Illness Changed My Life, but I Didn’t Panic

Consequence reveals how he coped with a shocking diagnosis



Photos courtesy of Consequence.

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I learned the difference between being a deal-broker and being an artist way back in the 1990s. I always got to the bag. I was getting to the bag at 16.

I rapped like I was in the street slinging — it was the same premise, except I was running up into record label buildings. For me, it was such an accomplishment. I didn’t get the XXL Freshmen cover; it wasn’t around then. I didn’t get The Source’s Unsigned Hype. You know what I got? I was the “fourth” member of A Tribe Called Quest. And I turned that into a legendary songwriting and rap career.

Then I got sick. And when I look back on it, nothing could have prepared me for that better than it just happening. I still wasn’t prepared, though.

When you get to a certain age, your life becomes a story. It’s no longer just a life of sporadic moments because you’ve had enough of those to write chapters. When I look at my life, Type 2 diabetes was a benchmark in my world. It was the beginning of one of those famous chapters.