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Azie Faison - Game Over

Azie Faison: The Rise and Transformation of a Harlem Hustler

With all this resurgent talk of gangsters past and present as Denzel Washington and Jay-Z’s latest is upon us, it’s important to remember the life of a drug dealer is all good in the sense of visceral entertainment, but in real life the drug game is far less glamorous.

Over the weekend I read Azie Faison’s autobiography, “Game Over.”  Along with Rich Porter and Alpo, Azie was among Harlem’s biggest cocaine dealers in the mid-late 80’s. You may have heard their story in Dame Dash’s movie “Paid in Full.” The movie was originally called “Trapped” which Azie wrote not just to tell his life story, but to show the unglamorous things aspiring dealers would find once the ‘high’ of having money, cash, and hos wore off.

Azie met up with Dame Dash to get the story produced. His 189 page screenplay would have resulted in a 3 1/2 hour movie, so it needed some editing, but Azie felt it got watered down too much. He loved the acting but not the story.

Paid in Full


When I met up with Roc-A-Fella, I was excited and hopeful.. but after dozens of meetings with the movie representatives, my feelings changed. I felt like someone took my life, commercialized it, and stripped it of all the truth and power it formerly contained.

The finished product made little reference to the social forces that push so many youth to sell and use drugs. My experiences in school and decision to drop out were not mentioned. There were no portrayal of corrupt law enforcement officials and how they cooperate with drug dealers and other criminals just to make a fast buck. [in the book he talks about cops that would stop his car and take handfuls of money he had in the trunk and let him drive away with the drugs.]

Paid in Full shows that I left the drug game after my shoooting, but fails to show how I changed my life..
Instead of promoting my opinion that the drug game is over, Paid in Full encourages people to idolize the game and its star players.”

That’s where his book comes in.

He takes it from being an every day kid in the hood watching Good Times, to being able to drop $50,000 in cash on a shiny, new Benz, BMW, or whatever other flavor ride of the week it was; all of them tricked out, butter leather interior, at any given time $20 - 30 thousand dollars in his pockets. This took place before he hit his 21st birthday. No bodyguards or security necessary. Azie’s thing was, treat your people good and they have no need to fear or harm you. Instead they’ll want to do anything to get down with the team.

He says his lifestyle influenced the rappers of the day. Think Bizmarkie or Eric B and Rakim’s thick jewels and custom Dapper Danned Gucci track suits. Although he admits to personally knowing and listening to rappers of that golden era, his opinion of the rap lifestyle was something else..


“Rap music was corny to Harlem street hustlers back in the eighties. We felt most of the rappers were clowns talking shit they knew nothing about. They dressed funny to us and rhymed about silly shit.”

In classic Harlem style he talks about riding through the streets in a brand new ‘UFO’ blasting Steve Arrington’s “Dancing in the Key of Life.”

While we’re talking classic R&B. He also mentioned someone familiar who wanted to get down with the drug game: Teddy Riley took Azie’s advice and stuck to music.

Once the block got sour Azie did try to escape the drug game for rap. Can’t leave that out because he devotes an entire chapter to it that also details how he was being tracked by the Feds.

The book reads like a street novel - but it’s all true.

Money, Sex, Betrayal, Murder.. and Revelation.

“My near-death experience made me do some soul searching… my mind began to pick up ideas on a whole nother frequency. I realized that the money, jewelry, and cars were all temporary. Once I embraced the truth about the direction of my life, I began to have a spiritual battle inside. The little voice inside tried to pull me up the spiritual ladder.. it was very difficult to walk away from the game cold turkey..

Listening to the voice of God forced me to see things I didn’t want to deal with. I lost the love I had for the drug game. I began to love knowledge; the more I learned, the more I wanted to learn.

The mind is an incredible piece of work. Once your mind is right things fall into place. You attract the right people, ideas and experiences into your world.”

Did I link to the book? Here it is, five stars - Game Over: The Rise and Transformation of a Harlem Hustler


☼ What's Your Opinion? ☼

gravatar iconAgyei Tyehimba- Thu, Sep 27, 2007 - 11:39 am

Peace!

