"Man, 30, killed during double shooting in Walnut Park East neighborhood."
I’ve feared reading those words since I was 17 years old.
Those words will haunt me for a long time. Maybe forever. Before reading those words I was good. I thought I was. When I read those words I realized I wasn’t okay. The pain finally set in.
Let me take you back. Let me try to explain the legend that is Shawn Brown. This is the hardest shit I’ve ever written. My mind is all over the place. I’ll try to make this make sense.
Me and Shawn were complete opposites. Today I still wonder how we got along so great. Known him damn near my whole life and we never had a argument between us. He was the loud one always in trouble. I was the quiet one who wasn’t. I guess I was like his guardian angel. Every time he was about to do some crazy shit I would talk him down from doing it. There are some situations we went through I’m positive he would’ve been in jail for if I wasn’t there to reason with him.
So many fights I’ve been in because of him. I’m trying to keep the peace. He keeps talking next thing you know everybody throwing hands. I laugh just thinking about it because we were just kids. Shawn always spoke his mind. He had no filter and it got us into so much shit everywhere we would go. Whether it was around his hood or on the South at our Aunt Wanda crib we was always into it with somebody because of his mouth. He was like 2Pac to me. He had a BIIIIIIIIIIGGGGGG mouth. He knew it and he would always say he did.
He was from Plover. I was from Partridge. He was the city kid. I was the county kid but together we felt like nobody could fuck with us.
He wasn’t perfect. None of us are but Shawn was the most loving and loyal individual I’ve ever known. He could get along with anybody. My brother was so loyal that any problem I’d have he’d make it his and he’d be madder than me about it and it was MY problem. He was so loyal to the point I’d have to tell him to chill out. If you was his family you had his heart. He’d ride for you. He didnt care what the circumstances were. It didn't matter if you known him for 20 years or 20 seconds, if you was his loved one he gave you everything he had to give.
What people don’t understand about this side of my family is that there isn’t a lot of boys so Me, Shawn, Kyle, Quentin, and Mark we all brothers. Whenever all of us were together as kids we moved like it. We’d pick on Mark and Kyle all the time as kids but couldn’t no other kid fuck with them or we was on they ass. We brothers. Not cousins. Our parents grew up the exact same way. It’s how all our Parents, Aunts, Uncles, raised us. We seen so much of each other as kids we had no choice but to move that way.
When we became teenagers. We both became different. I started to steer away from certain shit. I was more stable focusing on the pressure to go to college because my grades were bad. Shawn started getting into serious shit. He was in juvenile and I wasn’t. It’s when I realized we weren’t kids anymore and Shawn knew not to involve me in anything because he knew I had more to lose. We switched roles. I used to be the one to talk him down. Now he was the one telling me to focus on school and not get into anything stupid.
When we became teenagers our conversations got deeper. He had the mentality of “Fuck it. I’m a ride to the wheels fall off.” He had no fear of consequences anymore. He started talking about prison and death and that’s why at the beginning of this I said I feared this since I was 17 years old because he started talking about the realities of the streets and that’s when Shawn started to go down a path I knew he was better than and hanging around niggas that didn’t have his best interest. When he started talking about certain things I knew something bad would happen.
Shawn is the most fearless person I’ve ever known and when you fearless you run into more shit because a fearless person isn’t backing down from anything. Part of it is ego but a fearless person walking away from situations is unlikely. I tried to get into his head that certain people and beef aren’t worth his time especially now that we’re nearly grown because we weren’t kids no more. We couldn’t just fight and go home. We were at the age were niggas is shooting or robbing. The older we get the bigger our egos get so niggas not taking ass whoppings like men no more. They coming back to do us dirty.
A few years later the moment I knew was coming came. He caught serious charges and he had to do 10 years in prison. I can’t remember clearly what happened but I think there was a moment where he was out on bond. I think My Auntie Terri bonded him out for Christmas and I seen him for the first time in years and we talked and he broke down what happened and the charges. He looked me in my eyes and said “Man this time bout to be easy. Jail easy.” I’m like “Nigga what?!” He just had the mindset of “I’m ready to get it out the way and get back out here.” He basically told me jail finna be a BREEZE!
I wrote him sometimes. He’d call me from prison to let me know how he was feeling. Mainly he wanted me to call girls on three way to ask them “Are you still mad at S.B?” Funniest shit ever. Some wasn’t trying to hear shit. Some was cool. He also let me know his goals. It was the first time I ever talked about goals with him. Usually we just talked about girls but now he actually had plans. I was doing the rap shit on the outside and I told him when he get out I’m a have shit cracking so he won’t ever be locked up again. He told me he was writing in there too so we was both excited about the future.
