Here's what Perry Toole had to say eight years ago.
"If I die right here during this interview, I lived a great life!"
William Perry McClendon is now the same person with a different name and attitude.
"It takes a COWARD to do the things that I use to do and it takes a man to say the things I'm saying now," he says.
Formerly known as "Perry Toole," William was head of a group known as the Gangsta Disciples in Meridian. He joined at the age of nine and began selling drugs at 16. In later years, McClendon says he stopped doing drug street sales and became leader of the group, a job which he says was not easy.
"I was Perry Toole then. If you did something to me you better believe there were some consequences coming behind it. Everywhere I went, I had to have security. Even if I laid down at my house, I had to have security, and that's a bad feeling when you have to look over your back everywhere you go."
McClendon's lifestyle ultimately landed him behind bars. After serving 11 years in prison on drug charges, McClendon was just released this past December.
No longer a member of the Gangsta Disciples and out of prison, McClendon says he views life somewhat differently.
"In order to be successful in life you've got to face your problems. I'm a living witness that there is hope. If you want to get out, man you can get out. All you've got to do is walk away. You see, TV portrays one thing, but reality is another. I'm REALITY!"
Friday, we will explore more about how life for McClendon has changed.