OG Bloodsport and GF Guns Murder are living proof that you can find hope in desperate places. Still well respected as members of the Bloods gang, they’re working to stop the youth from falling into the same cycle of street life and incarceration that swept them up for years.

OG Bloodsport and GF Guns Murder (God Understands Negative Situations / Men Understand Reason, Death Eventually Returns) met at the FRANK151 offices to discuss staying positive in prison, the game of chess, and mediating conflict.

Guns Murder: I always had to be a leader in my household. I was born out of rape. I was the oldest of five. I ain’t got no big brothers, no father figure. I learned leadership by instinct. I didn’t really have a choice. That was my start. I’m curious to know what your start was.
Bloodsport: My mother was murdered, so the same thing. I didn’t have a father in my life. When things got bad, I had to stay strong and keep my little brother and the people around me strong, so it was like a bond. Brotherly love. Strictly loyalty and honesty.

I went to the streets and that became my father, my big brother. So my brothers that I made in the street, like you, is like real family. People don’t understand how friends can become family like that. That’s my definition: the streets is like my father’s side.
You have to keep your eye on people, but build with them at the same time. You just gotta watch who you keep around you. It’s a small family.
Keep your circle like a hula-hoop.

You can’t let this thing take you down. Keep yourself up with some type of exercise, yoga, different things.
Yeah, that’s what I’ve been doing lately, man. I’ve been training with the Shaolin Temple. The discipline they give me I could say saved my life. Sifu Shi Yan Ming, this dude is awesome.
A lot of discipline right there.
Strength training, mentally and physically. It keeps me doing something so I won’t be doing anything negative with my life.
The law’s not playing, trying to put you away for the rest of your life. Can’t deal with that. Any little thing we do, it’s back in.

School, education, keep your peoples up to that too. A lot of people don’t know how to read, write, nothing. I keep them up. If I have to teach them how to read, I do it.

OG Bloodsport with bloods

I was talking to my bro Nemo [Librizzi] about when I was incarcerated and the effect it had on me. I did my first two years in the box. I was fighting with the police and fighting inmates, even in the organizations that I was dealing with. I went through this real crazy process of being in this box by myself in the dark, mastering myself. Learning, reading, but still doing crazy shit. Then when I came out, they actually put me in prison with these little adolescents. They basically sentenced me to death with that, but I flipped it. I became their leader because the kids didn’t know.

I got my GED and then I got them to go take their GEDs. They seen me do it, and instead of havin’ a battle in the yard, everybody was like, “We havin’ a battle…to get the GED,” like, “I bet I’ll pass it higher than you!” I led by example and tried to help brothers raise their mind frame to be something more than they thought they could be.
When I was in the box I used to talk to myself and build myself up. Everything’s moving around you, but you stuck in a box. Not just going crazy in there: learning, reading, writing. I wouldn’t read books; I read magazines. Some people read novels and stuff like that. I wouldn’t read that because, “Half of it’s fake. I could write my own novels.” That’s how I felt.

I used to think I was too good to go to the park. I wouldn’t play basketball or nothing. I felt I was too good to start sweating and get dirty. But after I came home and did that bid, I’d go sit in the park. Now it’s like I wish I would’ve done that, gone to the park and played basketball. I appreciate it now.

But you can’t just go in there and waste your time. People go in there and sit and play chess. My whole thing with chess is using the brain—but not on the board.

I never played chess because I think you’re trying to take me off guard. Like I’m into this so much, next thing I get cut in the face and stabbed in the back. So I was like, “Nah, I don’t want to learn how to play.” I wouldn’t play cards or nothing in the penal system. None of that.
I was a chess player. The federal situation kinda got me nice, so when I got to the state, I thought I was so evolved. But dudes in the state was waxing me! That got my game up, though, till I was either even with dudes or beatin’ all the rest.

Chess is a good game. You know what I used it for? I would sit eight hours a day sometimes, just take a whole day playing everybody in chess. And I kept my mind focused for when I’m playing mental chess, chess in the real world.

We had to learn the hard way. And you notice the people that actually have the most advice and the most to give are the people that have been through the most.

I really got respect for you, man. Even before I really got to know you, you was over me. I remember back when I was in Adolescents and I first met you—this is years ago—and you was on it. I was like, “Yeah, that’s how I gotta be to survive in here!”
You can’t fall victim to that. You go in there, and once you a part of something, you stick out. It’s not, “I don’t have anything to do with it.” Nothing like that.

