A ‘BLAST’ FROM THE PAST…

scatt

Editor’s note: I pulled this drop out for blogs like Nah’Right and Mr.Kamoji. When the book comes out these dudes will be buying the hardbody hardcover.

The internets is truly a web that connects the entire world. I have made re-connections with friends from as far back as twenty years ago. None of them have touched my heart as deep as my brother ScatterBlast. I haven’t seen Scatt since 1992. It was friendly and warm, but it was only in passing. ScatterBlast and I were moving in two different directions, figuratively and literally. It went something like this…

scat

I had just locked up at the architect’s office. The old Jew and his family trusted me enough to give me a set of keys and the security code to the office. I was finally staying out of trouble and going to college ever since ThunderCracker had died. The old Jew wasn’t more than just generous, but he was also a rebbe in the classic sense. He was a teacher in word and deed. The more college classes that I passed the more money the old Jew would add to my paycheck. Fuck what ever you heard about Jews. I learned that I was a Jew as well from the old Jew. More than anything else I learned to value education and the selflessness of teachers. More on this later this summer.

I was riding my track bike up Third Avenue that night and I heard my name shouted in a familiar gravely voice. I looked over on the sidewalk and there with a broom in his hand was my brother ScatterBlast. Scatt and I hadn’t spoken in about eight months ever since he came back home from prison upstate. ScatterBlast was working at a chain drugstore and cleaning the sidewalk in front of the store as I was riding by. Scatt looked solid gold like he was in the gym and running five miles a day. That was my dude right there.

scat

Scatt was from the original Cybertron squad. Graphic Communications H.S. b/k/a ‘Printing’ is where we used to form up in the afternoon and decide what our mission for the day would be. It might be MACY’s, Bloomies or a shearling store in the Village. It could be another high school to settle an old score or start a new scorecard. Scatt was a bonafide rider. If he was part of your mission crew then you had a knockout artist running with you. Scatt was vicious and built like a pit bull. You weren’t going to be left standing after you came into acquaintance with the business end of a ScatterBlast fist. He reminded me of the raw fury of MIKE TYSON. I guess it was like that for most people born and bred in the toughest sections of Brooklyn.

scat

ScatterBlast lived in the Eleanor Roosevelt public housing complex in the heart of the do or die. These buildings were erected in the early sixties with Federal housing authority money. They looked nice from the outside, but the inside construction was where the contractors did the Halliburton flim-flam with government money. Interior partitions were thin and uninsulated so that even a regular discussion in an adjacent apartment became common knowledge to the neighbors. Plumbing fixtures routinely were in disrepair and vermin and rodents became tenants almost as soon as the building was occupied.

Like many center city kids in the 1980’s Scatt was raised by his grandmother, along with three older male cousins and one younger girl cousin. His grandmother’s tiny apartment acted as a transient hotel and way station for all of the family that were traveling in and out of different situations in their lives. In a crazy and unfortunate way, ScatterBlast was able focus himself better when he was incarcerated upstate. The trees and the grass changed the air around him. Now he could actually breathe.

This is why Scatt was so ruthless on the streets. He almost had to stay moving just to breathe, just to get some fresh air in his lungs. When he went home he would feel trapped again. As he experienced his older cousins’ difficulties with prison and drug abuse, Scatt would bring that frustration and sense of helplessness out to the streets with him.

scat

We were on a mission coming from Art & Design High School when we got into a ‘what’ on the Lexington Ave downtown express. Bodies were being scattered, from schoolkids to commuters to whomever was unlucky enough to be in our way. As the express train rumbled into the Union Square station I tried to alert everyone that we would be encountering the police since Union Square had a precinct substation in its bowels. When the train doors opened mayhem ensued as police entered and passengers fled. I transformed into stealth mode, looking out for ThunderCracker and SoundWave, making sure they both had exited safely as they were my first priority. The police however had captured Villain and Scatt. As the train was held in the station I watched the police place the cuffs on Scatt and then drag him off the platform. We made eye contact and ScatterBlast never batted an eyelid. He was stoic and undefeated. That was the last time I saw ScatterBlast, until this fateful evening as I was riding up Third Avenue.

Scatt was still the same excitable dude who spoke with determination and the volume turned up to 10. He was telling me how New York City was no longer the place for him. He was going to leave the city for somewhere, anywhere else. The one thing I will say about Scatter is that he was the type of cat that could relocate himself because he had that courage inside of him and that belief that he could make it on his own. We exchanged phone numbers, but our lives never intersected again. Not until I received an e-mail several weeks ago…

“Yo Dallas,

If this is you holla back at me! This is Scatta-Blast from the Stuy……Went to Printing in the 80s before getting locked down…..One of my boys sent me the link from FEDS mag about the CONS and I saw your name as the link! Cy told me about the article……….

Hit me up……………

Hail MEG!”

