Words by @LeDeana
Shout out to you for having us come meet up with you on location to check out where it all started. Tell us about where we are.
You’re down the hill in Anderson When I was a kid someone started calling my area ATG. We’re on 23rd Street. Over the years the acronym has changed. It was A Town Gangsters then it was Anything Goes. I’m just a 23rd Street Guy. Originally when I was born we were living out west in Indianapolis in Haughville, but we moved here to the old projects Pine Tree Apartments and I’ve been here ever since.
How did you get into rapping?
I used to want to be just like my big brother. Whatever he would do I would do it next. I remember on his birthday him and his friends were having a cypher so I just jumped in it. I didn’t know I could rap I just jumped in to do what I saw my brother doing. They told me I had it in me. I could never run out of material because I’m not just telling my story. I’m telling me and my friends’ stories. My first CD series was called “For My Homies.” That’s me telling my friends stories. Some of their stories are realer than mine and God didn’t give everybody a voice.
Who is Cana?
Cana is that guy! I like him! I let the streets name me. Cana’s a boss. He’s here to make things happen. He’s a king. Cana is short for OG Tropicana. I have a partner that everytime he would see me he would yell “Cana!” and I liked it. So when I get turned up that’s what I say. [Project-wise] you’ve seen Cana. I’m working on Trop and then next will be OG. Finally it will be OG Tropicana.
Where does the OG part come from?
I didn’t call myself OG. That’s something that’s earned. People called me that. In my mind I wasn’t an OG til I turned 30. They were calling me OG at 21 in the penal system and in the streets. I was BG. BG was posted up on this corner on 23rd Street dedicated to being a low life and throwing rocks at the penitentiary.
What are some of the morals and values upheld amongst your tribe? Listen to “Mob Boss.” I’m expressing me and my friends’ morals and values. I’m explaining some incidents that made me and gave me my mentality. I could sum all that up by saying “the G Code.” It’s unwritten laws and policies set forth by people that survived these conditions before us. They said this is what you do to survive. Ones that choose this life have to follow these rules to survive. We adhere to these laws. I live by the G code. On “Mob Boss” I speak on one main scenario where one of my family members went through something. People got in trouble around him and decided to give him up to get out of trouble. That’s a direct violation of the G code and there’s nothing clearer than that. You hold your own. You don’t put your people in slavery. You don’t put your people back in chains for nothing.
Explain the comparison of prison to slavery.
It’s the same thing that’s been going on since the beginning of time. People in chains working for free. Every penitentiary in the world has at least one or two multi-million dollar companies attached to it. They give you enough money to wash so you don’t go to work smelling but everything still applies to the pen that applied to slavery. And people are snitching so much they must not understand what it really means. I speak to make sure people understand me and I put things bluntly. If I tell you that you’re putting your people in slavery I hope your morals kick in. Y’all must not understand that now ol boy’s son is fatherless. I’m a father. I love my family and I love my kids. I teach them not to let them get you in slavery.
Have y’all ever discussed the impact you being away had on your kids?
We haven’t crossed that bridge yet. One is eight and he knew where I was. He hasn’t put into words how that made him feel. But I was him. My daddy was in prison and I know how it feels. He doesn’t even have to explain it. I remember. That’s why this move to music is important. It’s important to show him something else. I’ve already showed him the flipside.
How do you break the cycle when people want to follow the example you already made?
Lead them. Show them something else. My son doesn’t know BG. He knows Tropicana. My son knows how to rap right now. I’d rather that than them playing with guns. They don’t know that life and I don’t want them to. The cycle is being broken.
FACEBOOK: OG TROP INSTAGRAM: @OG_TROP