Book Extract: The Unfiltered Hood Life SPANIAN
Film & TV|Dec 2, 2021

Book Extract: The Unfiltered Hood Life SPANIAN

A Powerful And Unflinching Account Of How A Young Inner-City Kid Became The Viral Hip-Hop Artist Spanian.
Penthouse Staff


Come 2011, I was four years sober and had been training consistently. I was fit as a fucking bodybuilder and preparing to take over as a drug dealer. And plus, I had self-taught barber skills to make myself look a million bucks, clean fade and everything. So when this girl I liked was hanging out at a friend’s house in Woollo, I would walk in among all the skinny junkies sprawled on the floor and go sit next to her. I’d give her all my attention, butter her up, make her feel like the only girl in the world. You know, the usual stuff. One day, I asked her to come for a walk to the city, and she agreed. We talked the whole way there, and when we got to the shops, I bought her a pair of Asics Kinsei 4s. They were baby blue and white, and that’s how you get a girl from the hood.

During this time, I was also finally starting the process of becoming a drug dealer. A friend heard about my plans, and he agreed to front some money for heroin and cocaine. The plan was that I would go and sell it, and we’d go halves on the profit. I bought a budget mobile phone and a SIM card, and wrote my number down on multiple strips of paper. I made up five caps of gear and five caps of coke, and approached all the prostitutes and trans sex workers in Woollo. They loved to mix coke and gear together in a shot and inject it. Anyway, I gave them a free cap each, plus the strip of paper with my number on it. I told them my name was Bill and I was from Woollo, and that I was on from 6 pm to 6 am, every single day. I also had a five-minute guarantee, because everybody hates waiting for drug dealers.

After I gave out those free samples, I received no phone calls. I was checking my phone every ten seconds, waiting for the home screen to light up. Something, anything. To pass the time, I’d grab a kebab and protein revival drink in the morning, and go and train in the park. I’d do chin-ups and dips while it was raining in the middle of winter. Cunts were laughing at me. After three days, I’d only sold one cap in total. Fuck this. I was ready to give up then and there, but I knew I had to keep at it.

It got to the point where I was selling $2000 per night, which meant I was making around $1000 profit and not splitting it with it anybody

Slowly, business started to pick up, and I was selling five caps a night. So I was getting $250 a night, of which just over $100 was profit. And remember, I was halving the profits with my mate, so I was making $50 a night. It was sad and ridiculous. After two months, the word was getting around Williams Street and up to Kings Cross, and so I was selling ten caps every night. This whole time I was trying to save enough money to pay for my own drugs upfront, so I didn’t have to go halves with my mate anymore. The problem was that my mate was getting great coke, but the gear was shit. I knew that great gear was the quintessential part of drug dealing and that coke was just secondary. Three months in, I’d saved up enough money to pay upfront for drugs myself, and I just focused on heroin. I purchased half an ounce of expensive gear – you wouldn’t believe how dear it was, but it was the best of the best. It was $6500. I went back down to Woollo, gave out some free samples and it fucking blew up. I didn’t have to give out my number anymore, and it wasn’t just prostitutes – all the junkies from surrounding suburbs were coming to see me. The customer base was expanding!

It got to the point where I was selling $2000 per night, which meant I was making around $1000 profit and not splitting it with it anybody. Next thing I knew, it doubled to $4000 per night, which was when I approached one of the boys. I told him he could sell drugs for me and take a slice of the profits. So I was buying the drugs, capping them up and then kicking back, playing PlayStation and eating food while my mate sold them. Then it started getting crazy. I had enough money to buy coke, so I reintroduced coke alongside the gear, and my mate was selling $8000 to $9000 every twelve-hour shift. But eventually, he got busted with 150 caps of gear, and 100 caps of coke. He was arrested, so I needed to find a replacement. Since I’d been out, I hardly knew anybody in Woollo anymore; it was a completely different place. All the cunts I’d hung around were in jail. The Block didn’t exist anymore. And so I started talking to the young kids from around Woollo – the new generation of YWB lads. They knew who I was, but I didn’t know them. They were completely different to us because instead of searching and making money, they were just sitting around and getting drunk. They could’ve been Bondi kids, there was literally no difference. And so I said to them, ‘What are you doing? You’re YWB! Where’s your money?’ They just looked at me, umming and ahhing. They’d changed YWB from Youngins With Bundles back to Young Woollo Boys, evidently because they didn’t have any bundles. So I made it clear to them that as Woollo boys, they needed to be relentless money-makers.

I was living in restaurants, motels, going to the gym, getting massages, and getting inked at The Illustrated Man in Surry Hills. I got a tattoo dedicated to Uncle Tony, one for Matty, and some cliché gangster shit like ‘Trust No One’ and stuff like that. I bought a GSXR, a Ducati, a white WRX, a black Commodore and my favourite thing ever – a Ford FPV Typhoon. I had two motorcycles and three cars but no licence, so I just left them parked in the street where they collected tickets. I got taxis everywhere, but that was beside the point – it didn’t matter that I didn’t drive them, it was just part of my image and the original plan.

* This is an edited extract from The Unfiltered Hood Life by Spanian (with Christopher Kevin Au) Hachette Australia $34.99.