Eyone Williams is a bestselling author from Washington, D.C. Some of his more notable titles include Lorton Legends and Hell Razor Honeys. Eyone’s writing career began in prison. As a youth he got caught up in the street life and at 16 he ended up being sentenced to 15 years to life. Eyone started his prison sentence in the D.C. Department of Corrections at Lorton, a notorious prison once in Virginia that housed D.C. convicts. Lorton was shut down in the 1990s and all the D.C. prisoners were sent to the federal prison system. Eyone ended up serving 17 years all over the country and he grew a love for writing along the way. He wrote a number of books while in prison, however, the first book he published was a book called Fast Lane. Fast Lane put Eyone in the game along with other “street fiction” authors and by the time he was released from prison in 2010 he came home to three bestselling books. From that point on writing has been the foundation on which he’s built everything else that he’s accomplished in life so far. He just released a new mini-ebook about legendary Washington DC gangster Eddie Mathis. Gorilla Convict sat down with Eyone to talk about his new book.
I’ve worked on several gangster pieces with you for Don Diva, Gorilla Convict, and my Street Legends series while we were both in the feds, talk about your background and why you have taken it upon yourself to be the unofficial historian of the Washington DC underworld?
As kid, long before I started writing, I used to look up to the gangsters and hustlers in hood. I always had respect for the ones I knew and would see that came around my family. As time would have it, many of these legendary guys that I came in contact with as a kid were the biggest name in the streets. In the late 90s and early 2000s when a new wave of street media hit the scene, I didn’t see Washington, D.C. represented in a good light. From that point on, I wanted to preserve the culture and write the history of the streets. That is something I have set out to do From Michael “Fray” Salters to Eddie Mathis, I have written about some of the most notorious street figures of the last 30 to 40 years. Aside from all of the gossip that’s out on the internet, I take pride in the fact that the information that I put out there is from the horse’s mouth and fact checked.
When did you first hear about Eddie Mathis and why did you decide to do a story on his legend?
I grew up hearing about Eddie Mathis as a kid. His name rang all over town in D.C. My mother was friends with Ed. Downtown, by 7th and T Street NW, Ed was a bigger than life figure, like something you would see on TV. Anyway, as I grew older, the legend of Eddie Mathis grew more, so by the time I started writing true crime stories I always wanted to document the Mathis story. Back in 2008, I wrote Mathis a letter from a prison I was in in WV to a prison he was in in NC. I asked Ed if I could do a story about his life and he agreed. However, many things have occurred in his life as well as mine and the timing for the project was pushed back many times. In fact, this short story project, The Godfather Eddie Mathis, was really a project that Ed agreed to just to see how it would go. So far, all has been positive, and we are looking to get a book deal in the making. Maybe even a film project. Nevertheless, the main reason I wanted to write about Eddie Mathis is because he is a living legend and I wanted to document a portion of Washington, D.C. history.
Talk about the respect that DC hustlers and gangsters across the east coast have for Eddie Mathis?
The name Eddie Mathis rings bells in the streets of D.C., from the 70s all the way up to these days. Not many legends keep the respect and honor that their names are known by for as long as Eddie Mathis. I won’t even mention his name in a sentence with guys that went sour, but by all accounts, Eddie Mathis is a living legend and guys from all walks of life respect him and have love for him. Even guys that don’t like him don’t even speak bad about him, publicly. I personally look at Ed like a D.C. version of Bumpy Johnson. You have to meet this guy to fully understand what I’m talking about. Eddie Mathis is the real deal and is the last of a dying breed.
Why do you think Eddie Mathis has gotten those accolades in the chronicles of gangster lore?
Guys like Eddie Mathis stand on principles and live by a code that they never break. In all kinds of situations, he has responded like a man, from the streets, to prison, to fighting cases in the court room, he has always been a stand-up man. Always stood tall, never broke, never sold out, and no one can anything bad about his manhood and honor. Not even his enemies speak bad about him. That’s rare in the underworld.
Talk about where Eddie Mathis stands in the lineage of Washington DC gangsters?
To keep 100, Eddie Mathis is in a class of his own. Not many street legends live to be his age that are free and alive, and most importantly, that have not cooperated with the government. We are talking about a guy that has a track record in the streets that dates back to 60s. Need I say more? He was around during the Black Power era. He was in prison when the race wars were popping off, he came up with the likes of Fly and Cadillac. He made it back to the streets during the crack era. He survived attempts by the federal government to give him life in prison. Most of all, he was able to walk away from it all, free and alive! That’s the biggest accomplishment of all.
Where does he rank among the DC street legends?
As far as where Eddie Mathis stands in rank among D.C. street legends, as I said, he is in a class by himself, which is why he’s called The Godfather.
Order Eyone’s book on amazon.