Former Bad Boy rapper Trevell “G. Dep” Coleman has been in the news a lot lately—for all the wrong reasons. His decision to turn himself in for an unsolved killing—for which he received a 15-years-to-life sentence—has transformed him from a hip-hop footnote to one of the most tragic and enigmatic characters in rap history. Clearly Dep is a thoughtful cat, and now he’s ready to turn the page from convicted killer to book author.
Yesterday we broke the news that he was writing his memoirs behind bars. Today we bring you the first look at the first chapter of his forthcoming book, The Autobiographical Rapping Dude: The Rhyme Book.
In this passage the imprisoned MC tells a disturbing tale from his youth. One day, 10-year-old Coleman found a gun while playing with his friends near Harlem’s notorious James Weldon Johnson housing projects. Dep vividly recounts the details of the exciting yet horrifying day, and of his adolescent crew’s plans to cash in on the score. Moreover, he does it all in verse form. (This would definitely make an ill audio book.) Check out our exclusive excerpt below.
Intro written by Jesse Gissen (@JesseGissen)
He dragged it to the fence
By the bench
Next to the entrance.
When he reached in
we gathered 'round in sequence
like we were the team, and he was explaining the defense.
“Oh man this is as big as a leg of lamb,"
Was all he could say with the pistol in hand.
“Somebody must have left this,”
Is what my guess is
“But this is a new bag, how could you forget this?”
Then I looked in the bag
There was a rag
And a box that said .357 mag-
I'm guessing that was the make of the gun.
But we all looked stunned
Like, Where did this come from?
Now it's seven fifty something p.m.
My mother's eating
When a knock on the door disturbed her iced tea. Then
She answered the door it was the 28th precinct
With pictures of a guy, they asked her had she seen him.
Now I know this 'cause
When I came home she was
Upset with me
Because it was around eight thirty.
She told me when it gets dark out, she starts to worry
And don't you touch the food, your hands are dirty!
And I better be careful out there
Cops were here
And said someone was killed and we should all be aware.
She looked scared,
One of the few times I heard her swear.
She said, "Yeah, its time for us to move the F outta here.”
All I could do was chew and feel fear
’Cause I'm thinking ’bout the pistol, that we hid upstairs
On the roof
Up under the pigeon coop.
We said we would all get some rest and figure out what to do
Sitting watching Barretta
Putting two and two together
It equals, someone is asleep forever.
It could only explain
How that gun remains
Deep inside the bushes
Where no one would look for it.
Now, I'm weighing the facts
Should we just put it back?
But seeing what we were in the midst of, picture that?
And I couldn’t really sleep so I laid my pillow flat
Then I closed my eyes, contact...
Now on the other side of town
Lived Leroy Brown
He was like one of the baddest, his status was renowned
It was said he ruled his turf with an iron hand
They said he’d bend brass, chew glass and spit sand.
Leroy was on the run
For something else he’d done
He used to disrespect his girls and his men for fun
He was a real class act
Who ruled the gladiator school year
And he was who he was, ’cause he instilled fear.
In anybody, anyone trying to make noise
You tried to sit up with your boys
There goes Leroy.
He had started selling heavy drugs
And was unsocial to the local thugs.
Dudes tried to set him up
Leroy had wet ’em up
one got killed, others were hurt
but it all boiled down
to Leroy becoming hard to be found
And all drama my momma was talkin’ ’bout.
Now, I'm young and still knew the story
It was the talk
Of the block
But they didn't know we caught the piece in the park
I wondered if the cops knew we had the gun, would they haul us away
Who is to say that was the murder weapon anyway?
Everything might be okay.
This was all racing through my mind in the twilight of sleep
I was awakened by the alarm beep.
The next afternoon was a Saturday in June
I remember it was hot and I was watching cartoons
I heard a knock on the door, a chair gave me a boost
Looked through the peep hole, it was Steve and Juice
I let ’em in and said, “Be quiet my my moms is sleeping!”
We were like little men
I didn't know where to begin.