The first time I ever was in prison was for something I didn’t do. It woke me up. I’ll tell you that much. I don’t even think I could explain that type of pressure on my heart.
The other person got away, right?
Yeah, it wasn’t even something I knew about! They picked me up and said, “You did it.” Put me through. I had to lay up, four months, bailed out.
Did you believe your own lawyer?
In my last case I was my own lawyer. And I beat my own trial. How they try to manipulate us? I learned how to do it back on them, to play a game. I learned law. I took that time from the one situation that happened to me when I got locked up for something I didn’t do, it made me know that I needed to study this law and understand why they could do something like that to me. And once I learned that, that’s how I gave back.

In them jails, when I was in that box for two years, I’m the reason why they built more libraries in that box. I did all the paperwork and they seen that, “Oh, these kids are getting smart.”
They had an older person teaching them.

Former blood GF Guns Murder with son on visiting day

They start out with juveniles, and then the adolescents, and you go to adults, then the fed case, then you’re away for the rest of your life. That’s why parole, they on it. They don’t want you to go out. Hit you, hit you, and hit you. They hit you for something that you were already locked up for. You did time for it ten years ago. Now they’re gonna hit you because of your record. So it’s double jeopardy.
There are some people that I’m following behind that are actually getting rid of their whole situation, clearing it clean and becoming new people. Recycling it, taking everything they learned and using it to wake the young up so they don’t go through it.
I teach my son, “Don’t let nobody get you in trouble. Do it right in your daily life. Don’t be like your father.”
Exactly. ’Cause you went through it for him. That’s how I look at it.
I took that sacrifice.
They say the wise man learns from the fool’s mistake. But I look at it as, I was a fool that learned from my own mistakes. So experience is the best teacher.

They want to lock leaders up, too. Because they fear you have control.
“You’re getting out of this jail and you’re going to the next jail. You’re not gonna do this,” because that’s how strong you are with your brain. You know you have control. So if you have control, it’s a power struggle between you and your corrections officers.
And the system.

And after doing all that time, all they’re doing is letting you out. So what happens to a person that wasn’t staying focused in there? You don’t know your next step or next move in life. You’re just stuck. Then they send them to a shelter, and a shelter is just like a jail.

So it’s like you’re not getting nothing out of it. It’s either you study and get your things right, network, meet new people, hook up with some type of reality check, or if you just go in and do nothing, you’re gonna come home and they’re waiting for you to come back. It’s like a string.
It’s the cycle that we have to break. It takes a strong leader, such as yourself, to break that cycle to be able to show others that it can be broken. And I look at that in myself too because I was caught up in that cycle. My cycle was like every three years.

I have finally broken that cycle. And so many kids look up to me. I was such an influential inmate at one point, I was beating everything—the officers was putting these charges on me, and I was studyin’ the law so hard, so I’m welcoming it like, “Yo, come on!” So they played me one time, man. They came in on me. I used to train so it would take two teams to get me out of this box, or out of the cell.
Oh yeah. Definitely.
I did some crazy terrorist shit, tied my up face and all that, made pads with mad sheets, ’cause this time I knew they’d come in and beat me up. They came in and beat me so bad, man, but I stayed strong through the whole beating. I thought it was over. They took me out and they put me on the gurney, and took me to this room. They just flipped the gurney: boom! And they went in on me, extra. I’m handcuffed and shackled already. They’re beating me, like, “So you wanna be an influential inmate?” I remember them taking turns on me. Beating on me, dropping me on my head.

Former bloods OG Bloodsport and GF Guns Murder in the FRANK offices

I remember how my face was. I looked like the NBA Jam guys. I was looking in the mirror, and you could be my mother and you wouldn’t recognize who I was. They did me so dirty because I got the law library. I was doing things for the people.
They don’t want that.

What are you doing now?
Right now I’m working for this team in the neighborhood speaking to young kids. Basically somebody gets shot in the neighborhood, I go talk to the family and try to intervene and speak to both sides of the fence and mediate. Certain people can do that. Or I’ll make them go to school. “What you are you doing out of school? Go to school!”

I might have been one of the craziest dudes at one point in my life, but I learned from it and I realized I didn’t want to see that for everybody. So I remember one time in my neighborhood—everybody’s on the same side, but they had a big fallout with each other.

It’s about 22 dudes, and there was about ten guns in their circle. So it gets so heated that these dudes just kinda backed out, guns on top of guns. I jumped in front of every one of these guns. Dudes still praise me for this to this day. I was like, “Listen, if y’all are all gonna kill each other, you gotta kill me first.”

And everybody put their guns down. And now we all cool. That shit could have been crazy, but that’s just something that I got in my heart, man. That’s what I want to bring to the bigger world. I’m ready to be that sacrifice.

If you wanna do something, just do it for the right reasons, not just because you can do it, man. For the cause, not because.