Ebony S. Muhammad (EM): Tell me a little bit about your background; your family and your life growing up.
Warren 2X (WX): I grew up in Oakland, California, from zero to eleven years of age. My mother and father were drug dealers, gangsters, and players in the game. That’s all they knew. They got raided and they shipped me to Chicago, which was in 1981. The element of Chicago wasn’t right for a person who was raised around gangsters, drug dealers and pimps. So when they sent me to Chicago I was around that same element that I came from, it was just on a lower level. I became a part of my environment. I started selling drugs and gang banging. I ended up getting a 25 kilo conspiracy with $1.5 million in the trunk of my car. I was 18 years old in high school. Three years later they indicted me with conspiracy, and they were going to give me life in prison. The judge reduced it to 15 years. I went to jail in 1991, I didn’t get out until 2003. I only served 12 out of the 15 years.
EM: In regards to being in prison for that amount of time, what that was like? What did you face while you were there?
WX: Well, a lot of fights. I had long braids at that time, but I still had a look about myself that said, “I’m not sure if I want to try him”. I ended up getting shipped to 7 different joints. I only served 12 years out of the original 15. The reason why I didn’t have to serve the entire 15 is because I had “good time” with the 85% law. I did some drug counseling classes, and I got a year off each time I attended a certain number of those classes. I ended up going to 7 different joints, because I joined the Nation of Islam in 1993. That’s where I ran into Johnny X. I started off in Wisconsin, and after 18 months they shipped me to El Reno, Oklahoma. It was there that they threw me in the hole. The hole is like a cage. You sit there and they throw your food under the gate like a dog. That’s where I found out that I was intelligent. I started vibing with the brother in the next cell. He was a vocabulary man. He asked me questions about different about definitions. I would give him the gangster version of what he asked. One in particular, he asked me, “Brother, I want you to define the word ‘magazine’.” So when he said magazine, the first thing that came to my mind was an AK-47 with the clip. That’s called magazine. I said, “Magazine, a case that holds bullets that you shoot, and if you have an automatic you can pull the trigger and it would push out a hundred rounds in like two seconds.” The brother just laughed and said, “That’s not what I was talking about brotha” (laughing). So we went back and forth. He asked me a bunch of questions, and I would give him those responses. It was just hilarious to him, but he ended up getting out of the hole. He said, “Brotha, I’m going to give you this book. Study it”. So I studied it. There were 6 chapters with 24 words in each chapter. After I studied each chapter I took the quizzes at the end. That’s how I found out that I was kind of intelligent. So from then on I was on my quest for knowledge.
EM: Was there any time that you didn’t think you were going to make it out? You mentioned that there were frequent fights.
WX: Not really. I’ve seen a lot of people get killed. I’ve seen some people get violated. I’ve seen it all, but I ended up joining the Nation two years after I got locked up. I became that heavy sympathizer along with Johhny X and Brother David from St. Croix. I started my journey with that, and I ended up getting my “X” in 1995. From there they shipped me from El Reno, Oklahoma to Pekin, Illinois. Then I started getting good transfers, because with me being in the Nation they saw I was galvanizing too many people. They shipped me from there to Greenville, Illinois. I became savvy in galvanizing people. So they shipped me to Springfield, Missouri and I got 30 days there. By the way, they put me in the hole in Greenville. The transfer from Greenville to Springfield was an administrative move to just get me out of there. I was becoming too good at organizing the people and it began to affect their structure, which is how they make their income. So in Greenville I was in the hole and under investigation. Brother Donald Muhammad, who at the time was the Minister in St. Louis, came to see me in 1999 when I was locked up in Springfield.
