Rudy-Lashaun hears all about the hard life of the ‘Real G’.
It was a hot and sunny day. So of course I wasn’t going to say no, when my good friends from the ‘hood (who wish to remain anonymous) asked if I wanted to go for a ride with them to Brick Lane to grab some food. Only to realise, when parked up on the back roads, that we weren’t there for the food that you eat, we were there to pick up hard food, food that they could take back to Peckham and sell. It was then that I grilled them on living the life of a ‘Real G’.
‘The police themselves, have told us that if they weren’t doing that job, then they too would probably be out here doing what we do…trappin! Like they said, it’s a lucrative business, money wise, ya get me!’
Trappin’, the street term for getting money by any means necessary, usually involves illegal activities such as the drugs trade, fraud, and robbery. As with any other business, there may come a stage where problems arise such as others – the competition – carrying on the same business in the same place, or a business deal that has goes wrong. The difference comes in the way these problems are handled: making money in the streets usually involves a high degree of violence.
‘How you handle, these problems, as in what you do back to them, partly determines who you are in the ‘hood. Like if you let shit slide, and you’re not putting in work, how can you expect to be taken seriously? ‘N’ if you’re not taken seriously out here, you definitely ain’t making no money…period! ‘N’ that’s the whole point!”
Being the GG’s that they are (Gentlemen Gangsters), well, more to do with my moaning, we ended up stopping off to eat at TGI Friday’s in Stratford, and. yes, it was for real food this time; here they continued to intrigue me with many stories that I cannot repeat, for obvious reasons. Although it was evident that they, like many others they had spoken of, have before and are still now going through, heart-breaking, stressful, and dangerous situations that the average Joe would struggle to comprehend. Some of these situations involved: murders, kidnap, police raids and robbing dealers. ‘If you were a guy that grew up broke, you’re gonna be angry right! So if you kept on hearing about ways you could earn around a grand a week, from a young age, would you go and get a 9-5 job?’
The majority of Real Gs grow up in gritty council estates and come from broken homes where some have to watch their mothers struggling to hold down two jobs just to make ends meet. Not only that, they are exposed to guns, knives and violence on a daily basis – constantly hearing about incidents or seeing things with their own eyes.
‘When you’re young, and you’re out with your mom, she may bump into her friend in the street and they’d start talking about such and such’s son being found chopped up dead in the bin, or you could be walking home from school and see someone get stabbed, or getting rushed. Then at night you’d see the prostitutes hanging around…it’s the government’s fault, they made it like this, if they wanted it any other way they could and would make the necessary changes!’
It is clear to see that the life of a Real G is much more complex than the media image of fast cars, fast money and fast women. Although the money aspect maybe true, their lives are more about the fight – the fight to survive!