Tracey “Big Tray Deee” Davis New Book “Streetz Gon’ Cry”
“Big Tray Deee” gained platinum success with the debut album, “Snoop Dogg Presents Tha Eastsidaz.” His rap career was cut short in 2003 by a 12 year prison bid. Currently, Tracey “Big Tray Deee” Davis, have partnered with LeNoir Publications and Anthony Barrow also, incarcerated to release “Streetz Gon’ Cry.” “Streetz Gon’ Cry” is an urban tale co-authored by Big Tray Deee detailing real life scenario behind his lyrics. “Streetz Gon’ Cry” is a fictional account of the King Crips and the Vernon Boys, who have an on-and-off rivalry. Both sets have their vision locked on controlling the cocaine trade in the Crenshaw District.
You may say, how many more tales can we tell regarding thug life, gangs, hustlers and pimps. How many more movies must we see about gangs? Considering there are other prison induced urban literary like Chester Hines, Iceberg Slim and Donald Goines, Tray Deee and Barrow present a street saga laced with drugs, murder, gang warfare and a cast of nefarious characters. With South Central Los Angeles as the backdrop, the authors convincingly elaborate with first-hand experience about what they know.
Growing up on the gang active east side of Long Beach, CA, Tray Deee started gang banging and breaking the law at a very young age, spending his late teens and early 20′s in some of California’s most violent high-level penitentiaries. Tray Deee started writing rhymes as a hobby in 1988, entertaining his homeboys with tales of gang banging and crime as they sat locked away in the penitentiary.
Tray Deee extensive vocabulary and clever wordplay made his songs stand out, and the encouraging response caused him to continue writing lyrics. That gift propelled him to fame as he contributed to major motion picture soundtracks, including “Gang Related,” “Gridlocked,” “A Thin Line Between Love and Hate,” “Baby Boy,” and “Rush Hour II.” As an act, his group Tha Easidaz opened for the highest grossing rap tour in history, “The Up in Smoke” tour. Cites Big Tray Deee, “My rap skills are just the icing on the cake. As an author now, I can give my fans and readers an even clearer understanding of the underworld activities of the Wild West with much more intrigue and detail. An introduction by JD of Ice Cube’s legendary rap group “Da Lench Mob” brought Barrow and Tray Deee together and “Streetz Gon’ Cry” was born. I had the pleasure of having the opportunity to allow Tracey “Big Tray Deee” Davis to share with the Urbanbuzzmag.com how you can just get caught up.
Ni: Well I have to ask how many more tales can we tell regarding thug life, gangs, hustlers and pimps?
Tray: Let me ask you how many romance tales can be told? How many self-help? How many cookbooks? Thug life, gangs, hustlers and pimps are an everyday reality for many people, so I believe there will always be stories of it to be told.
Ni: Wow. Okay true. I love the comparisons self-help books. I guess we want to hide our self from this reality. Tell me what makes your situation any better or worse than the other stories already told?
Tray: Actually, it isn’t my situation per se. (StreetzGon’Cry) the book is a fictional account of a power struggle between two fictional Crip gangs vying for dominance in the streets and the dope game.
Ni: Oh. I thought the book was based on truth. Do you blame anyone for your destructive behavior?
Tray: Yes. Those in power who continually devise ways to perpetuate racism, oppression and keep non-whites fluctuating near and beneath the poverty line. Do I accept responsibility for my behavior? The answer to that is also yes.
Ni: Thank you for sharing and I am glad to hear you are accepting your role in the matter. When you get released what do you have planned, so much has changed in 12yrs there are talking phones, i-pad’s and YouTube, technology is it and it has changed the way people enjoy music?
Tray: I have a publishing company with my co-author. My primary goal is to make that successful starting with this release of StreetzGon’ Cry. I do intend to release more music and plan to catch up with this new market of technology on the business side of releasing my music and marketing.
Ni: LA was the first place the hip-hop community ever heard of a special unit designated toward Hip-hop artists. why do you think it was necessary to have a special unit?
Tray: I don’t feel that is was necessary. I believe that America fears young Black men with strong influence and/or lots of money. Research the FBI’s Counterintelligence Program (Cointelpro) if you believe that I’m just spouting militant rhetoric.
