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Up on His Hustle

How Lucky Luciano went from pimping strippers to stacking six figures.

But others did. Lucky was ­flipping the average cuties mesmerized by who he was in the Houston music game into strippers at Centerfolds for ­almost three years, from 2003 to 2006.

"I knew the girls that worked the door," he remembers. "I'd call and say, 'I'm fixing to send a girl.' Waiting for these bitches to get off of work at two or three in the morning, you have to do something. I'd be drinking and doing drugs waiting for these hoes to get out of work."

In his last year of pimping strippers, Lucky scored a meeting in New York with Atlantic Records. It was a mere formality, Lucky thought, so he hit the town, cele­brating with all the goodies a drug addict and alcoholic could get his hands on.

He made that meeting, but was so intoxicated from the night before that Atlantic's executives didn't want to take a chance on him. Months later, another Houston artist, Chingo Bling, signed a deal with Asylum Records.

However, the lost opportunity served as a major turning point in Lucky's career. Flying high on the riches of strippers and an occasional mixtape and album sales, he knew his plane was going down.

So Lucky got back to the basics. He got married in 2006, and since then has released 20 mixtapes and/or albums. He ships his music to places as wide-ranging as Phoenix and Japan, and does shows from Denver to Chicago that leave him knee-deep in six-figure earnings. The Texas Latin Rap Awards named him 2009 Artist of the Year.

Now, he and Chingo visit high schools preaching the importance of separating fantasy lyrics from how to be truly successful in life. He no longer drinks or does drugs, and is caring for two children (ages two and five).

"I know what I'm trying to accomplish is bigger than a party," Lucky says. "I've sipped enough syrup and smoked enough weed for two lifetimes. I tell the kids, 'If you chase the high, you ain't gonna get the money. You've got to chase the money. Don't chase the high."

"We make it sound real cool, but when you are really living that life, when you are really sipping syrup, popping pills and doing coke, you are going to become an alcoholic and a drug addict," he finishes. "And there isn't anything good that comes out of that shit."

In other words, don't do as Lucky raps.Do as he lives today.

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