Violence is a tragedy that the world has been suffering for hundreds of years. In the middle of protests and outcries, many have been fighting against police brutality, debating on the topic of gun control, and starting discussions on how to keep the peace in a world full of angst and hatred. But when you meet face-to-face with violence, how do you combat it? How do you look life-threatening danger in the face and proceed accordingly? Former Razkalz Cru rapper, Lyndon Ahlik Smith aka SAS, faced these questions and had to think fast in the face of grave danger and chaos after suffering a gunshot to the head following a mansion party performance in sunny Scottsdale, AZ.
Alongside his mother Karen “KK” King and incarcerated brother and group member, Scrapp, SAS took viewers into his live as a cast member of the VH1 Atlanta series Love & Hip Hop. On the show, however, the artist wasn’t involved in much of the “ratchet” drama or the love triangles, but focused heavily on his music, keeping the family businesses going, and being a solid support for his family and his brother; he’s an all-around family man focused on creating a bright future for his son and nephew and a successful present for all the members of his family.
SAS isn’t just a one-trick pony either, the young star just recently launched his own clothing line, NBL (Natural Born Leaders) and working hard to manifest many of his ideas into reality. Unfortunately, after surviving a bullet wound in the back of his head, Deleon has been experiencing memory loss, forcing him to write everything down. Luckily for him, he has a loving and committed team working for and around him 24/7. “Ever since the shooting happened, everybody around has been checking on him non-stop. He’s the baby [of the family], so hearing that he got shot was like opening a wound all over again, getting another call telling us another member of our family has been shot,” adds his aunt/publicist. But despite it all, SAS is from a strong family.
VIBE had a chance to sit with SAS and talk about his experience being shot, the musical inspiration the shooting has provided him, and his plans for the future.
SAS: I was in Scottsdale Arizona. I had a show out there in Arizona, it was a mansion party. They booked me to come out there and perform.
Who else was around you when you got shot?
My driver, my road manager, and these girls who just wanted to take some pictures with me and s**t. When n****s started shooting, they jumped in the car. They’re Muslim as well, so they were there praying over me. It’s crazy because it was on the “Night of Power.” The “Night of Power” in Islam is the day that the Holy Quran was presented to the prophet Elijah Muhammad. All that s**t happened on this day, the last odd night of Ramadan. I was [also] fasting during last five days of the whole five days. The last odd day of Ramadan is when your blessings come in abundance and your prayers get answered, and it happened on that day. That sh** is crazy.
How did you remain so calm in that situation?
I feel like Allah has been preparing me for that and I feel like I’ve been preparing myself, like I stopped drinkin’, you feel me? I’ve stopped drinking for about two months now. I stopped smoking,weed. I stopped smoking in January. I was just telling myself I’m gonna get all the way on my dean, just all the way on my s***t, you feel me? Get all the way focused. I started going to the gym every day, to the yard every day. Just trying to better myself and better everyone around me as a team, you know? So when that s***t happened, I was in my right frame of mind, you feel me? Everybody around me was panicking, but I was the one like, ‘I’m good. Just get me to the hospital.’ I’m literally telling people, ‘Look, I just got shot in the back of my head. Calm down. Just get me to the hospital.’ The whole time I’m saying, ‘I gotta make it to the hospital. Chill out. Get me to the hospital.’ They didn’t know how to get to the hospital. At that time, I called my mama. I didn’t even have her phone saved. I dialed her number and said, “Momma I just got shot in the head, I don’t know what’s gonna happen, but I love you.” I hung up and was still able to function and direct m***af****s because they were loosin’ their minds. I told the driver, ‘Look there goes the police officer.’ We flagged him down. I tell the girls to get out of the car and let me out. I walked all the way to him.
What did the officer say when you told him you were shot?
He asked me, ‘What happened?’ all slow and calm, [he] don’t give a f**k. I start laughing like, ‘Bro, I can barely walk let alone tell you a story right now, can you direct us?’ He tells me to chill out. I’m looking at the people I’m with because I don’t have any wind, and they’re not saying anything. I’m thinking all I can do is wait until I get to the paramedics because they don’t know where they’re going. So I stayed there and waited for the police to call the paramedics . I’m probably standing there for like seven minutes, eight minutes, literally standing there, trying to tell this man what happened, and finally he calls the ambulance. The fire department people tell me to sit down, and they put the light in my eyes. They asked me my information, if I have insurance, this that and the third, and can I get on the stretcher. I’m like, ‘Yeah.’ I get on the stretcher, they put me in the trunk and we go to the hospital. They didn’t even take me through trauma, they took me through the regular emergency process, because they didn’t think there was a bullet in my head. One guy was like, ‘Nah it’s just some glass’ like I’m trippin. I’m trippin and it’s just some glass. It was just like a plug in, it didn’t hurt too much, it was weird, it was hella weird. They had to take me to get a CAT Scan to see that there was a bullet.
What were your thoughts while you were being rushed to the hospital and after you found out you were okay?
The whole time was crazy, because I didn’t cry. I didn’t break down or nothing like that. But when they told me, ‘You’re lucky,’ ‘You’re blessed,’ like somebody’s watching over you, I cried. Because I’m like, d**n, that’s crazy. It was like tears of joy and disbelief. I couldn’t believe that I just got shot in the head and I’m still here and moving like this. Of course I felt some type of way about the m***af****s around me and a lot of s**t, like anybody else would, but I was really just thankful.
What’s the first thing you did when you got back home?
