Excerpts and Chapters from, "Traumatic Memoirs - Gangsta: To Be or Not To Be (Book 1)"

Synopsis of Traumatic Memoirs – Gangsta: To Be or Not To Be (Book 1)
An abusive childhood, an absent father, and mental hopelessness transformed young Art Powell into the gangsta of America’s nightmares. He was first exposed to the criminal element at the early age of thirteen; at nineteen, he helped found the infamous I Refuse Posse, which ruled the streets of Southwest Atlanta from 1988 to 1992.
In 1993, rather than die with his crew, Powell chose to start a new life.
Hold on as he takes you on a ride through the joy, pain, terror, sorrow, and deceit of his first twenty-five years. You’ll feel the adrenaline of a shootout, the loneliness of having nowhere to go, and the desperation of attempting suicide. Look into the heart and mind of a man who was willing to sacrifice any human life, even his own, in the quest to make a name for himself.


                                                            Acclaim for Arthur Powell’s

Traumatic Memoirs

After reading this book, I believe that our young people would benefit greatly from the story of Art Powell. This book demonstrates that we can make poor choices in life, but when given a second opportunity, we can turn our poor choices into positive ones! It is my belief that this book will change the lives of thousands—not just young people, but everyone who has made poor decisions. This book will inspire the reader and also encourage them to believe that they too can turn their life around.
Dier V. Hopkins | Pastor and Founder New Direction Ministries

A must-read! Mr. Powell explodes on the scene with this instant classic. This book is a road map for any errant teenager and provides a clear understanding that every action has consequences. Mr. Powell expresses his feelings in a detailed and riveting fashion. His wit and canny approach make this book an enjoyment to read.
James Alfred Bush, Jr. | Gang Suppression Program | Juvenile Probation Specialist

Art Powell gives us the raw, uncut truth about his trials and tribulations growing up as a troubled youth. He takes you on a journey through the lenses of a real-life gangsta.
Dorsey Levens | Former NFL Football Player, Actor, Radio and TV Sports Announcer

I am a mother of three teenage boys, and Art Powell's life story has educated, encouraged, and inspired our family. I have watched him transform lives right in front of me. 
Latonya Buford-Geter | Parent Liaison, Renaissance Middle School

This is a powerful account of a young man’s transformation. Arthur Powell documents the death and destruction of being involved in gangs and criminal life. But in the end, he shows how he transformed his life and now is on the road to success. Hopefully, youth will read this book and be inspired by the new Arthur Powell.
Gary Sparks | Deputy Chief, Douglasville Police Department

Arthur Powell’s Gangsta: To Be or Not To Be is a compelling story how one young man full of life, love, and promise can turn into a cold-hearted person, trying to find love in all the wrong places. Gangsta: To Be or Not To Be gives a real-life account of how many of our young people feel when abandoned by family and friends. Art has given the world a gift by retelling his story as you look into the mind of a young gangster. Thank you, Mr. Powell, for opening my eyes to the world of gangbanging.
Pastor Mark A. Christmas Sr. | St. John African Methodist Episcopal Church                


Rarely does one come across so vivid of a story that it almost makes the reader feel that he is actually inside the author’s skin.  This real-life account delivers a message that gives a human face to the pain, hurt, and passions of a young man caught up in an inescapable emotional prison.  It is a prison that is not one of his own choosing but a by-product of a society that no longer has time or inclination to care.  This is a human story with universal implications for anyone who wishes to understand the conditions that lead young people to become dead to the humanity of those around them.  It unwraps the genesis of gang behavior on an individual level with perceptiveness and deep internal insight.
One wonders how in less than a decade an innocent youth can transform into a ruthless killer and hardened criminal with no compassion for himself or anyone else around him.  The answers lie within these pages.  This memoir goes far beyond sensationalized accounts of the violent events and tragic experiences that take place in urban America.  It peeks inside the soul of a juvenile offender whose only choice in his mind was no choice.  It describes situations and events that place too many young people on a self-destructive trajectory.  This is a path on which a common coping approach for them is withdrawing, shutting down, or striking out.  No one is ever really allowed to come into their world for fear that the intruder might turn their world upside down, again.
For these young people, their dilemma is that they are stuck.  Too many end up in prison, not recognizing that they were already in a prison while they were still in the community and before they were ever sentenced to a jail term.  As a response to these adverse conditions, they are reluctant to share a secret:  That deep inside they may have a sensitive and caring side.   Fear dictates their behavior as a way to avoid physical and emotional pain by bearing their most harsh and callous side to the world.  This is the side that helps them to ward off abuse, neglect, and mistreatment that still occurs all too often in many of our urban centers today.
This story is so deep, compelling, and heart-wrenching that it is difficult to pull oneself out of the main character’s world.  The reader is driven to keep coming back over and over, wondering what horrible truth could possibly lurk around the next corner of the author’s consciousness.  It is filled with so many shocking and often terrifying details that they must be true.  No fiction could be that disturbing.
Yet, in spite of the sheer, unvarnished violence presented in this story, the author points the reader in the direction of hope.  It exposes an important psychological fact.  One cannot use personal hurt and pain as an excuse to harm others.  This is a must read for anyone who seeks to understand the gang experience.  It provides an avenue for transcending race, class, and educational boundaries in a way that promotes genuine understanding.

James P. Griffin, Jr., Ph.D.
Research Associate Professor | Morehouse School of Medicine


