Inside Detroit Hood – First Impressions

Dec 19, 2021 1.2M Views 3.2K Comments

Join me as we venture into one of Detroit’s hoods with local Detroiter Jon.

♪ hip hop ♪
Good afternoon, guys.
Detroit has a very strong reputation
for being a hard, edgy city.
Though it has a beautiful downtown
quite unbelievable,
I actually made another video on that.
Today’s video is about going
deep into the hoods of Detroit…
with John.
What’s happening,
what’s happening, you all right?
♪ hip hop ♪
John, you were saying
Downtown Detroit, one story…
-but that’s just a small part of it, right?
-That’s just a small part of it.
-All right.
-It’s a whole ‘nother world…
So a lot of Detroit, once you get
out of the center is like this, huh?
We’re literally a minute
from a bustling street
Just down past that church
and then you come out to this.
It’s almost like countryside living.
-So we just have like…
-Ain’t nothing happening here.
The abandoned homes?
Somebody probably gonna buy this.
These places are cheap, huh?
Yeah, you can get this cheap.
You know what I’m saying?
What do you think?
Probably like $4,000 on
the land bank for that house.
-That’s it?
-$4,000.
You know what I’m saying?
And you bidding on that.
-You okay with your door open?
-Yeah, it’s cool, it’s good.
I want it to be open, I don’t nobody
to think it’s just an abandoned car.
-You’re from Detroit originally?
-Yeah, I was born and raised.
Never left, you feel me?
Never left.
Is the city in your blood, you love it?
Yeah, I love it here.
-Does someone live here right now?
-No.
-But look at all this space, huh?
-It’s unlivable.
So they’re just gonna knock it down?
No, they probably won’t.
They might just build it back up,
you know what I’m saying?
Look, this a lot of space, you feel me?
And you gonna get a lot of this.
You feel me, especially if you buy both.
If they both on the market
and you buy both, you won.
You can do whatever you want right here.
I did a little reading guys, on Detroit.
I think the heyday was right
around 1955-ish or something.
There were 1.8 million people in
Detroit and now I think it’s about 800,000.
Way less, it’s way less.
Big riots in the late ’60s,
the manufacturing base carved out.
I think that was starting before
the riots and then a few things…
More manufacturing jobs left.
-People took off, huh?
-Right.
So you’ve got these beautiful churches
intertwined in these neighborhoods.
Excuse me, guys.
Is this church open on Sundays?
Really?
-You grew up here?
-Yes.
What have you seen in the neighborhood?
Like when you were born
it was booming, right?
Yeah, I would say that’s
30 years of people living here
-Then 30 years of people moving out.
-Okay.
And then now it’s 30 years of
people moving back into the city.
-That’s whats happening right now.
-How do you feel about it?
I love it, that’s the way it used to be.
When I first started going to school
there was stores and markets…
This is a school?
That’s a Gymnasium.
Okay.
So you’re feeling good
about your city coming back?
When I was living around here,
you had Albanians, you had Germans
you had Polaks, you
had blacks, whites, Italians
I’ve had a chance to
eat each and every meal
just going over my friend’s house
and doing homework.
-You guys get along?
-So I got a chance to taste the real deal.
-You guys get along out here?
-Love it, yes.
We didn’t deal with color,
I still don’t deal with that.
[chuckles]
Truth to that, brother.
-Color blindness, that’s MLK’s message.
-That’s real.
MLK.
And most people get that out there man.
I didn’t make myself, God did this.
-So you gotta talk to him.
-Right.
-I had nothing to do with that.
-No, I didn’t create my hair.
So far as I can see, you’re a human being
with a beautiful spirit.
-Love it.
-[chuckles]
-Content of character, not color of skin?
-That’s right.
-Very simple.
-That’s what they taught us here.
-That’s what they taught you in school?
-Yes.
Etiquette, how to talk to people,
how to treat people, how to dress
how to think.
How to say things,
how to articulate your language
and how to treat people.
-Catholic school taught you that?
-Yes.
Interesting.
Besides my mom and dad, yes.
My mom always told me,
“Treat people like you want to be treated.”
and I’ve lived by that.
I live by that.
Thank you, brother, appreciate it.
What people don’t see in Detroit for sure.
You wanna show us
what people don’t see?
I’ll show you where
the gay community vibe at, all that sh*t.
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Now back to the video.
