Years before he became the super successful musician and five-time Grammy winner that he is today, CeeLo Green had to take drastic measures to survive on the streets of Atlanta after he secretly dropped out of high school.
During an exclusive interview for Page Six, Green shared some of his experiences as a young teenager, such as when he started robbing people on trains and on the streets. He also shared some experiences he had with previous victims that impacted him years later.
Read on to find out more.
CeeLo Green Started Robbing After Dropping Out
During the interview, the 46-year-old singer said, “I was robbing people by myself. You have to understand, I didn’t have any friends and I was not in school. My mom did not know. I dropped out of school, so I was fronting like I was [still] going.”
“So I would leave in the morning when school started at the same time every day,” he continued, “I used to ride the train all day. I was like 13, 14, 15 then. I was young.” Eventually, after several years of robbing, Green began to focus more on music, and by the time he was 18, he got his big break.
In 1994, at which time Green was 18-years-old, his music career finally made big progress with his feature on OutKast’s debut album, “Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik.” He was part of a hip hop group called the Goodie Mob but soon left to go solo.
Decades later, Green has released several very successful songs and albums and is a household name for some iconic songs, such as “Fu-k You” and “Crazy.” He has also served as a coach on the popular music competition, The Voice.
He Had An Interaction That Changed His Life
Green also spoke about an interaction he had with a former victim of his robbery days that was like an awakening moment for him. He said, “I had a young dude come up to me and say, ‘You don’t remember me, but I remember you. I was a victim of your robbery.'”
Green continued, “I used to take people’s shoes and take people’s jackets and stuff like that. I would hang out at the train station and rob people. This was like ’87, ’88. I was the guy taking people’s Jordans, unfortunately.” He revealed that the guy who approached him said, “You took my shoes at Hightower station,’ which is a MARTA train station in Atlanta, Georgia.”
“And I said, ‘Sir, I’m so sorry. That was so long ago. I was so young and ignorant. Please forgive me,'” Green continued, “Then he said, ‘I already forgive you. I forgive you 1,000 times.’ He said, ‘Your music let me know that it was an intervention in your life and healing. I was able to heal from your healing.'”
Someone Else Had Previously Approached Him
Green also revealed that the interaction with the guy was not the first time someone had approached him with a story of being robbed by him. He recalled an earlier interaction and said, “A young lady stopped in on Instagram and left a comment saying I had robbed her, too.”
He confirmed that he did rob the woman who left the comment and said, “I remember I robbed her at a bus stop for her jacket. I’m not proud of that stuff. All the good I proceeded to do has been intentional.”
“My career has been intentional. It’s very concentrated for productivity’s sake because I actually love people. Music has a lot to do with being my love language.” Green made it clear that he regrets many things he did back then and the people he hurt.
Green Said He Would Have Always Gone Into Music
During the interview, Green made it clear that his mind has always been on music and that he never felt he had other options. He said, “If the music did not happen … that’s the thing, I think the music would have happened.”
“I was not as received or welcomed as I would like to be, but maybe that was just negativity within me. People were seemingly negative toward me,” he explained, “I just acted out because I didn’t feel accepted.”
Green concluded with, “I will keep my distance because I’m not one to be bullied. I’m not gonna be the victim, and I wasn’t. Life is a boot camp, and you have to make it through the basic training.”
View this post on Instagram