America, I used to be your worst nightmare; I was one of those ruthless, heartless, notorious gang leaders. We were a terrible group, forcing people to live in fear by taking lives for profit, for retaliation, and sometimes just for amusement. For me, the path out of destruction had an abusive beginning, and unfortunately, America, you helped pave the way. I am the nation’s laboratory experiment gone bad. My life is a reflection of the oppression, racism, and segregation that America has consistently heaped on minorities, seeking control and authority ever since the landing of the first colonialists and the beginning of the slave trade.
I believe America’s cruel sociological experiments on African-Americans and other minorities were partly to blame for my transformation into a rebellious threat to law and order. It is a fact that our government has many racist practices.
I was a no-conscience-having, assassinating black gangsta. I didn’t give a fuck about my enemies or any other race of people, not even my own black people. I didn’t care about any other hood or gang except my own. I didn’t feel any remorse for all the victims I shot, stabbed, mauled, maimed, beat into unconsciousness, and tortured.
I was dumb, deaf, and blind to the truth of my ancestors’ legacy, and I feel that I was a pawn in a game meant to oppress African-Americans. Powerful people in positions of authority realized that they couldn’t continue to keep blacks, Hispanics, and other minorities oppressed, so the next step was to pit minorities against one another through materialistic and financial means. Money, fancy cars, jewelry, and homes could be obtained from selling drugs and other illegal activities, and some, including myself, saw this as a quick and easy way to get a shot at the great American Dream—regardless of whom they hurt.
                I was weak in the face of the glorification of drug dealing and gangbanging around me and in due time, that would cause me to become imprisoned.
Despite your best efforts, America, I feel you lost control of me. Now, you want me locked away or killed in hopes that you never have to encounter me. You feel I am a threat—socially, physically, mentally, and emotionally! It’s because of our government, America, I and other African-Americans have suffered from virulent discrimination in employment, housing, and educational opportunities. It’s because of our government -- America, most African-Americans in this country are suffering from unfair treatment and overpopulation in poverty-stricken low-income areas.
Without the work of African-Americans, this country would not be the most prosperous and powerful in the world. No real credit or recognition of our present contributions or our forefathers’ contributions to the growth and development of the United States has been offered.
It is naïve of our government to think there would be no side effects from the twisted games played in America’s ghettos.
Ride with me as I start in my childhood, where signs of the evil inside first manifested. From there, we’ll journey to my teenage years, where my potential for organizing and causing trouble was put into action; I was promoted from gang treasurer to recruiter two years later, then changed the gang’s name and became its vice president. Finally, I helped organize a few drug dealing crews to form one big organization: the I Refuse Posse. This ruthless posse came together to terrorize the lower southwest side of Atlanta, with crews that ran from the Adamsville and 3700-block area of Martin Luther King Jr. Drive to the surrounding areas of West End, College Park, Campbellton Road, Six Flags Drive, Mableton, and even a few spots on Bankhead Highway.
                We used scare and retaliation tactics such as arson, murder, attempted murder, armed robbery, aggravated assault, intimidation, vandalism, terrorist threats, taking out contracts on police, and even shootouts with the police, and were said to be one of the most feared and organized gangs in Atlanta’s history. We made the national news when they brought us down because it was the first time in the nation’s history that a gang was totally dismantled.
We were indeed very organized and powerful. I say that because we had made connections with people who could help us out of jams. We constantly upset the police because they couldn’t manage to lock us up for the crimes we committed—usually drug-related. When they did, the charges didn’t stick, and none of us did any hard time. Why? Because we had a black Perry Mason, a good lawyer with connections and hookups. He got us out of shit, and we’d do only a couple months’ time.
On top of that, our payroll included members of the Atlanta Police Department, the Fulton County Sheriff’s Department, and the Cobb County Police Department. They told us when the Atlanta Red Dog Task Force planned to bust us. We knew when someone in the Posse had regular or outstanding warrants; we knew when the authorities wanted to bring someone in for questioning about a particular crime; we even knew when they planned on busting in at someone’s crib or raiding one of our stash houses.
I was our weapons specialist, and I made sure we had top-of-the-line artillery. I established an arsenal of weapons, some of which were also used by the police, SWAT, and the military. We packed heat: fully automatic MP5s, AK-47s, mini-14s, Uzi submachine guns, regular Uzis, MAC-11s, MAC-10 9mms, .45 calibers, TEC-9s, a sawed-off thirty-round M1, a tommy gun, countless pump riots (pumps with a pistol grip), and regular shotguns. We also carried various handguns: 9mms, .45 autos, .380 autos, .32 autos, .32 revolvers, and .25 autos. Each man had his preferred handgun, and it was up to me to get the guns and keep inventory of them.
I was also the leader and organizer of the Posse’s seven-member seek-and-destroy hit team. I planned, attended, and oversaw most of the hits we made. They were done with stealth, quickness, and brutality. We tried to be as professional as possible, but sometimes we just had to kick ass and spray lames. We were known for shooting up public places, too. We didn’t give a fuck, and that was why we got a lot of respect from our friends and foes.
                Crack and cocaine were our moneymakers, expanding our empire “by three times its original size.” Our gang had forty-five to sixty members, all between the ages of fifteen and forty. We sold ten to fifteen kilos a week, netting about $100,000 every seven days. We had people from South Carolina, Alabama, and all across Georgia coming to pay for drugs.
                We sold drugs in two ways and two forms. One way was weight; the other, sacks. One form was powder; the other form was rock, or crack. The drugs were weighed on triple-beam scales. Our sacks were sold for $10, and we sold weight in several sizes and prices. Our eight-ball (three to four grams) was $100. A quarter of an ounce (six to seven grams) sold for $225. An ounce (26 to 28 grams) cost $900. An eighth of a kilo, which is 4.5 ounces or 124 to 126 grams, sold for $3,900. A quarter-kilo, which is nine ounces or 250 to 252 grams, sold for $7,800. We sold kilos for $31,200. To give you an idea of how much money we were making, you can make up to $400 on a quarter-ounce, $1,700 on an ounce, $15,300 on a quarter-kilo, and $62,000 on a kilo—nearly double what we charged! All the profits came from selling sacks of rock or powder.
                With that kind of money, we managed to buy all the things we wanted. We had cell phones, jewelry, and all the name-brand clothes like Polo, Guess, and Calvin Klein. We rented luxurious apartments and condos in Cobb and Douglass County. We also had a couple of nice houses, one with a pool in the back yard. There was a ranch where we would go to ride horses; four of the horses were owned by Posse members. And you know we had dope rides. We had a Benz, an Audi, a couple of convertibles, numerous Cadillacs, low-rider trucks and pickups, a Blazer, a Z-28, a Mazda 626, a Ford Tempo, a Lexus, a Dooley with six wheels, a BMW, and about five motorcycles. Our leader also had a couple of investments, including 33.5 percent ownership in a body shop and auto parts store. That was the only legitimate business in the Posse. It was also a hangout.
                Just like any other gang, the Posse had its problems. After we became arrogant and bigheaded, the group’s downfall wasn’t far away. Maybe if there had been more togetherness and sincerity between the homies, or more of an ability to keep the Posse’s business to its members and not its members’ women, that would have helped, along with a little more respect for the law. The guys were arguing and falling out about women on what seemed like a daily basis. For one thing, they had a bad habit of frontin about things they had, how much money they were making, and how many women they were fucking. The most important rule they broke, however, was to never—I mean, never— turn your back on your homie: that was me.
I don’t regret that I cooperated with the feds, when they approached about me, about their 2 year investigation on my crew. It opened my eyes to a lot of things people told me about my homies, things I would never have believed were true. The day of the bust, when all my homies were being questioned, they told on me, and ultimately, telling on them was one of the things I did. But I learned that for all the years I was loyal and after all the work I put in, it was nothing. I didn’t have any real homies.
                The acts of betrayal that I endured in one way or another from the I Refuse Posse and the way they turned their backs on me during my incarceration led to the nation’s first federal dismantlement of an entire gang. After that, I made a 180-degree turnaround and got involved in the music industry as an entertainer and rapper for two years—only to move back into the hood and get involved with yet another gang of criminals, this time armed robbers.
When I started writing this book, I was locked up in Atlanta’s Fulton County Jail on charges of armed robbery, aggravated assault on an officer (three counts), carrying a firearm during the commission of a felony, and a list of misdemeanor charges.
My personal goal has been to improve myself with knowledge of self and history. I feel I have a duty to uplift African-Americans. I’ve become more of a threat to American racists now because I know the truth of my legacy, which in the past was denied to those African-Americans who sought it. The truth of my African heritage is what has helped me change my life and rehabilitate myself. With the support of God, my family, and my friends, the truth is also what inspired me to write this book. My goal is to answer a lot of questions and clear up misinformation on former gang members.
I hope this book will educate others so they can start making changes now, to help guide our youth to the right path. I’m not doing this to achieve fortune and fame (or should I say infamy)—I’ve already experienced that. I’m writing this book because I’m a wanted and hated man. I want parents and educators to teach our youth that crime doesn’t pay and you will stay in jail for your crimes. Believe me, I know from doing eleven and a half years incarcerated!
I’m not afraid to say that I’ve made a lot of mistakes in my life that I really regret. If I could redo my life, there are a lot of things I would do over. So hold on as I take you on a ride through the joy, pain, terror, sorrow, and deceit that I have experienced over the past forty-one years. I want you to feel the adrenaline of a shootout, the depression of feeling alone with nowhere to go and no family help or support, and the desperation of looking in the mirror with my eyes full of tears as I gathered the strength to attempt suicide.
                Ride with me on a trip to the ghettos and low-income areas of Atlanta. These are the trials and tribulations of an OG: me—original gangsta.