[car door opens]
Like as kids growing up would you
go into these abandoned homes?
Hell yeah, all the time.
People go into abandoned homes
for different things,
you know what I’m saying?
Depending on what
you was doing as a kid.
Like, we gambled a lot, me and my friends.
We gambled a lot
so we wouldn’t just come like right now.
This neighborhood, we wouldn’t
just come up in here in this thing.
-You wouldn’t?
-Hell no.
Like what I’m going right now,
you wouldn’t do this?
No, you could but that’s
just something I wouldn’t do.
We’d go to one that’s in
our neighborhood, something we know about.
Of the story behind it,
we don’t know what’s up with this house.
Do you want to go in or no?
Hell no, I don’t know
what’s up with this house.
I don’t know if somebody own it.
-[chuckles]
-You feel me, ’cause that’d be trespassing.
-Yeah, yeah, yeah.
-I don’t play with the law.
But Imma show you my house.
It’s just like this.
You got a house like this?
I told you I bought one.
I didn’t know it was like this though.
I just got it, it’s raw.
You just bought one like this?
It’s raw, Imma show it to you.
In the hood, Imma show it to you.
You gonna love it.
Imma tell you the story
behind it and everything.
You’re totally gonna redo it?
Oh yeah.
Imma flip my sh*t out.
I wanted to show you guys this.
How cool is this?
The sidewalk, there’s dirt on
top of it but you can see nature
has sort of taken back the landscape.
The sidewalk went here
and the trees sort of came into it.
Really interesting out here.
Remnants of an old sidewalk
going through the neighborhood.
Kids walking to school, going to church…
This place was vibrant,
it was lively, tons of jobs…
People going to the car factory…
That’s a cool building.
This was all just stores down here, huh?
♪ hip hop ♪
So where we getting off here, John?
-This is Claremont.
-Okay.
-Is this West side?
-Yeah, this is considered the West.
Okay.
So does the hood work here in Detroit?
Like you go in slowly
and then eventually you pull your
head up and you’re in the hood?
or does it hit you like you go over
one block and it totally changes?
See this the thang right,
when you come up from Downtown
if you go on to the West side
you instantly going to the hood.
-So we’re going right in?
-Yeah, we’re going in.
-Woodrow Wilson…
-Oh, the street?
Yeah, right here.
-Is that a famous street?
-Yeah.
-Money came from here back in the day?
-Yes, a lot of money.
Okay, what about people now,
what’s going on?
A lot of people moved out
and were forced to get jobs.
You know what I’m saying?
It’s just like there ain’t no money here.
You feel me?
It’s still got families, like look at
this park. You know what I’m saying?
That one looks good.
There are like glimmers
of revival happening.
-Most definitely.
-Like little examples of it.
This is actually pretty
quite nice all of a sudden.
But a lot go on over here.
You know what I’m saying?
A lot go on as in what?
Like you got burglary…
Like over here, you most definitely
gonna have people houses
getting kicked in ’cause of how they look.
Know what I’m saying?
Like most places you’ve been
You ain’t see everybody got
a house next to each other.
You see two abandoned houses,
three abandoned houses…
All these houses locked down.
So why are there no bars
on a lot of these windows?
Usually when you go into the hood
there are bars on the lower windows.
Sometime they be inside.
On the inside, they always
don’t be on the outside.
Sometimes they be on
the inside of the house.
-So you don’t see it.
-Right.
So that’s how that goes,
you know what I’m saying?
-That’s a nice street.
-It’s nice.
But that’s the way it look, you know?
It looks nice but it’s…
How do you feel walking these streets?
Uh, you can walk ’em if you from ’em.
You know what I’m saying?
Like I said, if you mind your business,
if you don’t have no business over here…
Yeah.
You wouldn’t walk these streets anyway.
-You don’t know where you’re walking into.
-What about when you’re making a video
about the hood?
But if you making a video
that’s your business.
-You know what you’re doing.
-Okay.
So if you not causing nobody harm,
don’t nobody know what a stranger doing.
-They just walking with they hood on.
-Right.
You don’t know what they up to.
Modern, affordable apartments.
That’s going in or they’re redoing it.
These parks aren’t bad.
They redid the parks.
This isn’t a hood.
You know what I’m saying?
This isn’t a hood though, John.
-What, right here?
-Yeah.
-People would claim this to be a hood.
-Really?
You know what I’m saying, 14th?
