Chicago native Fredo Santana is no stranger to the vicious streets of the South Side. According to Fredo himself, the 23-year-old caught his first case as a preteen. "My first mug shot when I caught my first case in 2002 I was 12 been doing this street sh*t," he wrote on his Instagram page. Fredo, the older cousin of Chief Keef, was also with Keef when he was charged with three counts of aggravated assault with a firearm on a police officer and aggravated unlawful use of a weapon. Now, in an interview with Village Voice Fredo reveals some additional intimate details on his life on the streets, notably as a young drug dealer.

Fredo Santana notes his foray into the drug dealing world began when his mother could not provide or buy him clothing. "I mean, she ain't got no money. So like 11 and 12, I started selling crack," he says. "I needed shoes and sh*t. I'm watching this on TV like, "I need this sh*t." I can't be wearing the same shoes, having holes in my shoes. So I started selling drugs to support myself."

In addition to his mother's struggle to put food on the table and shoes on his feet, Fredo wasn't happy about his environment. "I've always been happy but I wasn't happy with the surroundings. My surroundings. My aunties and my mama and my neighbors. The community. Just the black community. The culture. How it just keep going and keep going. The poverty. All that. I wasn't happy with that."

In the interview Fredo explains that when he started out hustling on the streets of Chicago, he started at the bottom, as a look out. "It started as a look out. Then you grow into knowing what you doing. It's up to you. You could work for other people or become a boss at a young age. You can buy your own work, wholesale, like anything else, and go sell it."

However when he began dealing drugs he was dealing it to family members. "I sold to family members and their friends and neighbors. I mean, somebody was gonna do it. Might as well keep it in the family," Fredo Santana says. "People grow up so fast. Real, real fast. By 12, I was buying my own socks, drawers, taking care of myself like a grown man."

Source: Village Voice