Chapter 2 - Tha Problem Child (Part 1)

FROM AGE FIVE ONWARD, I can pretty much remember everything in my life. I also can’t forget it because that was when I started noticing a lot of changes in my mom. She started neglecting me and my sister (only to show favoritism to my sister years later). She talked down to me and always tried to use me as a scapegoat for my father’s mistakes, saying things like “You ain’t gonna be shit, just like your daddy,” “I wish your daddy would come and get you,” and “I wish I would’ve never had you.” That hurt me a lot. She didn’t know that hearing that type of verbal abuse regularly would play a big role in my becoming a rebellious teenager and getting involved in my first gang activities.
Like most parents, my mom never had any regard for my feelings or opinions about anything dealing with my childhood. A lot of parents fail to show their children the love and support they need to be successful at anything they do, whether it’s getting a good grade in school or achieving in some other area. Parents always, always need to show interest and congratulate their children on the good things they do. Kids need their confidence built up from an early age so they can set goals and pursue the career choices they made while growing up.
I’m a parent myself, and I have decided that I will never make the mistake of neglecting my son. I promised myself that I would be a better parent to my son than my mom was to me. He deserves a better life then what I led. He needs a chance to get all the love and support he wants in order to make it in the hard world we live in. I’m not going to deny my son the proper parenting he needs to one day become successful. I’m going to love him and be there for him regardless of what he does, because I love him and he’s a very important part of me. I’m going to start now, while he’s young.
In 1974, I was five years old. We had just recently moved to Atlanta, and we were staying with my Aunt Betty and my grandmother. My Aunt Betty kind of spoiled me; she bought me candy and took me on bus rides. I had grown fond of her. She always told me, “You’re so cute, gimme some sugar.” She and my grandmother used to watch us when my mom wasn’t around, which was quite often.


Chapter 2 - Tha Problem Child (Part 2)

BEFORE WE MOVED IN WITH my grandma and aunt in the summer of 1975, I started noticing how my mom was always taking us over to their house. My grandma didn’t mind, because she loved us and she knew we liked playing with our cousins. She took care of us on a regular basis. As a matter of fact, I knew when we were going over to my grandma’s house before we went. I can remember times when my sister and I would be sitting at home bored and I would say, “Mama gonna take us over Grandma’s house.”
She’d say, “Uh uh,” and I would say, “Uh huh, cause she in there putting on her clothes.”
Nine times out of ten, I was right. I think that’s fucked up when your kids know you’re going to drop them off somewhere so you can get high and hang out. I remember that from the age of about three on up to the age of eight, I used to cry all the time when my mom left us at home or dropped us off at my grandma’s house. As I got older, I dealt with it better. I had to, because I had to be strong for my sister and me.
During our childhood, my sister and I had a special bond. As an older brother, I felt that I had to look after my sister, and the fact that we grew up damn near alone called for a little togetherness and unity. Our mom often told us that we were all we had.
It was true, because when no one was home with me and my sister, it was “we.” When my cousins didn’t want to play with us, it was “we,” and when we went to and from school, it was “we.”
At times I felt like my mom didn’t want us, because she always took us over to my grandma’s for everything. We went over there when she went to work, when she got high, when she went out to party, when she was with all kinds of men, and when she just didn’t want to be bothered with us. We never went to a nursery like regular kids: we always went over to Grandma’s house. We were always deprived of doing things or getting involved in activities, whether it was through school or through a recreational center like normal kids. Luckily, we had other family members. I think that if it weren’t for my
grandma, my aunt, and my cousins, I would have turned out a lot worse than I am. Through them, I still managed to get a little love and some hope for a future.

Chapter 4 - Tha Birth of a Gangsta

IN THE SUMMER OF 1984, I underwent a metamorphosis that would change my life forever. During that time, I had my first experience of mauling and terrorizing people and feeling no remorse. I earned a name for myself in the hood with my gang, and I gained respect from my peers and those in surrounding hoods. Word of the things my homies and I had done that summer by fighting and wreaking havoc at parties spread so fast that by the time I went back to school that year, the gang I was involved in was known throughout my school. People looked up to me and admired the things I had done. This gave me a great sense of power, because I knew I wouldn’t have any problems from other hoods or gangs. My gang had made a name for itself, and that would make other hoods, cliques, and gangs think twice about trying us.
When I first moved back into Adamsville, the hood in which I was practically raised up, I was scared. That was the year when gangs were popping up everywhere, and I had heard that a lot of gangs were fighting and at war almost every day, although city officials didn’t think they had a gang problem.
I first noticed the rise of gangs during my 1983-1984 attendance at Lakeshore High School. I never really had any problems with gangs; I would hear through the grapevine that someone in a gang or a clique was thinking about trying me and the guys from my hood in College Park, but when I confronted them or asked them about it, I would find out it was just hearsay. Those close encounters kind of scared me, and I knew I would have to join a gang or clique eventually, because no man can stand alone against an organized group. I had observed a few gang fights and seen someone getting jumped on, and I knew I wasn’t going out bad.
When we stayed in the Oak Tree Apartments on MLK Drive, I did a lot of growing up. I also noticed mood swings and changes in my attitude. When we first moved into Oak Tree, I didn’t like it. I guess that came from the violence I had seen and heard. I also believe that was what attracted me to the streets, because my feelings gradually
changed about the hood. The more gunshots I heard late at night and the more fights I saw or heard from my windows or patio, the more I wanted to get out and explore. Before I made friends with my homies in the hood, I used to walk to the store almost every day to see who I could see in hopes that someone would stop me and ask me where I was from. I knew someone would, because I didn’t act or dress like someone from Atlanta.

