It’s easy to understand why the author of gangstories has found dredging up his past to be too painful to continue, but it’s sort of a shame. You don’t often get this kind of clear-eyed gripping depiction of life in poor neighborhoods, let alone honest portrayal of gangbanging without all the “gangsta” glamour shoveled on top by many popular movies, videos, and music.
Here’s an excerpt:
Dealers are respected for two basic reasons: dealing in cash makes them appear richer than they really are, and always packing heat makes them physically untouchable. The threat of robbery makes it hard for dealers to store much wealth. So they wear it, drive it, and stuff rolls of it in their pocket, and that makes them look like “ballers”. And always packing heat for protection means dealers never get their asses kicked, at least in public. That combination of apparent wealth and toughness was the holy grail of social status, and was something we all looked up to.