A Hustler’s Ambition: Kevin Chiles Talks Harlem, Alpo Martinez & Don Diva

Though it’s often glamorized as a profession that brings in lots of money and affords lavish living, the drug game is vicious. Countless people around the world have lost their lives, received unbelievable prison sentences or fell victim to poverty, drug addiction and other dilemmas as a result of the globally-illicit drug trade.

Kevin Chiles knows personally the good, bad and ugly that comes with the drug game. At one point of his life, he was a kingpin in Harlem — flooding his community with coke and making excessive amounts of money. This eventually led to a 10-year sentence in federal prison ( Kev was initially facing life).

While incarcerated, Kev helped co-found Don Diva Magazine, a publication that’s been heralded for its unfiltered coverage of gangsters (and the street culture in general) since 1999. Kev opened up about Don Diva’s creation, along with the highs and lows of his criminal past in Episode 3 of Info Minds’ “For Tha Culture” series.

The Harlem hustler also reflected on his friendships with the likes of Azie Faison, Richard Porter and Alpo Martinez, whose lives were chronicled in the cult classic “Paid in Full.” Kev explained why he disapprove of Alpo’s decision to become a government informant to receive a reduced prison sentence and shares his views on snitching.

Kev’s forthcoming book The Crack Era: The Rise, Fall, and Redemption of Kevin Chiles, Tekashi 69 and and the gentrification of Harlem are some of the other topics Kev touched on during the episode.

Check it out below.

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