-They claim this to be a hood.
-Okay.
It just got it’s parts where they…
It look nice.
You know, the grass manicured right now.
But once you get in the residentials
you start to see stuff like that.
I know exactly where
I ain’t supposed to be.
Where aren’t you supposed to be?
Oh sh*t, where we ain’t gonna go.
You know what I’m saying?
Where we not gonna go
that’s where I ain’t supposed to be.
What would happen if
we drove through there?
We don’t know what would
happen if we drove through there.
I’m not familiar with
those neighborhoods, with those people.
Where we gonna go, I’m gonna
show you where I’m familiar with.
I been everywhere, that’s the good thing.
I can show you.
What’s up with the dirt bikes lately?
I’ve seen dirt bikes all over the streets.
You gonna see dirt bikes all the time.
-That’s legal now?
-Yeah, they let them ride.
They let them do it as long
as they know how to ride.
That’s what they do though.
You gonna see dirt bikes,
you gonna see four-wheelers, Can-Ams…
I see them on the streets doing
wheelies and cops don’t stop them?
Sometimes you’ll see
a hundred of them doing the same thing.
There’s an orthodox church.
See that dome?
What’s the gang scene in here?
Is it Bloods and Crips or what is it?
Naw, hell naw.
That’s not in our culture,
Bloods and Crips.
We wasn’t taught on that.
So how does the order of the streets
work out here?
Depends on what neighborhood you from.
It’s really just a group of mother
f*ckin’ friends who grew up together
or people who
dealt with each other in the past
and grew fond of each other,
and just made their own little gang.
Like this my block right here.
This the house I bought over here.
-Oh, cool.
-I’ll take you to it.
-Are you living here yet?
-Nope, not yet.
-Look at it, it’s not even…
-No way.
I’m about to take you inside of it.
It’s not even livable conditions and sh*t.
So guys, here is the story
from what I understand.
Correct me where I’m wrong here, John.
The city of Detroit is selling homes
for this, like, how much did you pay?
I paid $4,000 for this.
$4,000?
Once I close on it on the 25th,
I’ll pay $4,000 for this.
And then you have to fix it up
within a certain amount of time?
-Is that the story?
-I gotta put so much into it to keep it.
I’ll probably put like $5,000 into this.
And they won’t even f*ck with me no more.
That’s how good it look
on the outside so far.
So as long as it look good on the outside
and I get some little plumbing turned on,
they ain’t gonna say nothing.
-I can prolong.
-Right.
So your buddies who
didn’t want to be on camera…
Which is totally cool,
I didn’t want to roll the camera on them.
They were saying some guys
are buying these places
putting some new gutters on
and getting $10,000 from the city.
Yeah, they do that but that’s stupid.
$10,000? You could make ten thousand,
ten thousand times
if you just take care of the house.
-You’re a young guy, how old are you?
-28.
Okay, what brought you into this?
Well, for real,
my step day found the house.
We was looking,
I told him I had a couple dollars saved up.
And so you paid 4 grand, what
do you think you gotta put into it
to get it going?
To get this house going,
probably $12,000 altogether.
And I’ll have this house livable.
-Can we go inside?
-Yeah, we can go inside.
My porch a little jenky though.
[chuckles] Okay.
Follow me.
[leaves rustling]
[bottles clinking]
Imma get the whole porch done.
I’ve got somebody named Mike,
he gonna do my porch, $1,400.
Okay.
All wood, he gonna redo the whole thing.
-Nice.
-Take all this out…
You got some nice old trees.
A ton of land, is that your land?
Once I get… I can get
this portion right here.
I ain’t been in here in a minute but…
This right here supposed
to be my living room.
-You know what I’m saying?
-Right
My idea was to knock this wall out
so I can make it all one big ass room.
And then you got the kitchen right here.
Gotcha.
It’s a little bit dark but I
think you guys get the feel.
When is the last time someone
lived in here, do you know?
Like 10 years ago probably.
Probably.
When do you plan to live in here?
February, March.
Okay.
Before my daughter’s birthday for sure.
Her birthday on the 29th of March so
I wanna be moved in before then.
This will be
my room and that’ll
be her room right there.
You know what I’m saying?
-Nice spaces.
-Great, man.
Nice windows.
Nice light, man.
Yeah, Imma tear all this
up, redo the whole bathroom.
You got a project, John.
Oh yeah, most definitely got a project.