Chapter 6 - Pandemonium

IT WAS THE WINTER OF 1986: a new year with a new attitude and a new game about to be played. Things were changing a lot. I could see a difference in the homies’ attitudes. Some were eager to make some noise and rank in the gang; others were becoming more and more distant from the gang. I didn’t know what was going on, and I didn’t like it.
I was faced with a lot of responsibilities over the next two years. After Gary got shot and the homies started wilding, he told me he wanted to change our name. He said we were too hot in the street and he wanted us to be more laid-back.
I told him, “I understand and I’ll get to work on a new name.”
He was like, “Cool. I knew I could count on you.”
I could see that Gary was uneasy about the homies. Everyone had gotten a do-or-die attitude and stayed strapped daily, ready to flip someone if they looked at them wrong.
About a week later, I came up with a new name, and I even designed a logo for our sweaters and jackets. Our name was ZOC, for Zeta Omicron Casadine. Something to make you go hmm? Yeah, I know. Don’t ask me what it means, because I can’t remember.
The love I had for my family would also change that year, as well as their love for me. My Aunt Katrina became a verbal, mental, and emotional enemy after the homies and I got into a fight at a big party at her neighborhood recreational center. She stayed in a middle-class neighborhood, and she felt she had an image to maintain. I couldn’t understand why she was so concerned about the people in her hood, who were nosy, gossiping, and quick to judge other people. She eventually found out that her neighbors were hypocrites.
The night of the party, I went outside with the homies to help a guy, John, who really didn’t like me. I did it partly because I felt sorry for him, even though he and his brother didn’t like me. I had known them since elementary school, and he did stay in Grandma’s hood, so I said, “What the hell?” And besides, I wanted to drill somebody anyway.
The homies and I rolled about fifteen deep that night, ready for something to jump off. John had been with his brother Tommy in a
corner of the party getting zooted. They seemed to be having a pretty good time. I saw the guys John was arguing with and knew they were plotting to jump on him too. I always liked to sit back and observe my surroundings and look for signs of talk and violence.

Chapter 10 - Retaliation: Take No Prisoners (Part 2)

I ASKED MYSELF OVER and over again, “When am I ever going to be happy?” Sometimes I didn’t know whether I was coming or going. Sometimes I even wanted to die.
I believe that’s another reason why I did certain things. I had too much drama in my life, and anytime I sat down for too long, I would think about my past experiences. This really depressed me. It almost drove me crazy. I would be sitting at home and have flashbacks of things that had happened to me. This usually made a good day turn bad.
It seems as though I was meant to have an unhappy life. For instance, just when things were okay with me and Dog, he was almost taken away from me when Allen shot him. All hell broke loose when that happened. It was pure pandemonium. I also felt somewhat responsible; if I had been ready to go when Dog was leaving to go up to the parts store, he wouldn’t have gotten shot.
I was so full of hatred and wrath. I idolized Dog. I looked up to him as my father, and I loved him dearly. I would have killed someone for saying his name wrong: that’s how much love and loyalty I had for this man. When I had nowhere to go and no one to turn to, he was there for me all the way.
The morning of the shooting, I got up late and Dog was on his way out the door. I pleaded with him to wait for me, but he wouldn’t. He also swapped guns with me; that was something else that could have given him a better chance to retaliate during the shooting. He was at a disadvantage. He had a chrome MAC-11 and put it in a leather pouch, instead of keeping his Astra 16-round 9mm and putting it under his car seat.
It was the winter of ‘90 and I couldn’t figure out why Dog always rushed out of the house in the morning. I guess I was just mad. He left me at home asleep most of the time, instead of waking me up to leave with him. I mean, the weather was cold and I didn’t like standing outside when it was below 30 degrees. I found out about the shooting an hour after Dog left. Right when I was going to leave in a cab, Flex called me and told me the news. Flex stuttered when he talked, so I couldn’t understand what he was saying at first, because he was upset. He said, “Art, man, shit’s fucked up! Dog just got shot!”
I felt so dead, it was like my body went numb. Then I yelled, “No! Who shot him? I’m killing them!”
Flex said, “Allen shot him. He pulled up, blocked his door, and started shooting.”
“Where Dog at?” I asked.
He said, “I don’t know. He pulled off after he got shot.”
“All right, all right, I’m on my way over there. Tell everybody to get ready. We about to go to war.” I hung up the phone.
It so happened that Nancy was there, and she heard me and saw me crying, so I had to tell her what had happened. Then I immediately called Fat Boy and told him; he reacted the same way I had and was at my house in six or seven minutes. We were both strapped, so we got over to the store in a hurry.
When we got there, everybody gave us their version of what happened. All I could say was, “What happened to y’all?” When I heard all kinds of bullshit-ass excuses, I said, “Fuck it, I’ll handle it!”
Then Fat Boy, Flex, and I went to look for Dog. He was injured, so I knew he wasn’t far away. About thirty minutes later, Dog paged all of us right behind each other with his code (100). He was back home, so we headed there. When we got there, he was sitting at the dining room table, in pain.
Emotions ran high. We were looking at a guy we all loved and pretty much looked up to as a father. It really hurt me, because I was standing there looking at him and I couldn’t do anything. I asked him what happened. He let out a sigh of pain and said, “That nigga rolled up on me and blocked me from getting out my car. He did it so fast, I didn’t have time to get the gun out of the bag.”
I said, “I told you to take the nine-millimeter.”
Dog said, “If I hadn’t thrown my hand and arm up, he would have killed me. He was aiming at my head. He said, ‘Nigga, it’s over. Die! Die!’ And he started shooting.”
“What kind of gun did he have?” I asked.
He said, “A .38,” and hollered when Nancy put too much pressure on his gunshot wounds. Allen had only caught him three times out of the six rounds he dumped off. He shot him in the hand on his first knuckle, in the arm, and in his shoulder. Dog was really lucky.
I got frustrated and told Dog, “You need to take your butt to the hospital!” He didn’t waste any time telling me he wasn’t going. The guys and I argued with Dog for an hour trying to convince him to go to the hospital. Finally, I told Nancy to take care of him, because we had to handle some business.
Right then, I made it official. I wanted Allen dead. He was I Refuse’s number one enemy. He was to be killed by any means necessary. A contract was issued for Allen’s life. All the homies were in on it. I wanted to kill him personally, because he’d hurt and almost killed one of the most important people in my life. It wasn’t even about adding him to my reputation or putting another notch on my belt: I just wanted the satisfaction of hearing Allen beg for his life and pulling the trigger of the gun that killed his punk ass.
Cowboy and his crew, the Out of My Mind Posse, were also included in the quest to get Allen. He was upset about what happened too, so we decided to come together as one unit. This move made I Refuse bigger and stronger.
While Fat Boy and I were putting the word out, we got a page from Nancy. She told us Dog was going to the hospital and to meet them there. After we met Dog at the hospital, we weren’t there thirty minutes before he got paranoid and wanted to leave. I tried to convince him to stay, because his mom, Tonya, was getting upset.
I cared a lot about Dog’s mom, because she was very nice and sweet to me. She treated me like I was one of her own children. This made me very happy. So when Dog was upsetting her, I snapped on him and told me to stop acting stupid.
We eventually left, because Dog got stubborn and refused to get treatment from the hospital. He was what I call a real warrior, because he nursed himself back to health and all his wounds healed after a couple of months.
When we knew Dog was okay, we began to terrorize anybody and everybody we thought had any connection to or affiliation with Allen. Our first victim was a guy named Oil. We had heard he had some dealings with Allen. We got Cowboy to keep an eye on him, since Oil stayed in one of his traps. It seemed Oil had gotten word that we were looking for him, so he moved out of his mom’s crib. What he didn’t know was that we had people looking out for him to inform us when he came to his mom’s crib.
Dog’s shooting also caused people we had ties with to come back and aid us in our mission to get Allen. Li’l Keat, Pimp, and a few more people were guys who were either Xed out of the Posse or rivals that wanted to help us get rid of our problem. During this time, everybody in the Posse was on twenty-four-hour stand-by. Whenever we got a tip or some type of info on Allen, we acted on it and checked it out.
One night, Cowboy called and told us that Oil was over at his mom’s crib. Within fifteen minutes, Fat Boy and I had assembled three teams of four homies, with the help of Li’l Keat. We all went up to the Amoco on Fairburn and MLK to wait for Oil to leave the apartments so we could tail him. Just as we suspected, he left the apartments and we tailed him all the way to some apartments in Cobb County. Our plan was to ambush him before he got a chance to get out of the car; there was a party being held right across from where he parked, so I knew we had to get him quickly and quietly.
When everything went down, he was trying to find a parking space in the big parking lot. Fat Boy pulled in front of him and Li’l Keat blocked him in from the back while Pimp hit him in the side. I was strapped with my chrome MAC-11, and I jumped out first and snatched him out of the car. “Motherfucker, get out the car! Get you ass out the car! Now, nigga!” Then Casper and Creeper helped me with him by throwing down on him.
Scared out of his mind and almost pissing on himself, Oil said, “What I do?”
I said, “Nigga, you know what’s up! Where that muthafucka Allen at?”
He said, “I don’t know.”
So I hit him in his jaw and said, “You a muthafuckin liar, you work for that nigga!”
“No, I don’t!” Oil answered. “He cut me off.”
I said, “Where the fuck you about to go then, nigga?”
He said, “To a party.”
“This li’l female’s party?” I looked over at the party and told Li’l Keat and a few more homies, “Let’s go check that shit out!”
Fat Boy stayed outside interrogating Oil. We crashed the party and made everybody get up against the wall. Then Li’l Keat snapped on a couple of guys in the party, asking them about Allen. We came up with nothing, so we pulled the phones out of the walls and left.
Fat Boy got nothing out of Oil. I was convinced he didn’t know anything after we threatened to throw him in the trunk and take him for a ride, so we pulled up.

