Hell up in East Harlem
In the 80′s there was one block in Harlem that was known to be one of the most dangerous and drug-infested areas of its era. Drugs and violence took over the neighborhood. Not many can say heroin and crack was sold in the same block generating up to $200K per day. Welcome to Wagner & Taino Towers: The most dangerous neighborhood in East Harlem.
The filmmakers document the true events of East Harlem’s struggles from the 80′s up until now. You will see live news footages, interviews and visuals of the crack (Purple City Crack Gang) and Heroin Era (The Obsession Crew). The Bloods’ expansion into Harlem is also covered, and get into the minds of Harlem hustlers as they continue to pass the torch by way of Death + Prison.
This documentary is based on the influences of gang members, drug dealers and rappers in Harlem growing up in 1970. Before Harlem was known for your favorite rappers, it was known for the violent gangs that fought against each other in 1970s. Afrikka Bammbada created a peace treaty within the gangs by organizing one of the largest crews, called the Zulu Nation. The Zulu Nation found a constructive way to compete with one another through rap culture, but when drugs like crack flooded the poor neighborhoods, it helped turn gang members into crack dealers and dope pushers in the early 80s.
During this transition, East Harlem stood out, not only for the millions of dollars generated every day in the drugs spots, but also for the racial tension between Blacks, Hispanics, and Italians. The Italians only dealt with Hispanics in the neighborhood, giving Hispanics the power in the drug trade and the number game (gambling), leaving Blacks powerless in their own neighborhood. This was all until the late 80s, when a Black man named Bob Lemon was given permission by Purple City Crack Gang leader KC (Hispanic), to open up his own drug operation on the same block. KC thought it would take some of the heat off of him, but both operations in one block began generating more than $2 million a week.
After the fall of both, Purple City and Bob Lemons Obsession Crew, the Bloods resurrected the neighborhood with more unorganized violence and drugs. East Harlem was responsible for one of the first Blood gang organizations to come out of New York. Once ruled by drugs, Harlem was soon run by gangs too.
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