Ni: How did you get caught up in doing 12 years?
Tray: I was still foolishly hanging in the hood on some “Keep it real; I ain’t gon’ change” nonsense, putting myself physically in a position of having to respond to jealousy, envy and enmity. On that particular day I was confronted with a situation and squeezed believing that my life was in danger.
Ni: What makes gang violence so hard to accept is its death bid. The disregard of life. You can’t say sorry to a dead man nor give him/her life back. Sad. Besides the book do you have any other plans in the works?
Tray: I’m working on an album and Anthony Barrow, JDee (Lench Mob) and myself will be releasing “Los Angeles Tymez” within the next 90 days. Also, I’m writing a novel on my own about life in the LBC. (Long Beach California)
Ni: Are you out of gang related activities?
Tray: Yes. However, when one has earned the status of “Original Gangster” and maintained an ironclad reputation for more than three decades, that person in never quit or disassociated from the gang culture. Today, I prefer peace.
Ni: Amen. What advice would you have for a young man caught up in the mean streets of inner city?
Tray: If it’s on you to go hard, more than likely you‘ll have a rocky road ahead of you. Being laid back, patient, smart and humble will get you farther in life than being overly aggressive, intimidating and violent.
Ni: You hit it right on the head. That angry man syndrome. How easy is it to get blinded by success?
Tray: It depends on the individual. Nevertheless, if you get caught up in your own hype or enamored with the trappings and perks of celebrity, you can lose yourself.
Ni: During your 12years did you come to a faith or were you already practicing?
Tray: I began following AI-Islam while I was free. I attended the Masjid on Manchester and Vermont in Los Angeles headed by Min. Tony Muhammad.
Ni: How impressionable is gang life to a young man growing up in the hood? What can parents or guardian do to protect their child?
Tray: Gang life becomes one’s second family in the streets of the hood. It gives one a sense of belonging, as well as strength and security. Parents/guardians can try engaging their child in more social activities. Yet there is no sure-fire method of prevention to save their child from gang banging.
Ni: That is the scary part. There is so much information about gangs, death and drugs. There are movies, documentaries and books. Yet, gang violence is still a major player in the incarceration of our youth and #1 cause of death. Why?
Tray: Probably because experience is the best teacher. Kid’s don’t research statistics before hitting a joint or joining a gang. Once they begin, it is usually too late to back away from it. So the vicious cycle continues.
Ni: What has life lesson taught you, thus far?
Tray: Never count yourself out. Stay innovative, optimistic and grinding.
Ni: What is the connection between hip-hop and drugs. We hear about various rappers bragging about how they sold drugs and now they are entertainment moguls. I guess some make it out of and others don’t any comments?
Tray: I would say that the connection lines in parlaying one hustle into another. Many don’t view Hip-hop as an art form. Merely it’s a legitimate way to get rich and they just flaunt their success.
Ni: Well it’s good to see that one can turn their life around, It’s sad that for some that is the only route. If I asked you to describe “Big Tray Deee” how would you describe yourself?
Tray: Sharp, strong, righteous, humble and loving.
Ni: Okay. With the success of completing the book “Streetz Gon’ Cry” and getting it out to the public are you nervous about the response it may have? Someone thinking its true.
Tray: Hah. I feel that just having it written and publishing is a great accomplishment in itself. Plus, the story is intriguing and well written. I am confident the readers will enjoy it.
Ni: Are you still friends with the fellas from your group?
Tray: Snoop and I are good.
Ni: Is there anything you would like to say?
Tray: Allahu Akbar! Having belief and trust in God makes anything possible. Thanks to all of my family, friends, loved ones and fans who’ve supported me through this sentence and peace to Urbanbuzzmag.com and all of your readers.
Thank you for being a Key Player. We thank you for the interview. I really appreciate you sharing with me on what its like to just get caught up and how you can come to realize mistakes and make a change. I lived in L.A for 1 month and I can agree you better be on your guard going off into various territories. We wish you the best on the success of your book “Streetz Gon’ Cry.” If you have any comments email us at Urbanbuzzusa@aol.com.