A couple of days later, we got a tip from one of Flex’s old high school friends who said he used to work for Allen. I believe he was just trying to hustle us out of some blow, because he offered us information for some money or dope. I think that was messed up, because if he were cool like he said, he wouldn’t have charged us. I didn’t feel comfortable paying a nigga just to ride around and point out some locations for us, because we didn’t really know if the nigga was lying or for real, but Dog and Flex were convinced the nigga was down.
Later on that night, me and a few of the homies jumped in two of the Posse’s hoopties and went riding. During our ride, Flex’s friend, who turned out to be a junkie, pointed out some things for us. He showed us where one of Allen’s brothers’ record shop was. He also showed us where Allen’s father and two of his girlfriends supposedly had stayed in College Park. We scoped things for about an hour and decided to really check things out later.
For the next few weeks, we rode by the house and apartments, seeing if we could see Allen’s Dooly or any of the other cars we heard he drove. We did this at least once a week. We never found out if the guy was lying or not, because we never caught up with Allen, but he got paid half an ounce and $500 for his supposedly good tip. I didn’t trip, though.
Then people started coming at us daily, telling us about people or places that Allen had dealings with. That was when we found out about Droopy. He was a guy I had gone to school with, and he stayed in Adamsville. That was also where he sold dope.
Word travels fast when someone is looking for you, because it took us a week to catch up with Droopy. When he found out we were looking for him, he started trying to hide like Oil did. I mean, he went the whole nine. He snuck in and out of the house and parked his car over at his girlfriend’s house and used her car. He had a nice Le Sabre with a burgundy ragtop, some boom and some trues, and vogues on thirties.
What Droopy didn’t know was that we knew about his creeping and we were doing some creeping of our own. One of his sister’s friends happened to be Pimp’s baby’s mother. She had told us that Droopy was coming over to his mom’s house later on that day, so we got assembled and waited for her to tell us when Droopy came to the house.
Later on that evening, we got the call. She told us he was in a white Chevette. She was talking to Pimp on a cell phone, telling us his every move while Droopy was going out the door. It didn’t take us more than two minutes to get from Gordon Valley to his house, because he stayed a couple of houses from Margaret Fain Elementary School.
When we pulled up on him, he was in the car across the street from his house, getting ready to pull off. I was riding with Fat Boy and we pulled in back of Droopy and blocked him in. Then Pimp and Li’l Keat pulled up too. I jumped out of the car along with Creeper, Casper, Seagull, and Capone. “Get out the car, muthafucka!” was all you heard.
We moved quickly to get him out of the car and make sure he had no strap. Then I said, “You working for that muthafucka Allen!”
He said, “No!”
I said, “You a got-damn liar!” Then I busted him in the side with the butt of the six-shot pump riot shotgun I was carrying, and Casper hit him upside his head with a 9mm.
I knew we had to move fast, so I told Fat Boy and Pimp to follow us. Then I told the homies, “He’s about to ride with us. Let’s get going!”
I told Seagull to drive the car and made Droopy get in the back seat with me. Our first stop was behind Food Giant on MLK Drive. During the ride, Droopy was crying and begging me not to hurt him. I kind of felt sorry for the big punk, but then I thought, This nigga know the busta who shot my nigga. Here he is, about six foot three and 300-plus pounds, crying.
When we got to the apartments, Fat Boy made Droopy get out of the car and asked him about Allen and where he was hiding from us. He gave Fat Boy some bullshit-ass excuse, so I said, “Fuck it, I don’t want no more talk. I want blood!”
I pumped the shotgun and aimed it at Droopy’s right knee. Just as I was pulling the trigger, Fat Boy pushed the shotgun to the side and the blast went into the dirt. “Hold up, man, we got to find shit out first!” Fat Boy said.
I said, “Fuck that. Let’s drop everybody.” We all knew we had to relocate, because somebody was going to call the police. So we all jumped in the cars and went to Collier Park.
When we got up to the park, Droopy was crying and begging again. Fat Boy and Pimp pulled me to the side and told me they knew where Droopy’s car was and they were going to go and spray us. So I said, “All right, I’ll stay here with Droopy and y’all go handle that business.” They all jumped in the cars and pulled off.
I stayed there alone with Droopy for about thirty minutes, scaring and threatening him. Then Fat Boy and the homies came back, laughing about what they did. Fat Boy asked Droopy where his car was and Droopy said, “In the shop.”
I knew Fat Boy was mad, but he didn’t show it. Then he said, “You a got-damn liar, nigga, that’s why we sprayed your shit up! It’s in Bowen Homes over your girl’s house, full of holes!”
Droopy couldn’t say anything. Then Fat Boy said, “I ought to go on and let Art fuck you up.”
Droopy said, “I’m sorry, man, don’t let him hurt me.”
Fat Boy said, “All right, go on. Anytime we find out you’re down with Allen, you a dead muthafucka. And your family!”
Droopy was another lead that got us nowhere. He knew of Allen and had seen him, but he didn’t know anything about him and he couldn’t help us. So we were back at square one. Li’l Keat and Pimp left, and we told them we’d hook up the next day.
Frustrated and pissed, Casper, Fat Boy, Creeper, and I were riding up MLK Drive toward the Valley when we noticed 5-0 behind us. Fat Boy said, “Don’t look back, but we got 5-0 behind us. So just relax.”
As we went farther down the street, another police car pulled up behind us. I said, “Nigga, something’s up with them folks.”
He said, “I know. Just chill for a minute.”
Then we crossed over the I-285 expressway on MLK, and that was when the shit hit the fan. There were two more police cars in the Mrs. Winner’s parking lot, and as soon as we passed them, they hit their sirens and lights. So I hit Fat Boy in the side and said, “Hit it, nigga, let’s get the fuck on!”
He punched it and we were dipping. I was so pumped and hyped, I was getting high off this high-speed chase. Casper, Creeper, and I were steadily cheering Fat Boy on to drive faster. We went down the side street where Darren Village was, through the side entrance of the Valley and down through the back of the apartments at full speed.
They tried to block us in, and I knew we would have to bail and run. Luckily for us, Fat Boy had locked all the guns in the trunk of the car, except for the 9mm Casper had. When we jumped out of the car, all I could hear was the police saying, “Freeze or I’ll shoot!” But my feet wouldn’t stop and I didn’t want them to.
At first, it seemed like the police were about seven or eight feet behind me, because I didn’t look behind me after I jumped out of the car and I knew the police was right on our tails. But as I ran through the cut between the Valley and Allen Temple, I felt myself leaving the police in the Valley.
I had some police obstacles in the Temp, though. I ran a different way from the rest of the homies. As soon as I got up in the Temp, a car with two cops came after me, so I started jumping fences like hurdles. Then I caught my hand in the spikes of one of the fences. My adrenaline was so pumped and I was so scared that I snatched my hand right off it, ripping a wound an inch and a half long in the middle of my hand, but it didn’t stop me.
All I wanted was a place of refuge, which I found at the back of the apartments. The police had blocked off the apartment exits and called out a ghetto bird (what we called a helicopter). A girl named Tam, who was Dog’s former lover, let me chill over at her house. She nursed my hand until I could leave and go to the hospital.
After about an hour, they finally called off the search, so I got Pimp to come and take me to the hospital. My hand was messed up for a couple of weeks, and I had to chill. We later found out that Droopy’s mom had seen us kidnap him and called the police, but he told them we didn’t kidnap him, and everything was cool. Intimidation is a muthafucka.
I didn’t know what our next plan of action was, but I was quite sure Allen knew we were at his ass. We were even considering snatching up one or both of his brothers to try and flush him out. But Dog said he wanted to wait and let Allen hang himself by making a mistake.
Being a gangster is a very emotionally draining job. There is no room for sympathy, pity, or mourning death among your homies. Everyone involved with you, whether it’s your family, friends, or lovers, must shield themselves with toughness to deal with your attitude, your lifestyle, and your death or incarceration. Nor are you held responsible for an accidental shooting or killing. Your favorite excuse is “They shouldn’t have been there.”
So what’s so good about being a gangster? I don’t know. All I know is that there’s a good and a bad side to gangsterism, and I’ve seen them both. I think about how Fat Boy and I were involved in an incident that almost cost an innocent person his life.
It started when Dog paged me while I was down in the Valley. He said, “Fat Boy on his way down there to get you.”
“For what?” I asked.
“Cause Allen right up the street from you.”
I said, “You lying, man. I know that nigga ain’t that crazy!”
