One year ago today, DJ Esco touched down in Dubai where he was greeted by scrupulous airport security guards who found what Esco would later describe as a “fairy dust particle” of weed in his backpack.

From there, what was supposed to be a lavish weekend turned into an an unexpectedly long—and life changing—stay.

 While Future and the rest of their travel companions proceeded on to a fancy appearance in Abu Dhabi, Esco found himself being hauled off to a local prison on charges of marijuana possession. He would go on to spend 56 days and nights in that prison, interned alongside petty thefts, former Taliban generals, and people from countries he had never heard of before. He learned little bits of Arabic, made friends that he still occasionally speaks with on WhatsApp, and readied himself for a big return.