Once upon a time, before I had a 9
I didn't have to grind all the time
Thangs was cool and brothers hung out
The South with the North and the North with the South
As time went on I started cravin for mail
Then came the lley' and then I started to sell
Money, money, money was all I knew
Cause 24-7 the fiends came through
Enjoyed this livin in the fast lane
But little did I know it wouldn't last, mayne
From sellin the base cocaine I caught me a case
And then they put me away in a correctional place
They said I was beyond parental control
A hard-headed fool with no mental control
But for months and months I wrote and wrote
And when I got out of jail, I was funky and dope

Yeah I was straight spittin it to them fools up there, man
They didn't understand this mouthpiece I had, you know
I knew I was comin up
Yo, that's what I try to tell 'em, man
They don't realize this is how you come up in the nineties
Aiyo, but what happened when you got back to the hood, though?

Back in the hood thangs was so different
The rollers was jackin and the brothers was trippin
Uzis and 9's was kept in the trunk
Cause the North and the South had high-powered funk
Thinkin to myself: Dre, leave it alone
Khayree hooked me up with a microphone
Deeper and deeper the funk would get
But I wasn't trippin, I had to keep spittin
Now I'm cold chillin on the t-o-p
And still ain't trippin off the funk, baby
And if you don't get the point of the story I tell
Quit trippin off the funk and make some mail

I grew up on the westside of Ro'
Slangin and gangbangin, hangin and smokin do'
'Stay in the house, don't even think about goin out!'
My room was a jail cell, so young Ray sneaks out
I run with the rat pack, stack that, jack that
Need go mack that
Tender for dollars and don't take no less
Than a c-note and stack that with the rest
Thinkin and knowin it's all about the game
Dropped out of school for big fortune and much fame
Runnin around with a rag in your knapsack
Necks is cracked, Jack, now you pack, black
Why? To smoke another brotherman?
Mac Dre, I don't see why don't understand

Never was much of an athlete
Always craved stages and pages of rhyme sheets and rap beats
Wakin inside my room through the late night
Damn near goin blind writin rhymes by a dim light
Changin up my styles, learnin to flow fast and slow
Kickin the funky tempo, bass breakin the bedroom window
But now at age 19 I'm made with a crazy fade
Pockets feelin fat because a brother's crazy paid
Back to where I used to kick it at
But since it got crazy everyone comes with a gat
Got myself a ounce and a bottle of boons
I checked my watch cause I knew I soon
Now I'm just sittin here thinkin 'bout days past
When the police stayed in a brother's ass
While some brothers every week were gettin bailed out
I stayed my little black behind out of the jail house