Dog said, “He up there because Flex up there watching him, to make sure he don’t leave. So what you going to do? Because Fat Boy on his way.”
I said, “What do you mean, man?”
He said while sucking on an orange, “Like I said, what you going to do? Cause if you ain’t gonna do nothing, somebody else going to do it.”
It messed me up emotionally, because I felt like he doubted my loyalty or my friendship. Even though I was having personal problems, the Posse was still my number one obligation, no matter what the problem or situation was. So I said, “Nigga, you ain’t got to ask me no shit like that, you know what’s up!”
While we were talking, Fat Boy pulled up and said, “Come on man, before that nigga leave!” So I hung up and jumped in his car.
When we got up to the auto parts store across the street from Dog’s old body shop, I saw the guy they were talking about. He looked like Allen and he was about the same height and weight as Allen. But when I saw his Dooly, I started feeling funny, because it looked smaller than Allen’s Dooly and it was a lot cleaner too.
I argued with Fat Boy for five minutes about me going over to the body shop to make sure it was Allen. Then all of a sudden the guy jumped in his Dooly and started leaving, so Fat Boy and I jumped in his car and followed the Dooly.
All the while, as we were following the Dooly up MLK and over to Lynhurst, Fat Boy kept asking me, “Is it him?” And I kept telling him that I didn’t know.
Then my gut started messing with me and I told Fat Boy, “I don’t think it’s him.”
He snapped and said, “You done seen the nigga and you talking about that ain’t him?”
Flex said, “It’s him!”
I said, “He look like the nigga, but his truck ain’t made like that!”
All of a sudden, Fat Boy said, “Fuck that shit, that’s the nigga and we ain’t going to let him get away!” And he pulled on the side of the truck. Then he said, “Is it him?”
Right when I was turning my head around to say, “I don’t know,” Fat Boy had his .357 about a foot in front of my face and fired. It scared me so bad that I shot my MAC-11 into the door, right by the roof. Then I got myself together, said, “Fuck it,” and leaned out my window and started shooting.
I had my small twelve-round clip in the MAC-11, and I dumped all of the rounds off. As I was taking out the clip and putting in a thirty-rounder, the guy swerved off the road and hit a tree. That was when a feeling of emptiness hit me. All I kept thinking to myself was, What if that wasn’t Allen? I thought about it, but that was all in the game.
Later on that day. Dog paged me and told me, “Y’all got the wrong person.” I got this awful feeling in my stomach, but then he came back and said, “He’s all right, though. Y’all just scraped him.”
So I said, “Who was it?”
He said, “The guy who took over my body and parts shop after I sold it. His name is Sweet Tea and he a real scary-ass nigga. He heard some of my people did it, so he done called me about six times asking me not to kill him. I told him it was a mistake, but he kept asking me how much money I want or what can he do for me. I told that nigga, I didn’t want your money, I got money, and it was a mistake, that’s all. Then I hung up.”
I was just glad we didn’t kill or seriously injure Sweet Tea. It also made me realize that I could make a mistake just like the next man.
After that episode, we had every dope man’s worst nightmare come to life: a drug drought. It was ugly for the whole city. It didn’t hit us that badly, but we felt it a little. It also got very frustrating for us because we couldn’t trust anybody, not even our regular connections; everybody was either selling cut or flour and robbing at the meeting points.
Things had gotten so bad for the Posse that for about two weeks we had to go buy blow from two of our rivals from Bowen Homes, Big Tee and Psyche, just to keep our traps active. We even had to result to doing a robbery we had set up though a female friend of the Posse. However, we did manage to keep two connections that came through regularly, and that was a guy and some Cuban connection Fat Boy had hooked up through some female he was dealing with. We made a lot of money because we didn’t sell any weight. We only sold dimes and twenties. We even had guys from traps in Dixie Hills, Campbellton Road, and the Bluff coming to buy $1,500 and $2,500 bombs from us. This kept us on. After the drought, Dog leased me my first car, which was a Nissan Pulsar. I didn’t have it more than three months before it was repossessed.
Then the Posse had two new members join the crew who added to its line of enforcers. They added strength to the Posse, but they would later help cause the Posse to be broken up because of their tactics of terrorism. Their names were Cabbage and Joe, and they were some real killers. They were seventeen and eighteen, but had baby faces and looked like they were eleven or twelve. Dog wanted them to work in the Valley, which was cool, because we all hit it off immediately.
But at the same time, we also suffered a loss: Casper got locked up. He had gotten some dope from his cousin and decided to go out to Cushman Circle and sell it. The Red Dogs, Atlanta’s Special Tactics Drug Squad, hit Cushman and locked him up for possession of cocaine with the intent to distribute. He was denied a bond in court and got bound over to the county jail. Since Casper was a known member of I Refuse, the Red Dogs tried to turn up the heat on us by making sweeps two or three times a week. The Red Dogs were known for uncountable lock-ups and convictions of drug dealers and gangsters. They were also known for assault, intimidation, coercion, and threats against suspects.
After we found out that Cushman Circle was pumping, we decided to let the little boys crank it up. It didn’t last too long, though, because some guys were rolling up in Cushman too and they wanted them out of the apartments. So they shot at the little boys one night. I didn’t know if the boys were capable of handling arms, but we found out when we went on a couple of missions in Cushman looking for the guys that shot at them. One thing I liked about them was that they were very good listeners and performers when it came to going on missions. They were good marksmen, too.
After a few casualties and daily shootouts, we had to relocate the little boys back to the Valley because Cushman had gotten too hot. There, we could keep an eye on the boys and keep them out of unnecessary trouble.
It was the spring of ‘90, and everything was in full fling.
In the midst of all the drama, I finally managed to get my ultimate revenge on the guy who made my head hurt constantly and gave me numerous nightmares—that nigga Redman!
It’s amazing how some people can do something that’s messed up and then forget about it. That was something that always scared me about putting in work or doing dirt. You never know if you’ll see that person again, if they live. Then there are their families and friends, who might know you, but you don’t know them. That’s why I say you can’t play a game if you don’t know the rules. Some people forget and squash things, but I was one of those that didn’t.
What freaked me out about Redman’s slipping was that he knew the homies and I were in the Valley every day, but he came through there like everything was cool.
The day I shot Redman, Flex, Creeper, his little cousin Kip, and I were standing on one of the corners in the Valley. Redman and one of Flex’s partners named Kirk bent the corners laughing and drinking beer. I didn’t know it was Redman, but I had a feeling in my gut it was him.
As soon as I saw him, I had an instant flashback of the night he tried me. He knew he had messed up. After he walked around the corner, he said, “It’s dead as hell down here!” Then he looked at the homies and me and said, “What’s up?”
Right after he said that, our eyes met and I could see the fear in his eyes. He knew that I knew who he was, and there was nowhere to run. As he and Kirk were walking off, he kept looking back at me, and that was when I knew for sure that it was him.
Just to be sure, I asked Flex, “Is that that nigga Redman?”
He looked at me and said, “Yep.”
I didn’t have a pistol, but I didn’t want him to get away. I knew Creeper was always strapped, so I asked him if he had a pistol.
He said, “Yeah.”
I said, “Let me use it! That’s that nigga I was talking about who pistol-whipped me a while back!” So he gave me his 9mm and I jogged up the street behind them.
I could tell Redman was trying to get the hell on, because he and Kirk were walking real fast. So I ran up on him, saying, “Hey, my nigga! Hey, my nigga!” trying to get them to stop. When they stopped, I walked up and told Kirk, “I need to talk to this man, and it ain’t any of your business.”
Kirk said, “All right, I’m not in it.”
Then Redman said, “What’s up, man?”
I said, “Man, you know what’s up! Ain’t your name Redman?”
He stuttered and said, “No.”
Then I said, “You a muthafucking liar!” and pulled out the gun.
He said, “Hold up, please, man, it was a misunderstanding!”
“Well, misunderstand this, nigga,” I said, and shot two times, hitting him in the leg. He hollered and screamed in pain and grabbed his leg and fell. Then I stood over him, aimed the gun at his chest, and said, “That was your last mistake.”
I pulled the trigger, but all I heard was a click. The muthafuckin gun had jammed! So I just watched Redman rolling around on the ground. Then I ran over to Kool-Aid’s house to catch a cab and go home.
When I got home, Dog gave me a speech about me making the trap hot by shooting people down there. I didn’t say anything: I just agreed.

