Criminal is powered by Vocal creators. You support Darim Stewart by reading, sharing and tipping stories... more

Criminal is powered by Vocal.
Vocal is a platform that provides storytelling tools and engaged communities for writers, musicians, filmmakers, podcasters, and other creators to get discovered and fund their creativity.

How does Vocal work?
Creators share their stories on Vocal’s communities. In return, creators earn money when they are tipped and when their stories are read.

How do I join Vocal?
Vocal welcomes creators of all shapes and sizes. Join for free and start creating.

To learn more about Vocal, visit our resources.

Show less

Memoirs of a Dope Man (Pt. 2)

Episode 2: The Corner

Artwork: Darim Stewart

This year, Halloween fell on a weekend, emotions were high, and it seemed like the entire world was too. Triple fat gooses and leather eight ball jackets were the fashion among the many designers that emerged during this era. I was 15 in the 9th grade and me always being fashionable refused to be left out of the race. At this time, Granby was the school I attended. The majority of the students attending came from five of some of the largest neighborhoods in Norfolk and everybody was involved in the game one way or another. The whole point was to never be left out, to keep up, the money, the cars, the girl it was easy to access with a little bit of work and math. Our design business started making a little more money and school garnered me more customers, although I couldn't afford the high-end fashion at the time, the designs concealed the fact that the clothing I wore came from Scotchmans (low budget clothing store) on the inside of me something started to change.

The basketball court was a congregation point for all, everything went on down there, whether it be a shootout, dice game, all transactions, or a beatdown this is where I made my bones. Slick and I enlisted part-time to be runners for E, we made drops, pickups, sometimes work as lookouts or partake in beating down somebody who owes money, a quick 50 to 100 dollars, the money was flowing freely so you had some individuals who would find any reason to spend it. I never made one hand to hand transaction although 

I felt like I was a drug dealer just in training (in my mind) truth is I had that inner fear as a child I wouldn't show. Fear of getting caught, but the biggest fear was to be murdered both the final result of this business if one doesn't walk away before its too late. Always observant, I became a student of the business. Learning the foundation of what the product is, where it comes from, how it is made, how it got to us, how to transform cocaine in its purest form into hard rock base cocaine, how to package it, how to gain customers and make sure that the product  is the best although very illegal, very dangerous it's still a business. A big business. And I wanted in. All I became a sponge to all that was around me, learning how to make transactions without getting caught. 

Every once in a while I would make a "play" for somebody who had to make a run, which would most definitely be a dangerous situation especially if you have no knowledge of the person you are about to meet, it's a scary adrenaline rush. When I finally made up my mind to jump in, I wanted to start small; 3.5 grams was a starter kit to a greenhorn, you won't take too big of a loss no matter the circumstances, if you get rid of it all or "flip it," a greater reward awaits. 

My grandmother had become weary of me hanging in the streets and threatened several times to send me back to my mother in Georgia. which I most definitely did not want, I hated Georgia. So I had to play it a little smoother but smooth doesn't work on a telepathic grandmother, and great grandmother in a neighborhood where half of your family lives and everybody knows everybody. It was a dangerous time in Norfolk the murder rate was one of the highest in the nation, my friends older brother became a victim in a robbery attempt gone wrong right in front of our eyes, and another fell victim to one of our neighborhood peeps bullet over a ten dollar debt, it was too much going on too fast. 

My grandmother didn't want to make discussion and felt that I would be safer going back to Georgia with my mother. I was 15 going on 16 there was no such thing as emancipating from your parents so I had to take this one on the chin and pack my bags, head back down south, but I wouldn't be leaving empty-handed. In my mind was a million dollar blueprint for world domination, training ground were the corners of Titustown; Norfolk, Virginia to be exact. It taught me that everything goes down on those corners life, death, and reality. My training was about to be put to the test.

Photo by: Darim StewartMem

Memoirs of a Dope Man

Ep.3: My Corner

Always based on a true story, stay tuned.

Read next: A Familiar Face
Darim Stewart
Darim Stewart

Accomplished artist, writer, producer, musician, and independent label owner. Docta Skitz is a force to be reckoned with. a 20 year veteran to the game garnered notoriety on the underground hip hop scene in the mid 90's 

Now Reading
Memoirs of a Dope Man (Pt. 2)
Read Next
A Familiar Face