There is nothing more important in today's world than people's perception of your badassery. You could be Albert Einstein and Arnold Schwarzenegger's love child who was put into an orphanage and adopted and raised by Willie Nelson (while I'm not sure how Willie would help one's development, you have to admit be raised by Willie Nelson would be flippin' awesome), but if the public saw you as a total weak-ass puss-puss white boy, you are screwed for going anywhere in life. And if one is a upper-middle-class Caucasian like yours truly, passing oneself off as a firearm toting maverick is even more difficult. But, with the following five simple tips, you can increase your Streetwise Credibility Quotient (otherwise known as "Street Cred" to the kids) tenfold.

1 Tell stories about any minor crimes you have committed, but with one small edit.

Let's be honest, though your recent jaywalking/theft (of a candy bar)/public urination charge may have given you quite the adrenaline rush (and man, was that cop pissed), small crimes like that will get you nowhere on the path to widespread respectability. So, how can you use this criminal experience to your advantage without having to upgrade to tiring, time consuming crimes like arson or murder? Simple. You've worked hard on that story about said crime, I'm not going to ask you to give that up. Just add one simple line to the beginning of said story: "when I was five". A grown man pissing in a fountain is foolish, immature, most likely hammered and likely not to get laid for a while. A five year old pissing in a fountain is just fucking bad-ass.

2. Respect your mother.

This sounds odd, doesn't it? Disrespecting authority figures is what one would think to be the usual quickest way to respect amongst your street peers, and usually it is. However, one's mother is a major exception to that rule. As a wise member of the hood, one should recognize that one's mother was a great influence on who you are today; as well, her putting up with troublesome young you (RULE 1! RULE 1!) makes her a saint. Don't just respect your mother, respect her loud and proud. Take her for weekly dinners, buy her flowers for mother's day, the works. The more you do to show how much your momma means to you, the more that your peers will recognize your worldliness and all around wisdom. Unless you get one of those "mom" tattoos. That shit's custy.br>
3. Buy clothes that are too large for you.

At first glance, this seems fairly straight-forward; what with all the gangstas and whatnot low-riding like all get out, it seems natural to follow that trend. However, buying and wearing clothes that hang off of your body, which states that one expects to grow into them, also shows two things integral to today's society: monetary smarts (especially if it's a nice, quality shirt that's also rugged; one of those could last you a lifetime) and willingness to change(you acknowledge you are imperfect and are willing to change; "I need to get bigger? So be it. I've already got the wardrobe for that anyways"). Fiscal responsibility, adaptability and freshness: the classic triple threat of street cred that you can reach so easily.

*Note: rule 2 only applies if one is no longer living with said mother. Still living with her? She's a dumb old hag who doesn't understand your way of life.
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**Except you, mom. You're awesome and I love you, I'm sure.