Ready To Live Part 5
What are your plans after prison?
I'm going to team up with Mike Tyson when we get out. Team up
with Monster Kody [now known as Sanyika Shakur] from California.
I'm going to start an organization called Us First. I'm going to
save these young niggas, because nobody else want to save them.
Nobody ever came to save me. They just watch what happen to you.
That's why Thug Life to me is dead. If it's real, then let
somebody else represent it, because I'm tired of it. I
represented it too much. I was Thug Life. I was the only nigga
out there putting my life on the line.
Has anybody else been there for you?
Since I've been in here I got about 40 letters. I got little
girls sending me money. Everybody telling me that God is with me.
People telling me they hate the dudes that shot me, they're going
to pray for me. I did get one letter, this dude telling me he
wished I was dead. But then I got people looking out for me, like
Jada Pinkett, Jasmine Guy, Treach, Mickey Rourke. My label,
Interscope Records, has been extremely supportive. Even Madonna.
Can you talk about your relationship with Madonna and
I was letting people dictate who should be my friends. I felt
like because I was this big Black Panther type of nigga, I
couldn't be friends with Madonna. And so I dissed her, even
though she showed me nothing but love. I felt bad, because when I
went to jail, I called her and she was the only person that was
willing to help me. Of that stature. Same thing with Mickey
Rourke-he just befriended me. Not like black and white, just like
friend to friend. And from now on, it's not going to be a
strictly black thing with me. I even apologized to Quincy Jones
for all the stuff I said about him and his wives. I'm apologizing
to the Hughes Brothers...but not John Singleton. He's inspiring
me to write screenplays, because I want to be his competition. He
fired me from Higher Learning and gave my idea to the next actor.
Do you worry about your safety now?
I don't have no fear of death. My only fear is coming back
reincarnated. I'm not trying to make people think I'm in here
faking it, but my whole life is going to be about saving
somebody. I got to represent life. If you saying you going to be
real, that's how you be real-be physically fit, be mentally fit.
And I want niggas to be educated. You know, I was steering people
away from school. You gotta be in school, because through school
you can get a job. And if you got a job, then that's how they
can't do us like this.
Do you think rap music is going to come under more attack,
given what's happened to you?
Oh, definitely. That's why they're doing me like this. Because
if they can stop me, they can stop 30 more rappers before they
even born. But there's something else I understand now: If we
really are saying rap is an art form, then we got to be true to
it and be more responsible for our lyrics. If you see everybody
dying because of what you saying, it don't matter that you didn't
make them die, it just matters that you didn't save them.
You mentioned Marvin Gaye in "Keep Ya Head Up." A
lot of people have compared you to him, in terms of your personal
That's how I feel. I feel close to Marvin Gaye, Vincent van
Why van Gogh?
Because nobody appreciated his work until he was dead. Now
it's worth millions. I feel close to him, how tormented he was.
Him and Marvin too. That's how I was out there. I'm in jail now,
but I'm free. My mind is free. The only time I have problems is
when I sleep.
So you're grateful to be where you are now?
It's a gift-straight-up. This is God's will. And everybody
that said I wasn't nothing...my whole goal is to just make them
ashamed that they wrote me off like that. Because I'm 23 years
old. And I might just be my mother's child, but in all reality,
I'm everybody's child. You know what I'm saying? Nobody raised
me; I was raised in this society. But I'm not going to use that
as an excuse no more. I'm going to pull myself up by my
bootstraps, and I'm going to make a change. And my change is
going to make a change through the community. And through that,
they gonna see what type of person I truly was. Where my heart
was. This Thug Life stuff, it was just ignorance. My intentions
was always in the right place. I never killed anybody, I never
raped anybody, I never committed no crimes that weren't
honorable-that weren't to defend myself. So that's what I'm going
to show them. I'm going to show people my true intentions, and my
true heart. I'm going to show them the man that my mother raised.
I'm going to make them all proud.