It is hard to believe that Trevell Coleman, famously known as G. Dep, has been incarcerated for over 12 years. Why? First of all, in many ways, he represents intrinsically how quickly things can change. Dep, an artist on Sean “Diddy” Combs’s Bad Boy Records, emerged after the death of The Notorious B.I.G. and was instrumental in helping the iconic label rise again like a phoenix. G. Dep gave us the fun-filled, danceable classics “Let’s Get It” and “Special Delivery.” When it was all said and done – all that Harlem Shaking – G. Dep only released one album on Bad Boy, the critically acclaimed debut album Child of the Ghetto (2001).
G. Dep: What’s going, man? I’m all right. How you?
AllHipHop: I’m good. Good morning. And peace, man. Glad to talk to you.
G. Dep: Peace, man. Praise God, man. Yeah, right? Finally, man.
AllHipHop: Yes, but I don’t think we’ve ever talked before. I’m not sure, but I don’t think so. How are you doing?
G. Dep: I’m great, man. I’m great. I’m blessed, man. Everything is all right. It’s early. Yeah. It’s early. It’s one of them things. Early morning up in the [p 00:01:25] now. Everybody getting themselves together. I’m one of them, you know what I’m saying? I just got up. Get my regular one, two together. But other than that, man, my spirit is all right. I feel good, man.
AllHipHop: Good. Now you have this movement, people trying to get you out early, and it’s not just regular people. You have the prosecutor and the judge are lobbying to get you clemency, basically.
How you feel about that?
G. Dep: It’s a wonderful feeling, man. It’s more of a feeling though. It’s affirmation, you know what I’m saying? That when you give God… When you leave it up to God, you know what I’m saying? And this is just affirmation that me taking that leap of faith that he saw me through, you know what I’m saying?. So it’s just a beautiful feeling, man. I can’t really describe it, man. It’s like, wow. You know what I mean?
Especially with the judge and prosecutor. I would’ve just got clemency just on me putting my application in on my own, but for them two to advocate it, it’s even more of a blessing, man.
AllHipHop: Yeah, definitely. I mean, it’s kind of crazy, but it’s been a long time. It’s been about 12 years or something that you… How long have you been in there?
G. Dep: Yeah, I think this coming December it’ll be 12 years altogether.
AllHipHop: How have you made it day to day? That’s a long time to me. How have you managed?
G. Dep: Well, I mean actually it’s really… You don’t really think about it. When I first got locked up, I couldn’t really see ahead. I was like “10, 15 years,” I don’t know how I’m going to do this. You know what I’m saying? But it’s just like, you just got to live day to day. And that’s how I’ve been doing, you know what I’m saying? You just handle it… You figure out what are you trying to do, what are you doing, you know what I mean? And then you just live day to day that way. You know what I mean?
Really what keeps you going is your faith and also speaking to your family, you know what I’m saying? Making that a daily routine or getting on the phone or communicating in some type of way if you have some type of family, you know what I’m saying? And just staying abreast of what’s going on out there, you know what I mean? Brothers that don’t have all of that, a lot of times they just work on themselves and that’s what helps the time go. So just every day doing something productive to whatever you’re trying to accomplish. And before you know it, you turn around, you got years, years that went by, you know what I mean? And that’s just how I’ve been living.
AllHipHop: Yeah. It’s been universally, pretty much regarded by everybody, that you seem to be this incredibly good-hearted person, largely because of you even confessing to something that you essentially got away with, you know what I mean? I think that’s a large part of why people feel like, the judge and the prosecutor included, don’t even think you should have got what you got. I think it was like a sentencing guideline, if I’m not mistaken. Would you consider that accurate as far as who you are as a person?
G. Dep: I mean, it’s just me. I don’t know if you could call it… I wouldn’t call it good. I call it it’s just me. This is how I think, you know what I’m saying? You know what I mean? I don’t want to call myself good like that. That’s crazy.
I do feel like it’s a certain respect that we should have for each other, you know what I’m saying? If that’s how I can encompass that whole thought about me, you know what I’m saying? So that’s just how I look at it. You know what I mean?
AllHipHop: Yeah, right. It’s crazy. I was interviewing a rapper yesterday and he’s from Harlem. His name is UFO FEV. He’s a dope rapper from your area. He said he is from Jefferson Projects and…
G. Dep: UFO Keys?
AllHipHop: Fev. F-E-V. He said he used to see you and Black Rob. He’s a little younger, but he said you and Black Rob inspired him a lot when he was a shortie. Yeah, he was just observing though. But he saw what y’all created.
G. Dep: Oh, right. Wow. Is he really upcoming? He doing his thing?
AllHipHop: Yeah, he’s up and coming, but he’s kind of a young OG at this point. He’s a young veteran, you could say because he’s done a lot of projects, but he’s not famous yet. So he runs with Fat Joe, real heavy at this point.
G. Dep: Shout to UFO, man.
AllHipHop: Yeah, man. Yeah, definitely. Have you gotten any recent updates on the chances of this all happening?
Well, my… My lawyer, he hollers at me. The clemency lawyer hollers at me from time to time. He just keeps me abreast of what’s going on, you know what I’m saying? He said that it’s a pretty good chance. He said I had more of a chance than the average person that put a application in because of the recommendations from the prosecutor and the judge. So he said that’s a plus, you know what I’m saying?
AllHipHop: Yeah. Well, that’s good. I don’t know if you saw this, and I just saw it myself just now, but apparently the brother is not… I guess the brother of the victim is not necessarily for you getting out. Have you heard that?
G. Dep: Yeah. Yeah. I heard about that. He was the same guy that was in opposition, you know what I mean, from the family when the sentence (happened)… during the trial and all of that, you know what I’m saying? They spoke to him. He felt like he had his feelings about what was going on. Obviously he’s not for this whole situation, which I can’t blame him. I understand, well, that’s his family. That’s how he feels.
AllHipHop: Understood. Even if this doesn’t happen, you’ll still be out in a few… little bit time, relatively speaking. Have you started making plans? Have you started thinking about life outside of Fishkill (Correctional Facility)?
G. Dep: I mean, plans, I kind of look at things a little different. I don’t really try to live in the future, you know what I’m saying, so to speak. I prepare for being out there, you know what I’m saying? That’s really what I do. I try to just do what I know I can do in here that’ll help me when I get out there, you know what I’m saying? So I don’t really try to have a whole layout because you never know what’s going to happen, you know what I’m saying? Right now, I’m in school, I’m going to college. I graduated a couple of days ago actually, you know what I mean?
AllHipHop: Do you ever regret your decision? Do you ever think about that?
G. Dep: Nah, man. I really, really, honestly, it wasn’t for me, it wasn’t really no other way to go. I was at a point where I wasn’t doing anything that would’ve been fruitful in the long run, you know what I mean, because I wasn’t right. Everything was kind of fruit of the poisonous street, you know what I’m saying? Everything that I was doing, it was alright on the surface, but it wasn’t really coming from a genuine place, you know what I’m saying? I really didn’t have any other choice, you know what I’m saying? So I feel like anything is a plus compared to that, you know what I’m saying? I really don’t have any regrets about that.
Come back for Part 2: Diddy, Mase, Black Rob and Hip-Hop