I’m telling y’all that GOD is good because behind Scatt’s government name were three letters. P.H.D. In fifteen short years this man has reached the potential inside of him that we all had. I’m not even gonna front and act like I didn’t have a piece of dust in my eye when I called my brother up. Fifteen years is a long time, too long, not to speak to someone that you love and respect as a brother. Scatt told me the story of going to Baltimore with nothing to lose and graduating from Morgan State and then Maryland University and then continuing at U of M for a doctorate in criminology. All the while, he never lost focus of why he left New York City and he never stopped believing in himself. Now ScatterBlast is a guidance counselor for at-risk kids in and out of the prison system. He is married and raising his own family while he tries to save some of the kids from the beast that is the prison industrial complex and the demons within themselves.

ScatterBlast IS the transformation.

Hail Meg!

the fools


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52 Responses to “A ‘BLAST’ FROM THE PAST…”

  1. Gaberockka says:

    Ahhhhhhhh….this is that inter-crack that first got me hooked on the dp.com pipe (no NORTHSTAR)

  2. Amadeo says:

    That’s what’s up.

  3. Vik says:

    dallas,
    touching story on the POSSIBILITIES that are humanity.

    great read my dude.

  4. P-Matik says:

    Damn, another ill story. Keep that shit coming. I love to hear a good ending come from a hardcore beginning.

  5. Dj RaYz says:

    Daymn, that is crazy motivation right there. All commin from the most grimiest hoods. Dope shit!

  6. LM says:

    Worth the wait.

  7. 40 says:

    Speechless… Dallas you’re doing a beautiful thing with this site brother.

  8. thoreauly77 says:

    and those three letters, PHD… those are some good letters right there. hopefully i will have those behind my name one day.

    “thoreauly77, PHD”.

    glad your friend found you again.

  9. nerditry says:

    This went straight to the heart. I could only hope that one day, I even have an artificial sniff of my brothers from Miramar, FLA and know that they’ve moved above and beyond to that place.

    Grits and grime in childhood breeds realization.

  10. Combat Jack says:

    Dope shit right here, serious as a heart attack….

    http://www.watchtower.org/e/19961208/article_01.htm

  11. X7aN says:

    Yo thats some beautiful and yet humbling ass shit right there. When I think of where I was at in 92(which sometimes doesn’t seem that long ago…sometimes i can still feel and taste it) and where I am now, and to then see where that brother was at and how far he has come…thats crazy. At least it lets me know that there’s always hope.

    Keep up the good works, my man.

  12. Ream_Team says:

    That’s wassup. Teachers UP! B-MOre UP! My other favorite blog just had a post called Blast From The Past, too. Bothe were just lovely.

  13. Ream_Team says:

    I know, ‘both’ does not have an ‘E’. I am sofa king we taw dead.

  14. A.C. says:

    Great post Dallas. Where was the last photo taken???

  15. Candice says:

    Scatt just needed to focus all of that energy, determination and drive in the right direction. Sounds like he did.

    ^AC….I’m not Dallas but I know exactly where that picture was taken. Across the street from Brooklyn Tech High School…..Fort Greene Place.

  16. B ville says:

    Wow, that was a good story. That shit woke me up this morning more than any coffee could. Thanks.

  17. Blue says:

    I love it! Another gem by the most slept on great blogger in the world. This has made my day.

  18. sasha says:

    you caught the dust????? I CAUGHT THE DUST!

    much respect to your scatt. i see a scatt in so many little dusty ass bad kids. my only hope is that more see it in themselves. i love black people.

    as an aside. i love your old jew. i had my own. she was assigned to me in college. she invested time and money in me and was willing to place her dreams for the future in my hands. i needed the pressure and the great feeling that someone had that much faith. in my little dusty ass.

    posts like these are why the internets were created. JYEAH!

  19. Hussle Crowe says:

    Ill story DP, always good to hear about someone with a desire to change and then going out and making that change happen. I must have that Transformer in that first pic. Soundwave was the one I woulda sliced a throat for though. Good Shit mayne.

  20. Vee says:

    It’s definitely good to hear about people changing their lives for the better. Great story and definitely well written. I said it before, I’ll say it again that book needs to be written. Some people needs to hear about how lives were affected and changed for better or worse.
    Good Stuff D.

  21. Fly704 says:

    Thanks for sharing that inspirational story, sometimes we need things we can relate to, to be inspired to get off our ass

  22. 40 says:

    D,

    Just to add on to the cipher here I give props to hearing how these stories come full circle to brothers maximizing your potential. As someone who knew of your collective way before the internets and rap made it nostalgic or new to the uninitiated its good to hear that brothers who may have thugged it out to survive metamorphed into other life plans. No matter what havoc was caused in the HS’s you cats ran thru, they were high schools that required talent and smarts to get into. So its a testament to the fortitude of your innate skill sets that brings brothers back to center and that instinctual intellect that it took to get into these places even after falling to the distractions of the environments one may come from. D, you wouldn’t have to make another post again and the connects & re-connects you’ve facilitated would never be forgotten…

    Diesel.

  23. Me says:

    This was forwarded to me…I didnt even read it all but the pix dont lie…I know “Scatt”…as the man he is now…

    wow…he’s a good dude…never wouldve known…

  24. mrkamoji says:

    Dallas – STAND UP! Can we get an ENCORE?

