and took lil momma to an easter egg hunt

Kelso - LOLO im down with drinks anywhere

jalishouse - we can do that as post above says, shoot me an email and ill deliver no tax

d'lee - baby, no body want to invision what im working with, and i likely look jus as young as u and youngin is just a coloquillism

Dusty - LOL forgive me, and i can tell u old school from what u write

Karrie - my fault, im gone delet some stuff this week, but my page pops up in 4 seconds

Doug - thanks folks, now thats what i am talking about

Don - last but not least, that was profetic, and tru, leftovers are for the icebox(old school)

Dusty said...

Tis ok my friend :)

brotherkomrade said...

Is George Dickel any good? I only drink southern whiskey like jack or mckormick, so I'll give it a try.
I know you Afronerd's boy, but I'm still adding you to my blogroll. Peace. said...

The guy is totally just, and there is no skepticism.