Boldy James: "I was born in Atlanta, but I been in Detroit since like one year old. Both of my peoples are from Detroit, born and raised, all my grandparents, everybody is. My pops had to go get work down Atlanta because he had got laid off his job in Detroit. He's a retired police officer. They had me when I was down there, but he had got shot, so we came back home when I was one year old. And I been here ever since.

"If you know anything about Detroit, it is what it is. I'm gonna tell you this man: I never had everything I wanted, but I'll always have more than enough. You're always like a block away from the bullshit, or next door, or across the street from some bullshit. You can be in your own little world, your people can have you secured, but at the end of the day, you gotta stand up on your own two. Going to school, or the friends you play with on the block, everybody's situation isn't always the same.

 

In my situation, my grandfather was a gangsta, all my uncles were some gangsters, my man was a crooked cop and my OG, she always been a hustler.

 

"In my situation, my grandfather was a gangsta, all my uncles were some gangsters, my man was a crooked cop and my OG, she always been a hustler. So my world as a kid, I had the sneakers, the clothes and the video games and shit. But I didn't treasure that shit like everybody else because I always knew money ain't your money necessarily. I knew I was going to grow up and see it myself one day, so I just see it from every angle.

"Any angle somebody could get some money, or do some dirt, I just see it from every angle. So I grew real half-ass, trying to outsmart a cop. You know all the shit I did growing up, I had to think the shit through 1,000 times. Because if I got caught, not only is it embarrassing to my father and his job, my people because I'm in some bullshit at school but to myself to.

"I was always the type a kid that my people looked at as a 'good guy', so I always tried to keep that 'good guy' image as long as I could. So when all the bullshit started hitting the surface, I was already old enough for them to understand that they can take their hands of me and don't really gotta look over me and shit. Or as much as the next kid because I was street smart."