Street Stories

Timeline of Oakland Kingpins

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Streets of Oakland:

Short Story of Oakland CA Drug Kingpins

The culture of the Bay Area is very rich, on the positive side with the Black Panthers standing up for the community and on the negative side with the numerous pimps, hustlers, and gangsters that once roamed the major cities of the Bay Area.

As the Black Panther movement was slowly fading away, a new era of Oakland was becoming as many were turning to the streets. The dope game of the Bay Area started during the 1970s with heroin and escalated during the 1980s and into the 1990s with the introduction of crack and rival turf wars, especially in the city of Oakland.

According to author Titus Lee Barnes, there were three main neighborhoods in the city that were contributing to much of the mayhem and were profiting the most from it, Funktown, 23rd and the 6-9 Mob (69th Ville).

The Funktown neighborhood, which is currently being gentrified, was based just blocks away from Oakland’s downtown and was the first neighborhood one would arrive in if they were to travel into East Oakland. A legendary area that had much of reputation as anywhere else in Oakland was allegedly recording thousands weekly, if not more, in profits during the 70s and 80s.

Now known as Lion Creek Crossing, the former 69 Ville housing complex was the once home of the well known 69 Mob. Some may claim that the rise of Felix Mitchel, aka Big Fee, is something that was never seen before and has yet to be duplicated. Some may also claim that Big Fee was the pioneer of the dope game as he and the 69 Mob, which also consisted of T. Black and Lil D who followed after Big Fee’s arrest, became very profitable while being hated among competition.

In an area with plenty of monikers, the Rollin’ 20s, Murder Dubbs, or the Twomps, the main rival of the 69 Mob was the Family, which were centered around 23rd. At the head was Mickey Mo, who along with others were involved in a very violent dispute with the Funktown neighborhood during the 1980s. The war between them was just the beginning of what would become of the town of Oakland during the 1980s and 1990s.

The Bay Area had plenty of legends who became millionaires, or close to it, from the streets, like Hollyrock of West Oakland’s Acorn Projects, Ant Flowers of East Oakland, Big Kev out of Vallejo, who was also accused of plotting to bomb the courthouse to destroy evidence, and J. Beasley, the biggest hustler to ever come out of San Francisco. Not until ’93, after his arrest, did authorities realize that R. Henderson was the one who truly made the most money out of everyone during that time.

Before the rise of the Bay Area’s true dope game, there was the Ward Brothers who were very diverse in their activities from pimping to hustling, mainly through the 1960s and 1970s, as the character from the film The Mack was based on them.

To be clear, the streets of Oakland never had a gang problem as Bloods and Crips dominated everywhere in the United States except for the Bay Area. The authorities many claim that there are gangs in the Bay Area, but in actuality their claim is just people claiming or being affiliated to a specific neighborhood.

Today’s street game is totally different, so the state of Oakland CA drug kingpins. With the streets being far removed from the highly profitable crack era and gentrification change the total makeup of numerous Bay Area urban neighborhoods, the streets have almost made a complete 180 change.

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Further Readings on Oakland CA Drug Kingpins:

Barnes, Titus Lee. Drug Lords of Oakland. Createspace. 2018.

Walker, Thaai. “Drug Kingpin’s Sentencing Ends Bloody Era in Oakland / Decades of turf wars over as citizens reclaim their city”. SF Gate. 16 February 1999.