The author Dre hails from the City of Chester, Pennsylvania. A former drug dealer turned creative writer. At the age of 23 Dre was arrested and sent to prison. He is currently incarcerated serving a life sentence for drugs and murder crimes inside a United States Penitentiary. In 2010, Andre Cooper aka Dre self-published his first ever hip-hop fiction book called, The Life We Chose. Followed by the The Life We Chose II in 2011. His experience as an ex-drug dealer, American male traversing through the underworld and avid hip-hop listeners, as well as being around rappers, helped shaped his drama driven stories. Now at the age of 33, Dre is striving to make a major impact on the publishing world. Check out these books that explore real life issues from a man who knows. He’s the exclusive Gorilla Convict Interview
Why did you write The Life We Chose trilogy?
Well, I decided to write trilogy because I wanted to provide an eloquent story for the streets. A straight raw one. Most people haven’t seen that side of life, so my goal was to try and have the readers escape their own reality and delve into the lives of the Young Gunz and see why they chose the life of crime.
Are your stories based on real life events?
Yes, some of my stories are based on real life events. You see, growing up in them dangerous neighborhoods and observing all types of crazy things going on gives just about anybody a story to tell. Although we change names in order to protect the guilty, but it’s basically similar to what those rappers are doing taking reality and placing it in fictional stories for the world to understand our culture.
What else do you have going on?
Betrayal of Sinners is the next street banger coming out. If sex, money and murder is part of your mystique then y’all are going to love this story of greed, betrayal and envy. And y’all could be expecting the last part of The Life We Chose in the beginning of next year.
Why did you start your publishing house?
I started Street Dreamz because I wanted to provide the people with real, gritty, eloquent and vivid images through the written word of how the inner-city youths really get down and go hard. Only through the eyes of someone that really lived that life. So I smart’en up and started pulling all my resources together and formed a nice team. I came up with the name and plunged head first into the publishing world.
What are you in prison for?
Well, I’m doing a couple life sentences for three racketeering murders and one tampering with a federal witness by murder. These charges right here had me facing the federal death penalty in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania at the age of 23. Me and two co-defendants were the only second case to ever reach that level. We had a secret jury and all.
What prisons have you been at?
After beating the death penalty and getting sentenced to life I was sent to USP Coleman II in Florida. I stayed there for five years then spent another year in the SHU before I was sent out to Cali to USP Atwater.
What is life like in the feds?
Now, life in the United States Penitentiaries is a whole different world. Drugs, murders, cellphones and everything else that’s on them streets, the Pens’ got it. Therefore, tension is always in the air, so you got to stay prepared for any and everything because you never know what’s bound to pop off.
What have you got out of your writing experiences?
I truly do think that I turned this negative experience of prison life into a positive. I’m occupying my time more, studying more on gaining my freedom and less of my time focusing on the jail politics.
What has prison taught you?
Patience…without a doubt. This place is going to make you learn that it’s either the easy way or the hard way.
You can order The Life we Chose from www.amazon.com