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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.
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The Crack Era: The Rise, Fall, and Redemption of Kevin Chiles

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Customer Reviews

Based on 236 reviews

The Crack Era: The Rise, Fall, and Redemption of Kevin Chiles

Respect the Real

I know the word, "real" gets thrown round loosely these days, but this is REAL! An authenticity that is and should be respected. Thank you for sharing your journey.


I haven’t been this excited to continue reading a book in a long time. From chapter one, I feel as if I’m apart of this story and can visualize the excitement within the lines of patrons waiting to get into the Rooftop. It must of been one hell of a ride! Can’t wait to finish the read. Hopefully a movie will follow!

Great start!!

Just started reading only a few chapters in. Great beginning. Will be back when I'm done to give a full review!!!

Excellent book

Interesting read

Crack era

It’s a dope In-depth story of the Don Kevin chiles. It’s a page turner, I couldn’t put it down.

The Crack Era

it is an excellent and great read

Such a candid peek in to a forgotten time!

The Crack Era is literally like stepping in to a time machine and getting to experience one of the most infamous eras in New York history. Kevin Chile’s takes you on an introspective ride complete with all of the emotional ups and downs of living the street life during this time. This book will be nostalgic for those who remember this period! The Crack Era is a monumental time capsule of this period!

The Crack Era

The Crack Era by Kevin Chiles was one of the most riveting, exciting, and well-written books of this genre. As a reader, Kevin transports you through vivid and descriptive tales of that period. If you're old enough to have lived during that time, it will take you back there. If you're not, you can go there vicariously through his words. There are social commentaries, political view points, as well as highs and lows of that lifestyle . Great job! I wholeheartedly recommend this to young and old squares and live wires. There is something to be gained from this man's life’s experiences. I was thoroughly entertained, all while learning about the myth of the man. Looking forward to the documentary & movie !!!!!

The Truth

Don Diva is our educator, our street compass. It's also our way of learning about ppl who look like yourself and was placed in the same circumstances in life and you get to see what they did with it right, wrong, or indifferent.

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