by Seth "Soul Man" Ferranti
From the gritty streets of Washignton D.C., our nation’s capitol, Eyone Williams, a born and bred Washington native brings us Fastlane Publications. From 5th and Rittenhouse to M. L. K. Avenue this D.C. gangsta brings it to you raw and uncensored in multiple forms. He has two CDs recorded behind the wall—Prisoners of War Fastlane and Raise Up that he did with two homies and he also has a street novel he wrote and published. The book Fast Lane tells the story of Mann and Lando as they grow up and become part of the local crew and make their mark in the streets by any means necessary. The book was inspired by the CD. So check them both out. Fast Lane is the first street book that takes a look at the Chocolate City hustling experience. Go to fastlanepub.com and meet author/ rapper Eyone Williams who’s doing a 15 to life sentence for a second degree murder charge.
“I’m from Northwest D.C.—uptown,” Eyone says. “I grew up on 5th street and first got into the streets around Rittenhouse but started hanging on Kennedy street later. I’ve been locked up for 13 years. I’m going on 29 years old now.” He’s been in the pen since age 16; you know D.C. doesn’t play. They try juveniles as adults; no kiddy jails for Eyone.
“I left D.C. jail in ’94 and went to Lorton’s maximum security facility—the Wall—where I stayed from 17 to 19,” Eyone says. “I was sent to the Northeast Ohio Correctional Center in ’97 and stayed there from 19 to 21. Then I was sent to another CCA (private prison) in New Mexico and from there to another in Arizona. At age 24 I was sent to Sussex II, a Virginia State prison and at 25 I came into the feds. USP Lee was my first stop and now I’m here at FCI Gilmer.” Eyone’s been around for real and he doesn’t even have a release date.
“I have no idea when I get out,” Eyone says. “I’m a D.C. prisoner with life as a back number, however I am doing a five year hit right now so I see the parole commission again in 2009. Althoug his release may be a little ways away Eyone has hope with his book Fast Lane and CD, Prisoners of War, there’s lots of love.
“I’ve been pleased to see that the streets and the prisons have been showing a lot of love for Fast Lane,” he says. “All of my support has come from those places. Even other publishing companies have been expressing interest.” But what is the book really about and is it true the song “Fastlane” inspired the book?
“Fast Lane is a tale of the streets mixed with events from my youth and what I saw around me,” Eyone says. “It’s a true story of loyalty to each other and what it takes to get on your feet in the game. At the same time with all that goes on in the streets it still gives room to shoot for better things in life. Overall it takes the reader into the trenches of the Murder Capital during the crack era and the song did inspire the book.”
Fast Lane was published in July of 2004 and has sold over ten thousand copies since it hit the streets by word of mouth alone. The CD has done well too, selling several thousand copies; Amazing for an independent with no distribution deal or any major promotion. The book is selling by the merits of the story itself and the hype from the song that came before it. But why did Eyone start writing in the first place?
“I started writing just because I love to write,” he says. “I also wanted to see if I could write a book which readers would love, accept, and respect.” And how did Fast Lane publications come about?
“My wife and I were inspired to start our own publishing company when we saw how many big companies reject manuscripts from unknown authors,” Eyone says. “We didn’t have time to waste playing that game so we did it ourselves just to create our own buzz and then we could shoot for a big book deal. And that big book deal has materialized as Darren Coleman presents decided to distribute Fast Lane nationally through HarperCollins. But Fast Lane Publications isn’t going anywhere.
“Fast Lane Publications is ran solely by my wife—Aisha Bailey,” Eyone says. “My wife keeps everything together while I’m in prison by keeping up with the business side of running the company.”
“Fast Lane Publications will be putting out Drama City by Colie “Shaka” Long, Burned by Malik and Scandalous and Gots 2 Love it by Nathan Welch,” Eyone says. “I have four more books coming out—Lorton Legends, Hell Razor Honeys, Never Lay Down, and Money Ain’t Everything.” Even with all of that under his belt Eyone plans to keep writing and rapping.
“Writing is something I love and since I can’t go back to the streets I plan to use my writing to open other doors for me and all those with me,” Eyone says. If he keeps pumping out books from the penitentiary everything should go according to plan. But there probably won’t be any more rap CDs until he hits the streets. So check out www.fastlanepub.com and Fast Lane a street novel that takes you deep into the lives of D.C. hustlers.
Seth Ferranti is a contributing writer for The Urban Book Source and accomplished journalist having written articles for Don Diva, Slam, King, Feds and many more. View more of his articles at: www.gorillaconvict.com
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