  25. Tiffany says:

    D…My eyes were literally watering with this one…then, of course someone knocks on my door and I couldn’t pretend that I wasn’t in here cuz the damn door’s open..I’m sitting here like “what the hell do you want?, I’m doing personal ish here!” I didn’t say that of course….LOL

    This is a great story and excellent writing D…

    “The trees and the grass changed the air around him. Now he could actually breathe.”
    POWERFUL!!!

  26. Lion XL says:

    Damn that is some is some positive shit to read. D, I don’t know if you know this, but I was that third dude that got rocked along with Ville and Scat. I was lucky because I had no record and even though I was unruly, I had some BTHS and college teachers come to my back, so I was able to beat it. Funny thing is I didn’t even know Scat like that, I knew Vill but not really Scat. That was the actual event that got me moving away from that shit because it was so damn stupid.

    It’s enlightening to hear that he moved on and up. This also proves that anyone can be anything if they put effort, time and patience into. From what I knew of him, scat was that grizzly dude who didn’t give a fuck, so for him to turn it around should be living proof that we have means to be whatever we want and it’s not up to THE MAN to do it for us or to stop us.

    Any info on Vil?

  27. Lion XL says:

    D, BTW what’s up with Polo, Due, and the rest of the Whyps? Any good news?

  28. Timo says:

    So when is the book coming out, i could read this all day you know how to inspire.

  29. p-city says:

    D –

    Damn… Leave this post up for a little while longer. People need to see this one.

    And… when is the book coming out?

  30. sangano says:

    Dallas Penn Respect

    Secada Respect

    Thanks D

    I Get It

  31. the_dallas says:

    Thank you all for your kind words. Scatt especially thanks y’all. I never know what to think when I put these drops on the site. I want more than anything else for people to see these young men for who they are.

    No matter what anyone says to me I will never regard my brothers as gang members. We were all just young people desperate to figure out how to survive in the world. The immaturity of youth allows you to commit stupid acts because you don’t fathom the consequences and the repercussions. Some of my brothers did pay the ultimate price. Those of us that remain understand our responsibililty to our communities.

    LionXL,
    Say word that you got bagged that day?!? I wish you would have told me that before. That was a serious loss that day over what was essentially bullshit.

    I would love to see the Villain and ManDello. I am reaching out to Cy and Rum so I can have a mega-Decep drop before the Transformers movies comes out. Stay tuned.

    Polo is around in NYC, but he and I don’t get up too tough. We were sharing an apartment in Corona back in the day and some shit went missing. I blamed him. He put it on his back and handled it.

    Du lives in North Carolina, married and fat.

    SoundWave lives in Virginia Beach. He came home last year after 11 Fed bullets for a botched bank job. He got away, but got caught in Jersey for speeding.

    As for me, Combat Jack referred me to a nutritionist so that I could start to lose some of this extraneous and get back into fighting shape.

  32. HG says:

    damn..that was dope

  33. CommishCH says:

    Excellent… this serves as a reminder of the “human spirit” that we always here about but sometimes never encounter. One.

  34. Lion XL says:

    Everything about that day was just crazy, but I don’t dwell on it too much. As far as my involvement, I take full responsibility for being stupid and putting myself in those circumstances. But at least it served as a wake up call and let me realize I wasn’t invincible. It wasn’t that last time I got snagged up, but it is one I feel was the most stupid.

  35. Eloheem Star says:

    Dope story. I don’t like to use the phrase changed his life because many people say the same thing to me because they never really knew me. Its all part of maturing and maxamizing your potential that already existed. Many of the most troubled youths that I have ever encountered also seem to be the most intellegent diligent and creative. Those talents just needed to be channeled in an productive direction.

  36. Eloheem Star says:

    Sup Lion!

  37. Lion XL says:

    Whats Good Eloheem?

  38. daruffian says:

    This is why i fuck wit you dallas. You keep it 100 every trip. Keep showin the masses what’s really good.
    1

  39. Ced Gaddy says:

    Damn D you really brought back memories for a Tech 88 grad. We coming up on 20 years that might be a good time to finish your documentary on the Deceps. Get crack a lackin. Keep the stories coming!!

  40. eskay says:

    I need that book in my life DP.

  41. Courtie says:

    Dallas, this post straight brought a lil tear to my eye.
    I needed to read this today.

  42. siriuscasting says:

    Dallas,
    This post took me back. I’ve considered ’92 as the best year of my life for far too long and in some ways got stuck in an era. I went to sheepshead high (corny) and lived a milder version of what you and your peoples went through. It’s comforting to know the love and faith I had in my ‘Lo robbing brethren wasn’t wasted. I always felt we wanted a better life but took a short cut by stealing the clothes of those we aspired to be. Some people never stopped, and thats sad, but the others are doing so well. I knew we had it in us.

    Jen

  43. West Up says:

    Westup

  44. cOLD says:

    one word:

    WOW!

  45. D. Billz says:

    Good stuff. Is Scatt still in the Baltimore area? I definitely need this book.

  46. Dem says:

    This is what’s up. Good read, great story.

  47. abstrizzle says:

    good story.

  48. aqua says:

    God at work.

  49. mrkamoji says:

    this is that good, good. everytime. still waitin on the book!

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