-But you’ll have your own house.
-I like projects though.
You got your own place by 28,
that’s pretty cool man.
[leaves rustling]
So what’s your story, John?
You’re 28…
I’m 28, I got a daughter.
-You got a daughter?
-Two years old.
Story on that is…
I went to prison first.
-Okay.
-Went to prison at 19.
-Ooh.
-So doing that…
I missed my childhood for real
as far as growing into being an adult.
-How long did you go for?
-Six years.
-So you just got out a few years ago?
-2018.
-Wow.
-2018, in May.
Yep.
The day after my niece
and nephew was born.
That’s when I came home.
Wow.
Yeah, that’s crazy.
You don’t have to answer this obviously
I won’t put it on the camera
if you don’t want but
what did you go in for?
Oh, robbing a jewelry store.
What did you rob?
Uh…
They say we got a bunch of custom jewelry.
They say we got $10,000
worth of custom jewelry.
What do you do for work now?
Right now I freelance.
Cut grass, I got my
own little landscaping gig.
I also work for my mother.
As a little side hustle, you know?
[kids wooping in background]
They got their own trucking business.
Okay.
-You work a lot?
-I work all day, every day.
-Every day?
-We working right now.
You’re making decent money?
No, I make okay money.
I make…
An average day, probably like $200.
-Nice, man.
-Maybe.
So you make two bills a day.
You have your own house,
needs a lot of work…
Once I build my credit up,
and I just got a job actually.
I did apply for a job, I just got it.
It don’t pay sh*t but I got it, you know?
So
I got a job working
at the recycling plant.
So Imma work that job,
build my credit up
and that’s how Imma fund the house.
Gotcha, so did you, man,
I don’t want to dig too much into your…
Your rough patch in prison,
I’m sure it wasn’t fun.
Did you get anything out of it?
Anything positive come out of it or?
Positive?
Yeah, I made it off parole.
-You’re off parole?
-Yeah, I’m off parole.
I got off parole the same
month I had my daughter.
-That’s when I got off parole.
-Nice.
So, hell yeah, it’s most definitely like…
Was it worth it?
Hell no, I gonna never say it’s worth it.
But I got a good experience out of it.
I met people in there,
learned from their mistakes.
-You know what I’m saying?
-Okay.
-I f*cked up an early age, you know?
-Right.
I’m making up for that
right now and it’s kinda tight
but it’s working though,
in my favor, you know?
-It’s working for sure.
-That’s cool, man.
So this is someone that did
basically what you’re gonna do, right?
-Yeah, but his porch is much smaller.
-New windows…
New windows, new door
that’s all you need to do,
show something, cut the grass, you know?
But he working on this house for sure.
-Don’t nobody live there.
-Right.
Don’t nobody live there.
-The electricity probably not on.
-So are there like hundreds, thousands
of these homes, how many?
They everywhere,
Imma say thousands of them.
I’m glad I bought a house on this block.
-Yeah?
-Yes.
You can see the vision,
I mean the street’s nice
there’s some cool old places,
nice lawns, trees…
Once the block come together
I have a little piece on this block.
You know what I’m saying?
So if I eventually get
tired of it I could sell it.
What are your dreams? What do you want?
Where do you see life going?
What would you really want to accomplish?
I most definitely want to be in
the real estate game for sure.
You know what I’m saying?
‘Cause that’s a market
that’s not going nowhere.
Right.
If I could turn this house into five, I’ll
turn that five into a hundred, you know?
Like that’s where I’m at with it.
Like, once I get this one going,
Imma live here for two years and hustle.
‘Cause you can’t buy another
house until you purchase
-the one you already…
-Until you fully purchase it?
Exactly.
So once I done closed on this…
I could go to the next
house but that would be dumb
Imma close on this one,
stay here for two years
while I get my money together
-So I could buy three houses at a time.
-Gotcha.
So you’re working on credit
through the full-time job.
Mm-hmm.
This is your first project
obviously, learn from this
and then you want to accumulate a lot more?
-A lot more.
-Gotcha.
So the hood works like this,
this block is cool.
Locked down for the most part.
You can go a few blocks over
and it’s pop, pop, pops and…
Yeah, this is a whole family block.
All from that freeway,
all the way to Grand River.
-It’s nothing but families.
-Okay.
The next block over is crazy.
You know what I’m saying?
Probably right here.
