1. There is a good chance that you grew up in the hood if groups make you nervous. The race of the group is irrelevant. Where I grew up, groups were usually bad news. It usually meant that you were about to fight, or you were about to get jumped. Though it does not prevent me from living a normal productive life, I won’t deny that I still carry some of those nerves from my past experiences in the hood.
You are probably from the hood if you see a group of guys walking towards you, and the first things you do are:
- Feel in your pocket for your blade.
- Grit your teeth, and crack your neck.
- Crack your fingers and knuckles.
- Prepare for a fight.
2. Anyone that knows me, is quite clear that I bleed blue. I have always stood with law enforcement. We all know that there are good cops, and bad cops. But overall, I believe that our law enforcement agents are good people.
That being said, you might be from the hood if you see the cops, and the first things you say to yourself are:
- Am I carrying something that I shouldn’t be?
- Do I smell like weed?
- Is my blade visible?
- Do I look threatening or suspicious?
- Keep your hands completely visible, and make no sudden movements as you pass by.
3. This one ties up with item number 1 above. More often than not, before a group would assault you, they’d announce themselves and their intent. This doesn’t make a lot of sense as they were completely eliminating the element of surprise. In fact, the announcement of an impending assault, on more than one occasion provided me ample opportunity to escape the attack.
You probably grew up in the hood if hearing someone scream “Hey yo!” on the train or bus, triggers your fight or flight instincts.
4. People don’t always use a weapon or force to take what they want from you. Some of them developed soft style skills. One of those is the pickpocket. This is not exclusively a hood thing though. This happens anywhere and everywhere around the world, in affluent and less affluent places.
In any case, if someone bumps you, and the very next thing you do is feel for your wallet, you are definitely from New York City!
5. Though beat downs were usually preceded with an “Hey yo,” shootings were not always announced. The few times that I was present, or otherwise involved in a shootout, it came completely out of nowhere. You’d hear a loud bang, and someone would drop.
One time I heard a bang, and the next thing I knew, I was in a rear naked choke as the man continued to shoot at a car. He literally used me as a human shield as he fired. I remember seeing the guys in the car produce a large weapon, and then seeing me, they held off on firing and sped off. The shooter then shoved me down on the ground and took off as well. It was all quite surreal.
So if you hear a loud bang, and you look around for a shooter, or wonder if you’ve been hit, you probably grew up in the hood.
Don’t be shy my friends, add to this list in the comments. I know that there are much better examples that could be used, share them!
Growing Up Bronx
Please note the date on a post as it may be an old viewpoint. I keep old posts to show my evolution. The opinions and views expressed here are solely those of the author.