I am the brother that wrote Azie’s book “Game Over,” and I am glad to see your writeup of our book. Since street novels are so popular these days, we figured that youth need to know the real deal from someone who has the authority to tell the story. I encourage everybody to check out the book. Trust, you will find it hard to put down, and your heart and mind will be touched. Please spread the word…

Agyei Tyehimba
http://www.freewebs.com/agyei143

gravatar iconJennifer 106- Mon, Dec 03, 2007 - 5:09 pm

This message is to Azie. I read the book and it was excellent. After reading the book I cry myself to sleep. I was touched by the fact that you have GOD in your life and have never been ashamed to tell or show it. I was also touched by the comments you made in reference to your daughters mother Pat Porter. I think the things you said were wonderful. The book to me was done with such consistency never missing a beat. I was amazed, now this is coming from a woman who’s watched ever Alpo documentary 3x, Nicky Bonds Untouchables 1x, Game Over 3x, Rayful Edmond 2x. I think this was the Best book ever. I was definitely touched. I grew up in Spanish Harlem (Carver Project) not far from 1st Ave where Alpo lived, I knew Whip Wop and it was so good to hear you mention Whip Wop especially because I haven’t seen him since who knows when. But I say to you keep your head up and I think you are doing a wonderful job and I believe GOD put you here for a reason and you are definitely serving your purpose.

gravatar iconFrench Cat- Mon, Dec 17, 2007 - 6:46 am

Just to give Azie some respect for his novel.

French Cat from Paris.

gravatar iconkenny mack parkchester- Wed, Jan 09, 2008 - 2:08 am

azie the book touched me hard and deep im 38 hustled in the bx in the 80’s 90’s the game is over and i tell young kids it’s not the way. we need to keep on telling em. peace one love brother

gravatar iconjay frm MN- Sun, Jan 13, 2008 - 1:56 pm

does anybody know where Alpo is now

gravatar iconLMK..NEWARK,NJ- Mon, Feb 11, 2008 - 1:50 pm

after reading this book I was almost brought to tears, born and raised in Newark NJ, I spend ample time in Harlem to escape the torments and despair of my city, that’ll give u an idea of how terrible an inner city can be anywhere. The book is written excellent and I urge any and everyone to take the time out to witness history…while reading it you’ll feel like you’re standing on 132nd and 7th Avenues. Peace to you Azie and those around you brother…you’re truly one of Gods gifts given back to the world to learn from…

gravatar iconjoy, from valentine ave, the bronx,,- Mon, Apr 28, 2008 - 4:06 pm

I’m glad to say i have had the pleasure of meeting Mr.azie faison just last night in a casino. I told him how i read the book a few times, and that everytime i read it, its like the first time. I never get tired of the story, its motivating in a positive way. It shows you that life is whats important in life. not materials. everytime i pass the building on the concourse where these murders happened , it takes me back to the book, and i think about everyone involved, especially azie. i just wanted to let you know that your spirit is powerful and i was drawn to you, God has his hands upon you, blessing you. your spirit is powerful.

gravatar iconMONIQUE- Mon, May 19, 2008 - 5:54 pm

THIS WEEKEND I HAD THE PLEASURE OF WATCHING THE GAME OVER DVD.  I TOO HAD GROWN UP DURING THE ERA OF AZ, ALPO, AND RICH, AND I REMEMBER THE COOKOUTS AND THE RUTGER GAMES, THE ROOFTOP AND THE EXCITEMENT.  I ALSO REMEMBER THE LEGIONS OF BROTHERS AND SISTERS LOST DURING THAT TIME(DRUGS, MURDERED, OR JUST DIED).  I HAD MY SON (16 YRS.) WATCH THE MOVIE IN ITS ENTIRETY TWICE.  I FELT THIS MOVIE ALLOWED MY SON TO SEE THE GLAMOROUS AND NOT SO GLAMOROUS SIDE OF FAST MONEY. MY SON ALREADY HAD A SOUR TASTE IN HIS MOUTH FOR FAST MONEY, BUT I THINK THIS MOVIE LET HIM SEE THAT DRUG MONEY IS NO ALTERNATIVE IF YOU WANT A LIFE FREE OF CRIME. I TELL MY SON ALL THE TIME THAT THE SHIT YOU HEAR FROM THESE RAPPERS IS BULLSHIT.  NUMBER ONE, THESE RAPPERS ARE RAPPING ABOUT A LIFESTYLE THAT THEY DO NOT REALLY LIVE, THEY ARE RAPPING ABOUT SOMETHING THAT REALLY YEARS AGO.  AND THE SAD PART ABOUT IT IS THAT THEY HAVE OUR YOUNG BLACK MEN TRYING TO BE GANGSTAS FOR SNEAKER MONEY.  I AM AN ENLIGHTENED SINGLE BLACK MOTHER AND I STAY ON MY SON’S ASS ABOUT THE DANGER OF THE STREET.  THANK YOU AZ FOR MAKING SOMETHING THAT SHOWS THE REAL NATURE OF THE WOLF AND HOW IT DEVOURS IT’S PREY.