-Never know.
-Let’s cruise down there.
So do the cops come out here?
All the time but it depends on
what they coming out here for.
Whether they patrolling…
You know what I’m saying?
Because a lot of people do a
lot of things on the side street.
You know what I’m saying?
A lot of stuff go down on the side street.
So what do you feel about
them coming out here?
Like, if the police was coming out here
right now, if they was pulling me
over I would not have no problem
with them pulling me over.
You know what I’m saying?
Because I’m not a criminal, I’m not
worried about what they gonna do to me.
I don’t got nothing that they want.
You feel me?
People want the police out here or no?
Don’t think these people
don’t want these police out here.
They want them out here
’cause if the police wasn’t out here
it would be a lot worse.
You know what I’m saying?
Right.
So a lot of police, I’m not saying
that the people that these people
worried about what the
police gonna do to them.
I’m just saying the police eliminate
a lot of threats from happening.
You know what I’m saying?
Opposed to if they wasn’t around.
So you think how you’re
thinking is normal out here?
-People want the cops?
-Yeah.
If they say they don’t they lie.
‘Cause how many police get called a day?
You know what I’m saying?
-They’re out here all the time?
-They out here all day.
So yeah, people want them out here.
It’s certain people that don’t
want them in they business.
You feel what I’m saying?
I want you out here,
I just don’t want you in my business.
Like, Imma handle my sh*t
the way I handle it
to where you ain’t
gotta come f*ck with me.
Right.
But just know, I’m never gonna
call you if something happens.
But we need you out here.
That’s how it is in Detroit ’cause
these police don’t really f*ck with you.
Unless you hot.
Like if you running from them all day
like these n*ggas be running from them.
They’ll have a charger and just smash
on the gas to see if they can get away.
Knowing they got guns on them.
C’mon now.
That is stupid as hell.
You thought you was gonna get away.
You feel me?
So that’s what go on out here.
Like me, you feel me?
I ain’t that stupid.
You feel me?
I did dumb shit but I ain’t that stupid.
You know what I’m saying?
Some people learn,
some people don’t learn, man.
Yeah, I learned my lesson, you know?
And I got time to run
from them for nothing.
-You have a real estate empire to build.
-Yes.
Most definitely,
I ain’t about to run from these people.
This the West Side still,
it’s bad over here too.
You know what I’m saying?
A lot go on over here.
[car door opens]
[door closes]
What do we got here, John?
What kind of shop?
It’s a hair salon, she do hair.
-She do your hair?
-Hell naw.
She don’t do my hair, she can’t.
-All right, how you doing?
-Good, how you doing?
You okay with me and a camera in here?
Lock this though.
She makes wigs?
Yeah, she make ’em.
-She’s making my wig?
-She can make you a wig
if you want a wig, for sure.
You know what I’m saying?
All right.
-So it’s a barber shop?
-Yeah, for sure, barber shop.
The house of drank.
[laughter]
-How you doing?
-You all right?
Good man, you?
This the wig shop.
Oh yeah.
Hello.
-[giggles]
-Hello, ladies.
Any of you fellas want to get y’all
girlfriend a wig, this the lady right here.
-Girlfriend and a wig at the same time?
-Get your girlfriend a wig.
Oh, gotcha.
[laughter]
-WOMAN: Girlfriend and a wig…
-Or that…
[laughter]
So what do you do? Someone
tells them what they want and you…
-Yep, you can tell me…
-You sew it up?
Yep, literally sew it up.
[chuckles]
Make me a wig…
Uh-huh, we gonna take this over.
-Turn around.
-That’s too big, that’s a big head.
Oh, he got a big head!
He got a extra large…
That’s what the Amish said, they said I
had the biggest head they ever dealt with.
[all laughing]
Seriously.
How you measure the head, what’s that?
This is small and then
this is medium, large.
-He was like up in here, extra large.
-Oh, sheesh.
-I got XL.
-[laughing]
Ok, so you know what size wig you need.
-Oh, that’s a knucklehead.
-I just think my head is more like an egg
right?
This is more round.
D’Fyne Beauty Collections…
-I’m dropping that link down below.
-Oh yeah.
Thank you, ladies.
-See you.
-See ya.
-What’s over here?
-The restaurant.
WOMAN: It’s called Baggage Claim.
-Make food and stuff.
-What kind of food you making?
-Everything.
-How you doing, man?

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