The Wire Tap: Anwan Glover

    In the past few years, Washington, DC native Anwan Glover has maintained his position as Slim Charles on The Wire – a character that is known for staunch loyalty. Anwan shares that trait with Slim Charles in real life… as he has stayed true to his city, for the good and the bad. […]



In the past few years, Washington, DC native Anwan Glover has maintained his position as Slim Charles on The Wire – a character that is known for staunch loyalty. Anwan shares that trait with Slim Charles in real life… as he has stayed true to his city, for the good and the bad.


As the frontman of go-go group The Backyard Band, Anwan – widely known as Big G and Ghetto Prince – has played a role in keeping DC go-go culture alive and well. He also hosts his own weekly radio show on WKYS FM. His dedication to music and acting has taken him on a long trek from troubled times, but it hasn’t been without hardships along the way.


In 2004, Anwan was nabbed on gun possession charges, but fortunately the courts believed he was on a path to changing his life. That same year, he was honored with an NAACP Youth Leadership award. He has been an active spokesperson for HIV/AIDS prevention, and speaks often to young people about staying out of trouble.


Sadly, in August of 2007, Anwan’s brother Tayon Glover was shot and killed, spurring Anwan to join with the mayor of DC to speak out to everyone against violence in the city.


Anwan sat down to tell us a little about where Slim Charles will go on The Wire, and exactly what frame of mind he’s in now that Marlo is trying to cross Proposition Joe. We also got a little background on Big G’s history in the go-go scene, his upcoming solo Hip-Hop album and even some opinions on sports. Slim Charles overall hasn’t said more than two or three lines in any given episode, but he’s still been a very important character, because he’s been one of the few that’s actually lasted through everything. What would you attribute to his success in staying alive and in the midst of things throughout all of the seasons?


Anwan Glover: Just being able to move around. I [Slim Charles] got my brownie points dealing with Avon Barksdale’s organization and when Avon got out of jail, me and him got close. Him and Stringer were going through bad times and he needed somebody close to him. I was close to him, I was out there handling business, I made sure everything was coming in.


Then there was a real point at that time where we were going at Marlo, knocking Marlo’s crew off and Marlo was trying to come back at us. It was just going down, but [with] the incarceration of Avon I started dealing with Prop Joe in Season Four. Once I got with Prop I gained brownie points with Avon, so Prop saw that I was a good loyal guy with Avon, so I got a part of that co-op piece. How do you feel that the O.G.’s in the co-op circle really look at Marlo coming in and giving new ideas? Do you think that they’re suspicious of him or that they actually take into consideration what he says?


Anwan Glover: The O.G.’s really don’t want Marlo in the co-op, because when Marlo came in he kind of shook the room up. He started throwing stuff on the table without just sitting and listening to what’s really going on first. He just came in and started trying to shake the room up. He just wanted to get close to the connect as a young entrepreneur, just trying to get more things shifting towards his way. He just came in as a boss, he just wanted to have that slice that nobody else had. From an outside perspective do you think that Marlo is smart enough to take out Prop Joe or any of those guys? I have to think that the experience of the guys in the co-op outweighs anything Marlo could do.


Anwan Glover: Marlo gives the perception as he’s just trying to twist everything up, he don’t trust nobody because he really can’t trust Joe – but he needs Joe, because Joe has the connects. So he goes to these co-op meetings to see what’s next, and if he can up the ante on prices just to get everything switched around. But he’s suspicious, and at the same time he’s trying to find out a way to shift things around and see if Joe is playing him true or just giving him a black card. We know that Marlo is gunning to go speak to the Russians directly or whomever he can get a direct connect to [so as] to cut Prop Joe out. Within that though, we know he’s gonna have to go deal with Avon who is close with Slim Charles. How is Slim Charles gonna feel about that whole thing?

Anwan Glover: Slim is loyal. Slim is with Avon, Avon’s no longer around and the Barksdale organization is pretty much gone, the last one was Bodie. I’m with Prop now, so I’m looking out for Prop’s best interests and what’s really going on with the co-op making sure my money is straight. Slim is just trying to weigh the outcomes, but in the same sense Slim is like letting Prop know, “You can’t trust Marlo, you gotta stay close, play your cards right and make sure you’re in the right places at the right times.” So it’s getting ready to get ugly. You said yourself Slim Charles is all about loyalty. Don’t you kind of see it that with Avon getting in bed with Marlo on any level [with the Russian connect]…


Anwan Glover: But that’s not loyalty, Avon is right now out to get what he gotta get. This thing is so twisted, the writers are just writing this thing so buckwild open, it’s so much suspense you don’t know what’s gonna happen. Around this corner you don’t know if it’s coming from this end… if it’s coming from Marlo, you don’t know if it’s coming from Avon, you don’t know if it’s coming from Omar; man, it’s just crazy. That’s why this is one of the best seasons right here, it’s getting ready to get bananas. I heard the bootleg is out, but just like last year I don’t want to see it. [I like being excited every week for the new episode!]