I took my black a*s home and went to bed the next day. I called my second mama. I called my nana and I told her I wanted to have a BBQ at the house. She just moved into a new house and she doesn’t even allow a gang of people in her house but of course she said yes under the circumstances and we had a big a*s BBQ at the house.
Are there any other medical side effects that you’re experiencing now?
The bullet is actually still in my head. I’m suffering memory loss a little bit. I be forgetting s**t and I lose my phone every f*****g day. I be forgetting to call people back and I lose my keys. Shit like that. Now I gotta write everything down. My head be throbbing throughout the day so they got me on medication; they got me on these pills. [When] my head starts throbbing, I pop a pill. I aint never been no f*****g druggie, I’ve never been quick to take a drug.I’m not with that s**t.I try not to take any, but if I have to I will. When I’m on it, you know, I could be talking to you and start knodding off and going to sleep.
Do you know who shot you?
You know I think I have an idea, but I didn’t file a police report or anything. It’s crazy how the system works because as I’m sitting in the hospital bed, damn near dying or whatever the f**k, they come in there and ask me what I want THEM to do. They’re like, ‘How do you want us to go about this? Are you willing to come testify? Do you want us to find out?’ I’m like, ‘Well I would expect y’all to do y’all’s job, but right now, I’m trying to get this bullet out of my head.’ They were like, ‘Well are you willing to come back down and testify?’ I’m like, ‘Nah, I’m not with that. I’m cool. I just wanna worry about this right now.’ I don’t give a f**k. I don’t wanna know. I know everything I need to know. I feel like there’s nothing to know. It’s whatever, but other than that, I just wanted to know what type of bullet was in my head so I could put it in a rap or something. Other than that, I don’t give a f**k what the police knows, as long as I know what I wanna know.
Do you think the added exposure from LHHATL may have contributed to this happening?
There’s no telling what it was. I’m not sure what it was. I don’t know what their motive was. I don’t know who or why they did it. I’m just happy to be here.
Overall, how has your family reacted to this?
My mama lost it. My mama went crazy, they said she was running up and down the street screaming “please save my baby”, she was on her way to Arizona. I told her to chill because I didn’t want her coming up there. I told her to wait until I got home and we would talk then. Of course, with her being a mother, especially a mother that loves her child and would do anything for her child, she really took it hard and she was ten toes down on everybody’s neck, applying pressure on everybody. Me personally, I don’t even like talking about it. I don’t mind doing interviews, but when I talk about it with her, I just get blowed all over again. So I don’t even talk about it. My brother [Scrapp] is just thankful. All he asks for [in jail] is for Allah to please protect my brother and make sure he’s good. He already knows how I can get. Not even gonna say how I am, but how I can get. He feels like his prayers were answered. Like man, I’m in the book, I’m in the Quran everyday for that good reason.
How have you juggled the weight of this along with your music, your family, and your other businesses?
First off, when I wake up in the morning, I gotta write it down or else I’m gonna forget to do the s**t. I keep pushing. I keep pushing like I’ve been doing. I’m mad as h**l I can’t go to the yard no more. I’m on my workout s**t heavy and I can’t report to the yard. I can’t workout and that s**t got me blowed, but I still make sure I go to the studio everyday. I still make sure I do everything I’m supposed to be doing. I got my merchandise; I’m getting my merchandise in order. I’m posting on Instagram, kicking it with my fans, and still got people. I’m hanging out and s**t.
How has this affected your music? Have you been inspired to write since the shooting?
H**l yeah. This didn’t do anything but make my music, I feel like, ten times better. I feel like it I‘ll reach ten times more people because I’m giving them more of me. I always say, my music is a reflection of me and what I go through on a day-to-day basis. This is a new experience that I’m gonna be putting into my music. I’m letting people know more about me and what I go through. I just released a new song called “Still Walking” and it’s basically talking about all the s**t we just spoke on, me getting shot in the head and still being able to walk around and function you know. I touched on all of that and kind of gave the story in more verses. Y’all can check that out on my YouTube, SASNBL as well as my SoundCloud.
You have the initiative #WeAreAtWar, what is and what is your goal in starting it?
I just feel like, let’s police the police. Let’s do them how they’re doing us. Take it for what it’s worth. People are gonna take my words and twist it however they want to do it anyways, but that’s how I feel. Let’s police the police.
In the future do you feel like you’ll be more careful about the people that you associate yourself with?
I feel like I’m going to move different. I’m not going to say that I’m going to be more careful but I’ll say that I’m going to be more mindful of the people around me. I’ll just make sure that whatever I’m doing, I’m protected. I gotta move a little bit different. I wasn’t on the bull s**t. I was going to do a show. I’m still gonna pull up in the hood and party with the homies. I’m still gonna pull up in other hoods and f**k with the homies. I’m still gonna go where I like to hang., I’m gonna still do what I gotta do and all of that. I’m just gonna make sure that I’m good and I just gotta move a little different.
What made you want to speak on this now?
Because now I’m in a place where I’m not so angry about it and I can talk about it free willingly. At first I was like n***a I’m mad, I wanna do this that and the third to whomever. However, that’s what I was on. Now I’m to the point where I’m off that, I’m cool, I’m thankful, I’m here. Let me mash the gas. After this happened everything started going up. I guess using this situation I can tell my story. I can give the people my story and let them get some insight on what the f**k I’m doing because it’s real, you know what I’m saying? People go through this and some people want to hide their head or tuck their tails or go crawl up under a rock. Nah, we’re not doing that. I want yall to continue to follow my lead, I’m on this road to recovery and I’m going to give y’all this s**t day by day.