One thing that always stuck with me on a conversation we had while Shawn was locked up was that he told me “Bro don’t hang with these niggas. I’m in this mothafucka cause I hung with niggas. Niggas nothing but trouble. Hang with some women. I’m tryna hang with these females when I get home.” It was funny but real as fuck to me.
We missed all of our 20’s together because of his bid.
My brother came home the day of our Uncle Ken funeral. He made it to the funeral towards the end of it. So it was a bittersweet reunion. I just remember how happy my Aunt Marlene was. All of his sisters were so happy he was home. He was just in shock how grown everybody was. All his nieces and nephews he couldn’t stop talking about them. He was just so excited to see everybody. Except for Unk being gone. Everything seemed to be right.
One day we was sitting in my car. We were talking about everything. I told him I was done rapping and I picked up writing. He was proud of me and I was showing him my site and everything. He told me he wanted to turn his nephew Rah Rah into a rapper cause he had swag. I thought he was playing but Shawn was dead ass serious. He said he wanted to be behind the scenes. We talked about settling down as men. He was telling me about his plans to leave St.Louis once he was off parole so he can just chill out and just live. It was a dream of his. He been through so much and he spent all of his 20’s in prison. He just wanted a fresh start somewhere else. I told him that this writing shit I’m doing taking off more than rap did for me so we definitely gone eat soon. Fuck the USA we gone see other countries after he off papers. We gone travel and live it up.
All of that is gone up in smoke now. All I have now is memories.
My brother was only out of prison for a year after 10 years and he was murdered last week.
I’m sorry Shawn. I’m sorry I failed you. I wasn’t a good enough brother for you. This wasn’t supposed to happen to you. If I would’ve did more while you were locked up maybe I wouldn’t be writing this. I was supposed to give you money and a whip so you wouldn’t have to worry about that shit and just handle your business. You not supposed to be walking bro. I was out here busy worried about dumb shit like going to music festivals, traveling to places to do nothing but party, being on social media wasting time, getting drunk and high, riding for people who don’t have my fucking back at all and never will. I should’ve been riding for the person that would take a bullet for me and that’s you. Almost every person in my phone wouldn’t give me a fucking slice of pizza or their loyalty and I’m trying to kick it with em talk to em. I was doing silly shit that don’t mean anything when I should’ve been focused on what we talked about and that’s making our family proud of us and taking care of each other. I fucking failed you bro and that shit hurts so fucking much.
I have 2 regrets about all of this.
The first regret is letting outsiders on social media know what happened to you. I should’ve kept that family business. I’m out here answering texts all day Thursday pretending I’m okay and smiling. I’m not okay. I’m in pain and I have been for days. I have no will to write anymore. I’m forcing everything. I’m a fucking wreck. I don’t wanna come out the house even more. I haven’t ate much. I’m getting all these fake prayers, texts, and concerns. Nobody cares and that’s the truth. Nobody prayed for me or my family so I wished they’d stop fucking telling me that. I’m tired of people lying to me to spare my fucking feelings. Nobody fucking cares except my day ones and the people who said they loved me and checked on me more than once. I finally see that now. Everybody else felt it was their duty to say something. Not cause they cared. You said your peace now you don’t feel guilty now go live your lives. It’s my fault for letting the internet know family business. I get it. It’s okay. I’m not mad. I’m just being real. I’m not saying this out of anger I’m saying this out of honesty. Nobody really fucking cares. They just pretend to. I will now act accordingly now that I’ve seen it first hand.
Last Friday was the 1st time in my life I wanted to kill somebody. I’ve never felt this kind of hatred in my heart before and I stayed in the house because of it. I was supposed to go to an event to see a good friend DJ that night but I knew I had to sit still. I literally hated my own people for the first time in my life for a couple hours on Friday. I’m good now. I’ve listened to the most high. I’ve forgiven whoever did this to you. My judgement doesn’t mean anything. It’s God’s judgement they must deal with.
The second regret is that I never saw your true potential. I never got to see you become a father or a husband. I never got to see you travel the world. I never got to see you live out your dreams. This is what hurts the most. You were so inspirational. The ride is over and I can’t believe it.
I’m sorry Shawn. I failed you while you were here but I will make the world remember your name somehow someway. I promise you that. You are my brother forever and I thank you for teaching me so much.
I love you.