I just said "Somebody wound up dead.
The cops was here asking questions last night and I guess
It was about the person that did it.”
Steve shook his head,
I don’t really know, I just went ahead to bed.
Now Juice was loose
He wanted to be the Gooch,
He suggested we take the gun and put it to use
He said we could wave it around
On the playground
It would step up our reputation
According to him.
The thought was appealing
As I stared into the ceiling
Daydreaming about what I thought was drug dealing
Then I thought, wait, we might be moving too fast
My mother would kick my ass
I had to laugh.
It was one thing to be hard-headed and unruly
But I know I'd be finished if moms caught me with a toolie
Steve had an expression of fatigue
He was more interested with cartoons on Channel Three
So I turned to Channel U,
And said,"What's wrong with you,
If anybody catches us with that gun, we're through.
Steve had the brightest idea of the year
He said, “Why don't we sell it?” I yelled "Yeah."
That's being focused.
We all agreed, no fuss,
That shouldn't be so tough
That's when my moms woke up.
She said, "Boy
Why you makin’ all this noise?
And who's this company you havin' in
My house?" Clearly, she was annoyed.
I said, "You know my friends." Steven played with the toys.
She looked over at Juice,
And said, "Oh, I remember you"
And closed the door to her room
I said, "Whew...
Now to the roof!"
I was eager
And flew out the door with no sneakers,
Then doubled back and put on some Keds and a Le Tigre.
Now we had a plan
It was as clear as Saran,
We could sell the gun to Dan
He was the number man.
He would buy it
And then it got all quiet
And something urged us to try and see if it fired.
I thought out of thirst, about saying, "Me first"
But I didn’t.
Steve said, “Let me see it a minute.”
He said, “My brother showed me how to load it,” and he did it.
Then Juice said he'll do it.
We knew it.
He was the biggest.
So he lifted and aimed it
Pulled the trigger, it banged, it
Like an explosion, my heart pounded.
The anxiety quickly fizzled
When somebody across the street looked up from their window
So we stashed it
Ran while we were gasping.
Steve almost fell down the steps, but kept from crashing
We reached the first floor landing,
Did the man thing,
And slowed down
and walked out the building, with no sound.
Now we're sitting on the stoop
Not even thinking about all the commotion that we caused on the roof
And the fact someone just might have heard all of us
But we perished the thought, and chose to ignore it.
It was time to put our scheme into motion
But I could tell by the look Juice had, that he was open.
We had to figure out the amount of money to charge Dan quick
We thought about it over some Fun Dip.
Juice said, "Why don't we keep it?”
The cops rolled by, we guessed they didn't see what we did.
I said, "No way,” we couldn’t go that route
And then I added, “we can't keep it in my house."
Steve said, “Or mine'
Juice said, “Ya’ll lyin',
And if y'all don't want it, then I guess it's all mines.”
It didn't amaze me, he was crazy,
Hence, you would say some cents short of a dime.
We both dismissed his suggestion and thought it funny
We all had found it, and we all wanted the money.
I had told him that somebody died,
And we had to get rid of that or it'd be our hides.
Start high on the price, then let Dan decide
There it goes, and there's Virgil and O. "Let's hide!"
Giggling, we sprung out of our hiding space and gave chase,
Steve said, “Let's go and see Dan, before it gets late.”
Virgil and O weren't around to know,
So we filled them in on our way to the number hole.
O said "Man
Did it hurt your hand?”
He was asking about when Juice fired it.
He admired it.
Virgil was the most serious out of our crew
He said, “The cops were questioning people in his building too
Then I told him abut when we ran after Juice shot
Then I spit my gum out, and went in the numbers spot.
They were kind of hot
and got closed down a lot,
So we knew to ask the man if he had seen Dan or not
And to watch out for the cops!
Smoke came out the slot,
when he said he 'd be back at seven o'clock.
Should we wait?
Was what we had to debate
It was an easy decision
’Cause he was our only customer.
We turned around and retreated,