gravatar iconX Factor- Thu, May 22, 2008 - 4:59 pm

I just purchased the book as an anniversary gift to my husband on Tuesday - not only did i recognize you and the name i just watched the movie over the weekend on TV1 - but the title itself was synonymous to my husband’s life as well others who grew up around the drug game in DC. Prayerfully my husband left the game to make a decent life for himself and family. I have to admit i wished i would have read the book before i ever saw the documentary and movie but the book explains alot of loop holes in the movie and i am glad you are able to tell your side of the story and its not just one of these so called ghetto tales - keep up the good work and just like i tell my husband - life is good appreciate it

gravatar iconquaylin caban- Tue, Jun 10, 2008 - 12:29 pm

someone from your camp contact the new york public library for a book talk
please contact me for more information
757-263-7026

gravatar iconANTOINE PERIGNON- Fri, Feb 12, 2010 - 1:58 pm

I think azie is a real dude. I met A when i was 13 and told me to stay in school GOD BLESS HIS SOUL

gravatar iconEleanor Bradley- Tue, Apr 20, 2010 - 9:34 pm

i just completed Azie faison’s game over…i think that it was a wonderful read..i couldnt put it down….i read it in one day…loved it!..i recommend that everyone read this book….

gravatar iconMOEEAZY - Tue, Oct 12, 2010 - 2:11 pm

just read the book and watched the dvd game over it was amaizing brother…your inspiration to alot of young people where i’m from…not because of the drug game but how you changed your life after…email me @www.moeeazy757@yahoo.com i wanna keep in touch stay blessed homie

gravatar iconEROL- Mon, Nov 22, 2010 - 4:52 pm

i watched the alpo story and read game over,seen paid in full plenty times! loved em all! A you a rel dude! but one thing that really caught my attention is that RICH was killed as i was bein born!

gravatar iconjay 111 st. 1ave- Sun, Jun 17, 2012 - 6:27 pm

Glad to know that you learned from your past.I was born and raised in el barrio.Not to far from wilson project,east river.I hope you continue preaching and helping the youth.So many of them are dying,following the wrong path.May GOD continue to bless you.

gravatar iconACTAY- Tue, Nov 20, 2012 - 10:21 pm

I watched the movie several times…I understood it was based on true lives, but I didnt know the real story. Its amazing how young and smart these guys were at the age of 13 and up handling serious business like that becoming million heirs. As time passes u c the boy in them as the pressures of the game changes. Black males are born hustlers once they c a door they going through it exspecially if they hungry enough. Thats why we as parents, godparents, stepmothers, stepfathers, fathers, uncles, aunts, cousins, etc.need to step up in a big way be a role model. If they c u doing something postive and making postive money and stress to them the importance of their worth they will be alright along with prayer like my mom alway say. Thankz 4 Stepping Up

gravatar iconLolita- Mon, Mar 17, 2014 - 5:29 pm

I rember was there u left out stuff too

gravatar iconKenny Hines -Downing - Mon, Jun 16, 2014 - 4:53 pm

I would like to meet azie personally, I think his story is incredible! I think your very blessed, and yes my bro, the spirit was with u that faithful night. I have a business, proposition for u. I think u can help a brother. 856-409-3987 give me a call. It’s about a clothing line. Im from Camden n.j. Peace and Blessings! Always on the level!

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