Updated: Jan 19
Anthony James Godfrey
ROBB: What's good Brotha? I wanna start this interview by you introducing Yourself, Age and Neighborhood. A: My birth name is Anthony James Godfrey, My age is 53 years. Many know me by my street moniker (Ant-Dog). And the neighborhood that I use to represent is "East Side 43rd Str GxC's (4 Tray Crips) and some even knew it as "THE LAW BOTTOMS
. Now just picture a pride of Lions in Africa/ or any jungle it's a pecking order each Lion knows their given role/or position. Their inherent nature is to ensure the prides survival. They moves as a single unit, they dominant, they control, they stake claim, they go where their resources are most bountiful, they make no apologies, its never personal, AND THIS IS THE CALI MINDSET. ROBB: Alright, so I wanna go backwards, back to L.A. How did you become involved? A: As a youngster ( or Turnout) growing up in the inner city, going to the exact same schools right along side of some of the other neighborhood youths, spending time up at the neighborhood community center after school, and on the weekends. Getting acquainted with and befriending other like minded youth in the neighborhood, now you inherently become apart of this community over time, then some become your life long friends. I was a youngster, (a Turnout at best) and whenever I would see these older guys in the neighborhood I made it a conscious effort to completely go the other way. Long story short, one weekend evening there were gunshots which sounded like they were just right around the corner from where I was at, and so myself along with a few other neighborhood kids raced around the block to see if anyone we knew had been hurt. And see it was just my luck this evening. I ran right into (3) individuals who were known gang members, the very same guys that I had been avoiding. I tried to downplay everything and ease back around the block, they took complete notice of me, and before I knew it they were on my heels. THIS WAS MY INTRODUCTION. ROBB: Thank you again bro, please tell the people why you're locked up and how much time you received. A: I'm locked up for 1st Degree Murder, a life was lost/taken, and for that I was sentenced to 42 years in prison.
ROBB: One good thing I know about you is when my lil cuz'n Bone fell as a juvenile you took him up under your wings and was a REAL Big Homey/Mentor. Talk about it. A: Yeah, when I first entered the Washington Department Of Corrections back in 1999, I believe I was 30 yrs old with a fresh 42 year sentence right in front of me. I fell right in step with the other California Crips, and this is when I first became acquainted with your younger cousin Lil Bone ( IVC) Imperial Village Crip, our relationship carried over, and until this day 20 yrs later we still good. He's like my younger brother. ROBB: So I said REAL BIG HOMEY MENTOR becuz You and I both know there's other cats that's suppose to be O.G's (Original Gangsta's) and mentors, but we don't respect them. Please comment. A: Its unfortunate that many of the same cats that we first started out with are still stationary (still stuck), comfortable with just settling for less, uncertain about challenging themselves, still sleep. Some have just always got in where they fit in, some move up under false pretense but this seldom ever last long becuz eventually they become exposed for what they really bring to the table. Never no two ways about it. It's either your mindset is negative, or its of positive. ROBB: Also, in Prisons there's the Cali Car, but sometimes that don't always pan out becuz some cats claim Cali, but ain't from the house, or they just ain't official (False Flaggin). Holla at me. A: The Cali Car is made up primarily of individuals who are straight from L.A. but also, if your not from L.A. per-se, and you claim or represent a set or neighborhood that's from L.A. cats will just like one of there own. ROBB: Although I'm grown now and see things different I feel like we have a responsibility to our young Loc's who wanna follow in our footsteps and although we are from different neighborhoods we're both from the E.S. (East side) and for me I feel like I gotta go harder to reach my east siders for that transformational change. I know you may see things differently and this is what I love about you. How do you see it? A: To reach those who need reaching. Me personally I'm big on example, I prefer to let my day-to-day actions speak for themselves by me always moving in the best and correct ways. Its important that they now see me doing all the right things. Me now acquainting myself with different and like minded individuals. Its important that they always see me displaying a GROWTH type of mindset.
ROBB: So, if the prison doors opened right now, what would you do? A: After me doing 20 plus yrs, FIRST, I would thank GOD for him keeping Me strong and healthy, and for allowing me to come through. 2ND, I'm going to strongly establish myself in the community, 3RD re-acquaint myself with my family. And everyday from that point moving forward, I'm going to put my best foot forward, and give back to humanity. ROBB: Alright, I wanna go somewhere different. Let's talk about how your gangbangin effected your family especially your kids. A: The truth is, when my kids became of age and found out that I wasn't there on no level, they resented me and didn't want to have anything at all to do with me. I couldn't have known it then! But at the on-set once you move forward in a GANG LIFESTYLE, then the trade off is that then you pretty much are giving up everything else in return, to include family, and you can never repair the damage done, or fix it, or get them years back, THEY ARE GONE! ROBB: So, let me get this straight. We pledge loyalty to our neighborhoods and our families get screwed over in this process? A: In retrospect, I don't think we fully completely understood all of the implications of what we were really getting into. Becuz when you get put on the SET, that SET now becomes first and everything else becomes secondary. They catch you when you're at your most vulnerable state, you're young, you think you know it all, your thinking is still underdeveloped, your parents/ or guardians are still responsible for you. So when you look back on it all, it really was the peer pressure and the NEGATIVE INFLUENCES over you. NOW! Ultimately in the end EVERYBODY LOSE'S. ROBB: So! What can WE do to reverse this vicious cycle. A: Each One Teach One! And those who now know just have to play their positions like never before. Nothing but the best examples now moving forward. And everything else should carry over like it has always done. ROBB: What advice could you give to families reading this who don't know what to do to reach their kids trapped in this game? A: Never give up on them. Just try to point them in the best direction. Connect them with people who have lost everything, but who now have everything, people who have come from the same places that they come from, but who have turned their lives around for the better. Your kids tend to listen to/respect more those how been thru the fire.