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Q: At 53, has your outlook changed?
A: I'm way more mellow than I was as a young man full of rage. I feel like I don't have to prove myself as much. Once you've experienced as much as I have — crazy and dangerous things, sure, but adventurous and productive things, too — you outgrow that urgency you feel when life is filled with unknowns. It's not that there's less movement in your life as you get older — it's just more focused movement.
Q: As executive producer of your A&E show The Peacemaker, you strive to help young men escape gangs.
A: Sometimes your friends die of cancer, but I've seen more of my friends die on the streets or in prison — so I think that's the right place to focus my efforts. The crucial thing is to find the most efficient way you can help: Is it a song? A show? Maybe it's this book and my story. You have to maximize your power.
Q: Your memoir includes 50 rules to live by. Rule 31 is "I've been your age, you've never been mine — pay attention." Was that for your children?
A: I can't be around my kids as much as I would like to be, so I tend to spoil them when I'm there. I'm not going to say I have the greatest parenting style — I'm more the person who just tries to leave my kids with some wisdom. My kids are smart, but if they refused to listen to me at all, we'd have a problem.