JoeyPinkney.com Exclusive Interview
5 Minutes, 5 Questions With…
Big Tray Deee / Anthony Barrow, author of Streetz Gon’ Cry
from author Big Tray Dee:
Streetz Gon’ Cry is a fictional, yet realistic depiction of the life of a gangster/hustler in the unforgiving zone of West South Central Los Angeles. After pulling a stretch in California’s most violet Level 4 prison, Pelican Bay, the main character, Carter, paroles back to his hood. He realizes several of his once most trusted and respected homeboys have placed their desires for personal gain above the solidarity and structure of the gang.
During his mission to place things back in order, he recognizes a way that he can also usurp control of the influx of cocaine infesting his territory from across the border. This execution quickly ignites conflict with not only his rival turf and the local competition, but the ruthless Mexican Mafia itself.
In the midst of the chaos and carnage, Carter, remains convicted to guide his little brother, Johnté, away from this deadly lifestyle and down a more promising path. His ultimate aim is to eventually, somehow make the game make sense.
from author Anthony Barrow:
Streetz Gon’ Cry is also a story that reflects on a mother’s pain and two sons coming of age. One brother struggles to escape the inevitable of California-living and what it’s known for. He strives to sustain his dreams and dodge his nightmares. His sibling is paroled back into society after serving a ten year bid. Upon his release he is faced with the vicious streets of Los Angeles, where the gang that he represented with pride and honor has evaporated, and the loyalty has been corrupted with greed, deceit and betrayal.
Streetz Gon’ Cry addresses real issues that are prevalent in today’s society. My co-author and I managed to join the story into a fictional fabric This is a story of two rival gangs feuding for revenge with a Mexican cartel attempting to capitalize on their war, with attempts to take over a whole district that’s ran and controlled by the two; which puts Los Angeles and the surrounding cities in a volcanic state.
Joey Pinkney: Where did you get the inspiration to write Streetz Gon’ Cry?
Big Tray Deee: My co-author, Anthony Barrow, came to me with the concept. He actually had a few chapters already written, which I thought were very good. Initially, he sought my services to edit the novel. He became so impressed with my input that he invited me to not only finish the book as his co-author, but to also share in his vision of building a publishing company.
I saw the potential, admired his ambition and came aboard. We now run Ave Money Publishing, which will provide an outlet for West-Coast-based stories to be told.
Anthony Barrow: My inspiration came from reading other novels of its kind and seeing a void needing to be filled on the West Coast. There is a lack of authors out here, and I have a story to tell. Not only have I seen these things first-hand, but I also lived it and can relate to what is depicted in our story.
JP: What sets Streetz Gon’ Cry apart from other books in the same genre?
AB: My co-author and I wrote this book addressing real issues. We have gained great interest from those who have read our story. Many readers walk away with insights they never thought about before.
BTD: Most Urban Lit is written by East Coast authors. Therefore, those books are usually descriptive of their lifestyle, their manner of thinking, and expressed in their vernacular. Both Mr. Barrow and myself were raised within the “Killa Cali” subculture of gang-bangin’, drug slangin’ and vicious robberies.
Having actively and consistently participated in all of the above, Streetz Gon’ Cry, although fictional, bears that air of authenticity that can only be derived from someone who has been there and done that.
JP: As an author, what are the keys to your success that led to Streetz Gon’ Cry getting out to the public?
BTD: Well, it certainly didn’t hurt by being a platinum-selling rap artist. At the same time, Trunece Bates at LeNoir Publications read our material and obviously believed that we had a story good enough to take to print and push it. While I completely trust that Mr. Barrow and I crafted a suspenseful and well-written tale capable of entertaining even the most discerning of readers, only time, sales and acclaim will determine how successful our novel will prove to be.
AB: Having the will, discipline to complete the manuscript and having the persistence to find a publisher who felt the manuscript was marketable. Not to mention having a multi-platinum rap artist believing in the project enough to hop on aboard.
JP: As an author, what is your writing process? How long did it take you to start and finish Streetz Gon’ Cry?
AB: After deciding to write, I hopped right on it and started putting words on paper. Initially, it took a year to complete Streetz Gon’ Cry. My writing process is more of a visual that I added on as I wrote to get the story on paper. I wrote in excess to make sure I placed enough substance in the manuscript to give the readers more story, as opposed to small scenes that lead to a predictable ending.
BTD: I’m presently penning a novel by myself. Before I put the first word onto paper, I mentally arranged the story that I want to tell from beginning to a tentative ending. I figure which characters to bring to life. I cognate on the best way to insert realism, intrigue, and avoid the drudgery of writing simply for sake of being able to proclaim myself an author. Streetz Gon’ Cry took Mr. Barrow and myself 6 months to complete.
JP: What’s next for Big Tray Deee & Anthony Barrow?
BTD: As far as books, within the next 60 to 90 days we’re going to release Los Angeles Tymez to debut Ave Money Publishing, LLC. We’re going to follow that up with individual novels by Mr. Barrows and myself. Then we’re going to drop Streetz Gon’ Cry II at Ave Money.
Music-wise, I am halfway done recording my first official solo CD with my producer Dre Da Boss. After that is a duo CD with my homeboy ESCrow from the LBC. I also have an artist, Sicc’em, currently making a bit of noise on the L.A. Hip-Hop scene. We’re in negotiation with Mr. Barrow’s cousin D Capone, to join forces with our label of the same name and assist us in bringing our flavor back to the taste of the public. The greatest thing of all this is that I have less than two years left to serve behind these prison walls.
AB: My co-author Big Tray Deee and I have formed Ave Money Publishing, LLC. We intend to provide an outlet that allows more authors in the West Coast that have good material to be published, while promoting literacy. Big Tray Deee and I also have a novel coming out early summer titled Los Angeles Tymez that features a guest author who is also a platinum selling rap artist. Also the CD single to our current novel Streetz Gon’ Cry, produced by Dre Da Boss titled “Streetz Gon’ Cry”(Big Tray Deee featuring J-Deee of Da Lench Mob) will be available soon.
Big Tray Deee would like to say: Thanks to everyone who support the struggle. God bless you.
Anthony Barrow would like to say: As our first novel to be published, we hope you support it and enjoy the read. As authors, we promise to give our readers quality substance. Be on the lookout for many more novels to come.