I had to take on some real responsibilities in my life that year, because Tracy got pregnant. I was happy as hell; it was our third try for a baby. I told Dog about it and said I wanted to get my own place with Tracy. He gave me the money, and in a couple of weeks, Tracy and I had our own crib. It also caused a few problems, because I was arguing with Fat Boy and Flex again about Tracy and me staying together. I knew they were jealous, because I was happy and I had a steady relationship, while they were constantly arguing and breaking up with their girlfriends.
Everything was going pretty well in the Posse, and then we were suddenly hit with another tragedy. One of our homies, Isaac, who was working for Fat Boy got set up and shot by the Miami Boys in the Temp. This resulted in the Posse going into retaliation and shooting mode.
When Isaac got shot, it was a very emotional time for the homies. After he came out of his coma, we found out he would be paralyzed from the waist down. This incident also made me become more alert when dealing with females, because it was a girl Isaac was sleeping with who set him up for the Miami Boys.
After the shooting, we terrorized the Miami Boys for a week, stopping all of their business and cutting down three of their crew members. One night during our clowning, we caught Boy, their leader, slipping. Casper, Li’l Kip, and I followed him in a high-speed chase from Delmar Lane all the way to the Waffle House next to the Holiday Inn off Fulton. The only reason he slipped through our fingers was because the sawed-off M-1 kept jamming. Casper did manage to dump off about seventeen rounds. We later found out the spring in the clip was messed up.
A couple days after the chase, Bob tried to call a truce. We didn’t go for it until Dog said, “It might interfere with our business if we keep on fighting the Miami Boys.” So we squashed it.
I noticed myself going through a metamorphosis, and it sometimes scared me. I felt myself becoming addicted to my lifestyle. Days would go by with nothing happening, but then there’d be action! I thrived on it. I loved it, I looked for it, and I needed it for survival. I became a junkie for violence. I got depressed and felt weak if I didn’t hurt or terrorize someone. It was a love I couldn’t control or let go. I was addicted, I mean really addicted, to the fear and respect I got from people who saw or knew me.
When I was grumpy or had mood swings—even when I was mad at my girlfriend Tracy—I would go out and hurt somebody. That was when I noticed I was evil. I was always thinking about and plotting ways to hurt someone or start something to get a negative reaction so that I could use acts of violence to retaliate. It made me ask myself time and time again, “What’s wrong with me? Is it human to think like this? What kind of man am I, or am I a beast?” I didn’t know, but I went on with my day-to-day life.

