Profile Essay

Topics: Illegal drug trade, Drug, Harlem Pages: 3 (677 words) Published: April 29, 2014
Baylor Mitchell
English 101 – 5T
Ashmita Gupta

Review Essay
Vibe Magazine author, Kris Ex, wrote an article in October 2002 titled “Bad Fellas” that caught my attention. “Without ever picking up a microphone, three kids from Harlem laid down the blueprint for mainstream hip hop culture, even as they courted self-destruction. Though these kingpins never formed an official crew, their stories are interwoven like a plait. At 12, Rich, who grew up in West Harlem, was dealing marijuana and a fake-hash concoction. AZ, who worked across the street from where Rich hustled, stashed Rich’s drugs and guns at his dry-cleaning job, and eventually partnered up with him. Alpo, who came from East Harlem, began his life in crime sticking up Dominican drug dealers. A magnet for the ladies and the uncontested live wire of the bunch, Alpo videotaped his sexual conquests and performed block-long wheelies on his motorcycles, wreaking havoc.” The lives of these three men: Azie “AZ” Faison, Richard Porter, and Alberto “Alpo” Martinez inspired the production of Roc-A-Fella Films 2002 American crime drama “Paid in Full” directed by Charles Stone III. "Paid in Full" expresses the story of a young man who rises to the top of the cocaine industry in Harlem. The main character, Ace, who is played by Wood Harris, is stuck in a dead end job working in a dry cleaner's shop. His sister's boyfriend, Calvin, is a big time drug dealer who often tries to lure Ace into becoming a part of the drug trade with promises of fast money and glamour. Ace resists these temptations, warning constantly that Calvin's flashy style and audacious method of dealing will get him arrested. When Calvin does get locked up, Ace ends up taking his position on the streets after a chance encounter with Lulu, a Dominican drug dealer. With the help of his friend Mitch, who is played by Mekhi Phifer, and their partner and enforcer Rico, who is played by Cam’ron Jiles, he creates a huge drug empire in Harlem. However,...
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