For this week’s edition of the “Big Facts” podcast, hosts Big Bank, DJ Scream, and Baby Jade sat down with Curtis “Curtbone” Chambers. The conversation ventured through various parts of his life, including the crack epidemic in the ’80s, Rayful Edmond, hip hop in D.C., and several other topics.
Curtbone started his career as a drug dealer during the late ’80s, selling drugs as early as 12 years old throughout his neighborhood in Washington, D.C. even before crack emerged. Enamored by the flashy lifestyle of the older guys around him, the allure of fast money and street prestige propelled Curtbone to fully immerse himself in the dangerous and illicit game.
Reflecting on his past, he explained that it wasn’t a lack of parental care or financial struggle that led him down that path. “I was more so influenced by the climate because I wasn’t one of them dudes who got a story talking about your mother didn’t feed you. My mother kept a good job, stepfather worked,” he said. “Where I was from, I was a leader in about four or five neighborhoods with the fighting s**t. When the crack and all that hit, the system was in place.” When the epidemic struck, he was primed to take advantage of the existing system and make his mark on the streets.
Elsewhere in the conversation, Curtbone revealed how he was involved in one of D.C.’s most formidable drug cases involving Rayful Edmond III. Edmond, Curtbone’s former friend and co-defendant, is largely known for introducing cocaine into the Washington area during the early ’90s, reportedly smuggling 1,000 to 2,000 pounds from the Trujillo-Blanco brothers. “We had a big fight at my high school. Some dudes from his neighborhood got transferred to my high school because they got put out of theirs. So they came over there trying the same old trick not knowing it’s a different landscape,” Curtbone recalled. “We ended up meeting a week or two after that and we broke bread later.”
Allegedly, Edmond grossed up to $300 million annually in revenue, employing over 150 people before he was ultimately arrested and convicted in 1989. He received life without parole alongside his convicted mother and various family members, later becoming a government informant in 1996 in exchange for a sentence reduction. “He ended up telling. He was locked up for 10 years for his bid, and he ended up catching another charge, and he worked with the government,” Curtbone recounted. “That broke the whole city’s heart. We used to lay our head on that.” According to authorities, Edmond’s cooperation helped arrest 11 drug dealers and solve approximately 20 homicides.
Midway through the interview, Curtbone also recalled meeting Alpo Martinez — notably played by Cam’ron in 2002’s cult-favorite film Paid in Full — whilst he was expanding his drug trade to Washington. “The Alpo I know was trying to get some money. He was hustling, he wasn’t getting in nobody lanes. He was f**king with a few broads,” Curtbone stated. Martinez was arrested in 1991 on 14 counts of murder and several drug charges before eventually being released in 2015 after he testified against former associates. “I guess he changed with the climate. But before then, it was all business. He was one of them dudes who came in town and that had some joints, and dude was working.”
“I f**k with all of them. Shy [Glizzy]… Young E Class, Fat Trel, Wale. I mess with all of them,” Curtbone shared regarding some of his favorite rappers from the DMV area. DJ Scream interjected, asking the entrepreneur how it feels to be mentioned in various songs, to which he replied, “It’s cool because it makes you feel like you at least played it the right way because they feel honorable to speak on you like that, but I like it more so because it gives me the credibility [for] the work I do. When I meet youngins now, even they tense up when they Google you.”
Going forward, Curtbone is now spending his time educating and mentoring the youth in his hometown. He shared, “Learn yourself. Know yourself, so you can always adapt to any situation. Don’t let no peer pressure lead you to nothing. I don’t care what it is, be honorable to your word. However you walk, people are going to watch your walk.”
Later in the interview, the D.C. legend opened up about his experience being back home, Edmond allegedly being homosexual, dealing with racism during his era, and how his life has changed since being incarcerated. This past year, the creative also launched his own podcast series, “Curtbone TV,” where he chats with various personalities about street culture, gems for young people, and much more.
If you liked the recap of this week’s “Big Facts,” make sure you stay tuned in for new episodes every Thursday. Plus, don’t forget to watch the latest show here.
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