Ask anyone who hails from Atlanta, GA and they can probably tell you all about Curtis Snow, who like Nicky Barnes in New York and Freeway Rick Ross in Los Angeles, has become an almost mythical figure deeply rooted in street lore.
Snow's legend soared to even greater heights in 2011 after the release of the semi-autobiographical film Snow On The Bluff, which gave people a no-holds-barred account of what it was like for the crack dealer/armed robber growing up in the crime-riddled streets of the notorious Atlanta neighborhood known as The Bluff.
The film has influenced a number of rappers from the Atlanta area including Gucci Mane, Killer Mike, T.I. and B.O.B., who named one of his mixtapes "F**k 'Em We Ball" after one of Snow On The Bluff's most famous lines.
With the help of Calvin Stovall, Curtis has just released his autobiography, "My Name is Curtis Snow and I'm a G," which offers a more accurate and in-depth look at the tumultuous everyday life of one of America's most feared street CEOs.
"I really have been working on the book for 15 years, ever since 9th grade," Snow told Examiner.com. "I knew how I wanted it to be I just didn't have nobody to help me push it and get it out there," he added.
Even as a young man, Snow knew that his way of doing things was not something that kids look up to. It was that sense of self-awareness that inspired him to put the book out.
"I don't want them to go through what I had to go through to get to this point," lamented Snow. "I'm just trying to get my message out there. Cause I damn near died trying to do this, but God willing I accomplished it," he also noted.
Like Tupac said on his 1995 hit song "I Ain't Mad At Ya," "Change is good for any of us." But as Snow can attest to, switching up your life is easier said than done.
"Man, I lost so many friends that were with me when I used to be running around in these streets doing a lot of crazy s**t," remembered Snow." Then when I said I wasn't with that no more they started talking," he added.
Snow has turned his life around with some help from his new circle of friends, which includes filmmaker John Singleton, who has taken on a sort of mentor role. He has also inked a deal with skateboard company DGK (Dirty Ghetto Kids) who has produced a line of boards that pay homage to Snow.
Most importantly Snow is speaking at schools and churches in hopes of inspiring young people to live the right way without having to go through what he did. For every life he touches, Curtis Snow inches ever closer to fulfilling the unwritten chapter that could only be called "Redemption."
"It's really gonna make an impact on the neighborhood. That's the next generation and it starts right here."