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The Crack Era: The Rise, Fall, and Redemption of Kevin Chiles chronicles one of the most treacherous periods in New York City’s history. As told by a man The New York Times once described as, “The biggest drug lord in Harlem since Nicky Barnes,” Chiles lays bare the harrowing exploits of the narcotics trade Uptown during the late ‘80s and early ‘90s — a world where the lust for freebase cocaine set off a veritable gold rush that turned ghetto boys into young millionaires almost overnight.
“Baseheads” wreaked havoc on the black community. What’s worse, upper Manhattan became the epicenter of murder and mayhem as drug-related killings pushed the city’s annual death toll well into the thousands. A teenager at the time, Kevin earned a rep’ as a boss among bosses and, along with a handful of hustlers from his ‘hood, he would directly influence the very music and fashion that ushered in the golden age of hip hop.
The crack epidemic parlayed money, power, and respect for Kev but it also took his freedom as well as the lives of close friends and family. Now, this candid memoir exposes liars, dispels urban myths, and sheds light on an otherwise dark epoch that has bittersweet implications for many today. Having seen and survived it all, one of America’s most iconic street figures recounts a bygone era of fast cash and high stakes hustling in Harlem.
In a day and age where so many play the game without rules, although we are not glorifying the actions, I can respect someone who played it the right way. This was a great read. Kevin is a stand up individual who deserves to take this to the next level. The story is insane from 2000 keys a month, to the unfathomable murder of his Mother. The incarceration of his whole family to get him to flip, and to stand tall through all of that is BIG SCREEN material. On top of taking his time like a MAN, to come home and stay positive and free is to be commended. All and all the Crack Era is a necessary education, that all those who want to be involved in the game should read. 2 thumbs up!!!!!
This book is very engaging and I cannot put it down. Excellent job in capturing an ERA that will not soon be forgotten.
There are many stories out there about the street life but many of them are by people who don't have first hand accounts or they are not trustworthy. The Crack Era gives us a glimpse of the Man, the Myth, and the Legend known as Kevin Chiles directly from his words. Great book if you're really interested in how the game should be played.
This was an amazing book. Well written and very informative.
EXCELLENT BOOK I CAN'T PUT IT DOWN AMAZING DETAILS FROM BEGINNING TO END
The author painted an excellent picture of life in NY during one of black America’s most tragically golden times. It also showed how whole generations of black men were taken forever from our communities and families. Hats off to the aurthor for sharing his life with us!
From the first sentence not been able to put down!! Start to finish great informative book!!
Having grown up in & around New York and Virginia throughout the crack era - it was about time that we were given a proper documentary piece of literature, told from an inside perspective & without Hollywood glamorization. One of my favorite books in recent memory, and already a classic - its ability to take me back to the days that still live so vividly in my mind speak to the quality of it storytelling. The quality speaks thru the work! Big praise due to Kevin and everybody over at DDM for what they’re doing!
I’m halfway in it the way he articulated the action in era is like paid in full on steroids. The man character is needed to the sub culture called the streets. I thrive off the old school cats laying out the tutelage that was passed down, this shit is fire cop you some of this action.
More than satisfied with the stories and the details behind it.mr. Chiles did an amazing job and left nothing left unturned and gave examples and great details🙏🏼💪🏼💪🏼🙏🏼
KC, you brought back so many memories. Only those that were there know “The Crack Era’s” True Authenticity! I continue to salute you ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️General.
I read only a few chapters at work and I couldn’t put it down. Having grown up during this time on Strong Island, I am very familiar with everything it’s about. Always interested to get the real, unfiltered version of those hard times. Long time coming, and a story from someone who lived it. Can’t wait to finish it!!
The complete picture was painted. The stories definitely took me back that lifestyle that a lot of us was a part of.
Your words about my brother was warming and reinvigorating towards his memory. One of the moments that excited me was the fact you went to the same school my oldest daughter went to and now teaches at .. over all this was a excellent book thank you for sharing your life with the word KC. I can smell a movie to follow
This is a great book that accurately paints pictures of The Bronx and Harlem in the 80’s. I’m only on chapter 5 but I would already recommend this book to anyone that wants a deeper understanding the pros and many cons of the street life.
It’s truly inspiring to hear about a redemption story from an era I grew up in fisrt hand. There are not too many people on earth who could admit their wrongs, accept personal responsibility and set the stage for others to do something different. -Peace
This book is a piece of history, everybody whether involved or not was affected by the cocaine and crack epidemic. Culture, law, and family. The ripples are still felt today. For so many years we have been told a different narrative of this story from New York. Finally the truth...
Been wanting to learn more about this era of NY for the longest time. Having a first hand account from Kevin keeps it really interesting and gives insights youd never find otherwise
This book is a BESTSELLER! It is more than just a cautionary Bronx tale, the "Crack Era" is a gold mine of teachable moments and an insightful historical treatise on a period of time (in the 80's) that many would agree, was almost as impactful on our society as the Civil Rights era. Kevin Chiles gives us the rare perspective of a transformational leader baptized by the fire of his own personal experiences within the confines of the "Game". In my opinion, this book would be well received in the realm of academia/education.
This book is what the culture need and it's a more in depth story from the funk flex interview. The best story told so vividly every time I read this book I can see everything I'm reading. I'd recommend this book to anyone. Great job Mr. Chiles
It took awhile to receive my book because I am overseas, that could not be avoided. I started it last night and can hardly put it down. It’s definitely a page turner, thought provoking and very well done. It’s taking me back to old Harlem, the place I grew up. The mention of some places, people, slange we used, some scenes we can never forget... definitely taking me down memory lane. I was a little younger but I remember these times clearly. Thanks for sharing your story with the world, I’m sure it needed to be told! I’m not done yet but I know I will be very soon. BRAVO!!
Ti auguro molto successo!
Very relatable and amazing story with great insight and perspective from the author.
The Crack Era: The Rise, Fall, and Redemption of Kevin Chiles
Only read the first chapter...but growing up in harlem Washington heights and the bronx...i knew of his story...to see him go from ogden to where he is now is AMAZING...had to buy the book to support....we never looked up to ball players or rappers...we wanted to be like kev ...rich ...guy ect ....you need this book if you a fan of the game
This is an interesting read. It's not a short story by any means. if you are looking for a great read. Pick up a copy for yourself !
Coming from the same walk of life as kevin the book was very relatable I really respect him as a man and the things he stood for while going through his situation not many have stood tall in the same situation. I have a friend currently locked up and I was going to reach out and see if I can get him featured in an issue some day in the future. Overall on the book I give it 5 stars nothing but respect to kev
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