The summer of ‘90 rolled in and so did a change in one of our Posse members. Lanet had started tripping, which caused us to take action against her. She took some blow that Dog had given her. She said she needed some money to come up and she would pay Dog when she got straight. I couldn’t understand it. Dog paid her good money—hell, he paid her better than good! Then I found out she was doing dope. Dog always knew it, but he had hoped she stopped.
We tried to talk to her, but she was talking stupid and threatening us, so we had no alternative but to put a hit out on her. I couldn’t do it because Lanet and I were cool, so we got Creeper to do it. He caught her one night in a car with one of her friends in Darren Village, and did it swiftly and professionally: he dumped off eight rounds of slugs into their Pinto with a sawed-off pump riot shotgun from ten feet away. Lanet was hit in the shoulder and her friend was hit in the back. They both lived, but her friend was paralyzed and they both had to stay in the hospital for a while. When Lanet got out of the hospital, she called Dog and begged and pleaded with him for two weeks so she could come out of hiding. He eventually let it go.
Then another series of events started. Creeper got locked up for Lanet’s shooting, and some guys came down into the Valley one night and tried to rob us. We were ready for them. We had a shootout that lasted about three or four minutes. We also sprayed up their car, so they had to get out and run. During the shootout, Li’l Kip got pinned down and was accidentally shot in the butt. When we went to his aid, the robbers escaped.
Then, one night, Cabbage, Kool-Aid, and I caught Will up in the Temp. I saw him walking through the Valley with some more guys when we were standing on the hill in Darren Village. So I said, “That’s that nigga, Will, that robbed Darrel a while back! We got to get that nigga now!”
We all ran over to this girl named Lee’s apartment; I was paying her to keep our guns. I grabbed the sawed-off M-1, Cabbage grabbed a TEC-9, and Kool-Aid grabbed a 9mm. Then we ran up through a pathway to head them off. When we got to our spot by the side of a building, we could hear them coming. I told Cabbage and Kool-Aid, “Don’t shoot to kill! Shoot from the waist down!”
Right when they got up on us, we came around the corner and they knew what time it was. I said, “Where Will?” just to see if he would speak up, but he didn’t.
I walked over to him and said, “Nigga, ain’t your name Will?”
He said, “No!”
I said, “You a muthafuckin liar, nigga! You the one that robbed my boys on Delmar Lane!”
He said, “Hold up, hold up, man. I am sorry!”
Then I said, “I know your ass sorry, but it’s over! Hey, Cabbage, this that nigga, let’s do him.”
I lifted my gun and aimed it at Will and started firing, and Cabbage started firing from Will’s right side. After the smoke had cleared and the last shell hit the ground, Cabbage and I had dumped off at least fifteen to twenty rounds. Will was lying on the ground, not saying anything.
We all ran back to Lee’s crib and dropped off the guns. Cabbage and Kool-Aid went home, and I called a cab and went home. A couple of days later, we found out that Will was shot in his hip, testicles, and legs. He had to be hospitalized for a while to receive special help.

So many things were happening in and around the Posse that I could see the guys starting to get big heads. Most of the homies and myself were able to beat our criminal cases. The homies became bolder and more aggressive about the things they did. As for me, I became somewhat bigheaded. I knew that we had connections that would inform us of when the Red Dogs would try and hit us. For instance, Fat Boy’s girlfriend’s mother’s boyfriend was a detective on Atlanta’s narcotics squad, and he kept us informed about the police’s investigations on us. Dog also had a personal connection who worked for the Atlanta Police Department; he would tell him the specific days and times when the Red Dogs would make their sweeps through our traps. When they came through, they never got anything.
Money talks, and bullshit walks. Our pull and connections should have been something that brought us a hell of a lot closer, but as time passed, I could see it didn’t. The long hot summer had come to an end, but a new beginning was about to come for the Posse and me.