Anwan Glover: Yeah I’m ill at that! You know what confuses me about that bootleg situation is, I don’t know how they could let that happen. It happened last year, and I’m just like, we should have been able to lock down production a little more – but it’s always a snake. The person that put it out, they aint gonna have no luck. [laughs]  What do you have coming up now that The Wire is a wrap?


Anwan Glover: I start shooting this movie called Nicetown with Angie Stone. it’s a Said Muhammad film, Brownback Films [and] we start shooting that in Philadelphia in March. I’m just moving up and down, on that train a lot going to New York getting a lot of love and auditioning, I just read for this theater play the other day, a few of my cast members was in there from The Wire. It’s like we bumped shoulders out there just trying to keep that grind going.


That [writer’s] strike is killing everybody out there right now though, but it is what it is. I just read for that Biggie movie. I don’t know what the outcome will be, but we cross our fingers and hope that I get a role in that. Other than that I’m just grinding, I got my own radio show every Sunday from 6-10 in DC on 93.9 WKYS. I’m working on my album right now. Tell us a little bit about your music and why you’ve been able to stick with it through everything. Go-go had it’s heyday for a minute [with mainstream success] but it’s definitely been an underground scene overall.


Anwan Glover: It’s definitely an underground thing, but we’re moving out. We go to ATL, we go to all the colleges, North Carolina, Virginia State, Morgan, Bowie during homecoming time and we mix with different artists. What’s different about [The Backyard Band] is all the Hip-Hop artists that come to town, they can get in with us. You can catch that piece on Youtube where Lil’ Wayne said he just partied with Backyard. You got Plies that’s got on the stage with us, Scarface, Devin The Dude, Bun B, Slim Thug, 2Pac and Biggie performed with us before.


We’ve been that household name, when Hip-Hop artists come through town they get up there and really tear it up with us. So we’ve been doing that for some years, we had an album out called Hood Related, we went to number 64 on the Billboard charts. We’re working on our second Hood Related 2 followed with the movie, and that’ll be out on my birthday May 5, 2008. We’re gonna throw a big party and have a big celebrity weekend, South Beach style.


But also I’m working on my own solo project Hip-Hop album, I’m gonna get some featured rappers on my piece and do it because everybody keeps saying “Come on man, you gotta do this, you gotta do that.” Also I’m gonna put this documentary piece on my life together and I’m gonna do my book. It’s a whole lot of things I’m trying to get together in ’08. I was doing a lot out here in DC, even before I was on The Wire I was signing a lot of autographs and all that.


I’m like the prince of DC, they call me the Ghetto Prince. I just do a lot in the community, especially with the kids with the Peaceaholics, also November 20th [2007] the mayor gave me the proclamation that the city gave me my own day. I do a lot out here in the city of DC, VA and Maryland. Who do you like for the Super Bowl this year?


Anwan Glover: I’m kinda ill, because the playoffs came and the Seahawks came through and put the bag over [the Redskins’] head and choked us to death. But you gotta watch out for them Giants. See, the Giants are real sneaky, they got a good defense and their offense aint playing too bad, I think everybody else is just pretending.


Then you got the Patriots, it’s gonna end up being the Patriots and the Giants in there. I got Strahan and them guys pulling it out though, they almost got the Patriots the last time. It’s just that Manning boy gotta get a little more heart in him and he’ll be alright. Who are you liking in the NBA?


Anwan Glover: Well, in the NBA it’s always on that West, that West is tough. But I’m a Wizards fan, so my boy Gilbert Arenas is kind of hurt right now but Caron[Butler], [Antawn] Jamison and them boys are playing pretty good ball right now. Of course I want my Wizards to go but it gets tough around that playoff time.


The Spurs are looking pretty good, then the Lakers are playing but you gotta watch out for Boston, they’re playing well. They’re playing everybody tough because they got Garnett, Paul Pierce and all them boys playing together. They pulled some undrafted free agents and they’re playing real good. I love my Redskins, Wizards and Capitals, DC United is up in the air because we’re just getting those guys and I always loved the Orioles. So it is what it is [laughs]. If you could let people know anything about you as an actor or artist, what would it be?


Anwan Glover:  I want everybody to know that I’m a family person, and a people person. I am approachable, you can always holler at me. I take pictures with fans, you can always look for me to take it to the next level. I’m versatile with my acting, I can switch my voice tones up, speak with the African tongue and all that. I’m just looking forward to people looking forward to seeing me on the big screen and I’m just out here hustling.


I’m always in New York; I’m up top, that’s like my second home besides Baltimore. I’m up there because it’s the land of opportunity up there and it’s real big, [when I go out to] L.A. it’s just like everybody’s an actor in L.A. Even the people that work in restaurants are actors, so it’s like a hard hustle out there. But in New York, them little side buildings you never know if the top of that building is the land of opportunity. It might just look like a little building where aint nothing going on, you get on that elevator and you goin’ to the top.


I’m on the grind, just letting all my fans out there know that Anwan Glover, Big G is on the come up, and a lot of my cast members are on the come up too, they’re doing a lot of stuff out there. I’m just one of the young pups trying to get out there.