“I was looking at a life sentence and beat the 85% by one month. My charge was that man and then I didn’t start the 85% until June of ’97. I was under the old law, where they make you do half of your time. I did 10 flat, for 1st degree manslaughter. This neighborhood, right here, I grew up in this whole area.
Back then, this neighborhood was an alright lil neighborhood. It was where you could fight and be friends on the same day. Everybody knew each other. We got along, kicked it and stuff. If we fought, we were friends on the same day. Now, this neighborhood done totally flipped a script. It done changed. This young generation, man, they’re ignorant. Some of them will listen and some of them won’t.
It’s kinda hard to create that connection with the young generation because you have to be on their level. What I wanna do is be a motivational speaker because I feel like I can get with a lot of people. I can go to group homes, prisons, and schools to talk to the troubled kids and stuff like that. That’s some of the things I really want to do if I can keep the demons off of me. I wouldn’t mind helping these brothers out.
The happiest moment of my life is when I had my son. I got one son and he just turned 5 years old. He’s named after me, Lil Earl. I had to change some of my ways when I had him. I had to quit gang banging, cause I’ma Crip. I’m real close to Victory Park because I got family members over there. I had to change a lot of things, like drinking and smoking. Being a father, I don’t want him to be like me. He can wear any color, I don’t want him in no gang. He can wear red, yellow, blue, orange, whatever he wants to wear. I don’t want him in no gang, man. My son inspires me.
I have congestive heart failure, so I have to change some of the things that I’ve been doing. I have to change my eating habits, too. I realize that I can’t do some of the old stuff that the Pearliza used to do. I was a bad person. Who wants to walk around and watch their back 24/7? If I keep on trying to do the things that I was doing in the 90’s, I’ll get killed out here. God’s not going to let me stay out here.
We need more role models in the West. We need more guys that are my age, the OG’s, that the young people look up to. We need more of them to stay on the them and give them the best advice. We need more people that are trying to help. As you can see, they’re trying to bring the gang banging back. If we can get all the OG’s from every neighborhood to have a meeting, whether you’re in the East End or Newburg, and come together and maybe we can help some of these young guys. This era now, you ain’t crackin unless you have a gun, smoking loud, wearing Jordans and Rock & Revival. So, if you ain’t got none of that, you ain’t jumping.
I would like to open up a place for inmates that get out. Instead of going to a halfway house, they’ll have a place to go. A lot of guys feel like they don’t have any family, so they go back to the streets. Next thing you know, they get caught up selling drugs and doing some of the things that they were doing. They end up getting sent back and end up getting institutionalized. So, I would like to open up something for them and for the youth to go shoot ball at. Remember when they had St. Anthony’s? They stopped it because kids was going in there and tearing stuff up. I used to hoop in there back in the day. Now, they don’t have nothing for the kids to do.
My advice to a young person is if you got something good and God gave you a talent, go on and do that.”-OG Earl, Russell