Kenneth “Supreme” McGriff, Wayne “Silk” Perry, Anthony Jones, Aaron Jones, Peter “Pistol Pete” Rollack, and George “Boy George” Rivera all have one thing in common in Seth Ferranti’s Street Legends; honor thy code of the streets.
From the hoods of New York to Southeast Asia, and places in between, the six men noted above were gangsters in every sense of the word. Each was able to build an empire that was comprised of racketeering, murder, fear, and love. Yes, these men were loved. Loved by the legions of men that followed them, by drug addicts whom they supplied with their fix, loved by the community they gave back to, revered in rap songs, and in some instances, loved by law enforcement officials. Ironically, it was these same group of individuals who feared them, breathing life into Niccolo Machiavelli’s question; is it better to be loved or feared? But the legend’s stories exemplified how it was possible to be both, simultaneously. The volume also allowed for the examination of crime life and asked one basic question of all involved; was it worth it? With varying degrees of responses to this question, Street Legends provided an opportunity for readers to determine their own perspective by providing first-hand testimony from all of the crowned legends, friends, acquaintances, snitches, and legal documents. Understand that these legends were not given that title because of the plethora of drugs, murders, and money they obtained. Something much deeper, morally as a matter of fact, was the determining factor.
I applaud Seth Ferranti for his dedication to putting together a well-rounded view of the men he is paying homage to. The depths of the testimonies are what pulled me in and kept me reading. The lack of proper editing made it a slow read though. Street Legends would be a good guide for individuals who want to know the real meaning of `keepin’ it gangsta.’ Urban fiction fans and people who indulge in crime reads will also enjoy it.
Reviewed by Darnetta Frazier