Soon after, I got shipped to Florence, Colorado. During the different Saviours’ Day meetings I would go around signing up different people to come to view it within the compound. I signed up about a thousand to fifteen hundred people. Then I would get the cop-outs. If you get a cop-out on a Friday, you have to come to the meeting or you would go to the hole. Well, they liked me so they all signed up. However, I would never go in and say that I would get fifteen hundred people to show up. If they didn’t show up they would lock me up in the hole again. Therefore, I would get different people, about ten to fifteen, to turn in about a hundred cop-outs, because if I turned them all in I would get locked up. So the Chaplin was amazed by all of the people, hundreds, who were showing up to Saviours’ Day within the compound. I strategically brought people to hear Minister Farrakhan. Of course I pretended to be surprised. I said, “All Praises be to Allah, the people are waking up”. That’s how I got shipped again, but this time I got shipped from being a good guy. From Florence, Colorado they shipped me to Milan, Michigan.
EM: What part of yourself do you find that you are struggling with the most, and how are you pushing through that?
WX: Procrastination. There’s a whole lot I can have in a short amount of time, and I find myself procrastinating a lot. I have my reasons for that. I think that is the one thing I am struggling with. I’m not married. I was engaged. I want to be married before the Minister leaves, which there is no date on when he is leaving. Who wants to not be married when he put me out on Front Street with the love of a genuine father as if I were a biological son? The language he spoke, many can interpret that the way they want. I believe in some cases I jumped the gun, and you will because you want to please your father.
EM: Tell me about the many accomplishments you’ve made since being released aside from being the top Fisherman in the Nation of Islam.
WX: I did a documentary called, “Transformed the Man-Child”, four months after I was released. I was still in the halfway house. I had to do six months in the halfway house to acclimate to society and make my transition smooth. When you come out of a cage you are much undomesticated. Four months in, I had already got some stuff together to make this DVD about my life story so that I would be able to have something to sell to the people. I can’t sell anything better than myself. In this documentary you see me in my element, long braids, and acting savage. This was a means of viewing the before and the after picture of myself. I was able to get some money from people who saw the documentary. From there I began to market it. One brother gave me $3,500. He didn’t know me; he knew me as long as the DVD lasted. So for the three minutes I had in speaking with him along with him watching the DVD he gave me $3,500. It helped me copy more of my DVD’s, and I sold those and from there I never worked for the white man. I didn’t want to work for the white man, because I didn’t want him to restrict my creativity. I didn’t want to be dependent on him, I wasn’t going that route.
I did another video, “Hall of Fame Fisherman with a Net”. I did this video to show the people that the Teachings of the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad is not a game. That was my contribution to the Nation of Islam.
I did a video in 2007 called, “Real Estate Got Me Paid”. Brother Najee sent for me to come to Philadelphia to speak. I did the video out there featuring my travel from Chicago to Philadelphia. 19 months after I was released I got my first deal in real estate without any prior knowledge of the industry. I made $25, 000, and from there was creating financial freedom.
I did a “Stop the Killing” tour where I spoke at 24 schools in 54 days. It started with Brother Abdul Muhammad asking me to come and speak at CVS (Career Vocational School). I was scheduled to speak to the students in the cafeteria. Bro. Ishmael was supposed to be the keynote speaker in the auditorium, but he wasn’t able to make it so I was asked to speak. So they ushered the entire freshman class from the auditorium to the cafeteria. The radio stations were present and they called me afterwards and invited me to speak at more schools. That’s how I was able to speak at 24 schools in 54 days. I made a DVD out of it as well.
EM: What message would you like to give to the brothers and sisters who are currently locked up who may not know much about the Nation of Islam or may not have any direction in their life right now?
WX: I would like to say that I’ve been there with them in the “belly of the beast”, and Islam stands when all has failed. The numbers are too great within the prison. When will we come to realize that we have been tricked, had, bamboozled? The deck was stacked against us from the beginning. I think that the brothers and sisters in the “belly of the beast” should consider the Nation of Islam and utilize me as an example. I haven’t sold any dope since I’ve been home. I’m not saying that I’ve been a saint, but I’m better than I was. I think they should visit the Nation, and if they’re in my city (Chicago) they can come visit and I’ll show them ways on how to overcome the obstacles.
EM: Thank you very much for your time and for sharing your story.
WX: Thank you for considering me for this wonderful magazine.