This episode features Dana Bostic and his Chicago gang, The New Breeds. Bostic, known as "Bird," came of age on Chicago's tough west side. He grew up slinging drugs on the corner and ended up a heroin kingpin in his hometown. With a connection to a Mexican cartel, Bostic's New Breeds would package and distribute heroin and defend their turf with violence. When the body count started to rise, Bird and the New Breeds were taken down. They are all serving significant sentences in prison.
This episode explores the gangland matriarch Maria "Chata" Leon and the criminal underworld created by her murderous brood of gangbanger children. Leaders of the Drew Street Clique of the Avenues Gang, this family ruled a small pocket of Los Angeles for decades. By way of slinging crack cocaine and methamphetamine Maria Leon accrued a great amount of wealth but her status in the hood dwarfed any financial gain she could earn. With an air of invincibility, Maria Leon commanded a reign of terror in L.A. only to be brought to justice by vast federal RICO indictments and multiple military style police invasions into her neighborhood. Maria now awaits her third deportation in federal prison in California.
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The 1990s was the era of the riot grrrl, the rapper and Lilith Fair, which served to reshape traditional ideas of feminism. Artists such as Bikini Kill, Meg White, Queen Latifah and Lady Gaga were able to explore the formerly male-dominated areas of the music industry and become some of the leading voices of the industry. Whether in high-heels, stilettos, or army boots, these ladies stood toe-to-toe with any male artist of the day.
In the 1920s, women like Ma Rainey and Bessie Smith were the first—and for a while, the only—artists to record the blues. American women of this era made great strides toward gaining equality and basic human rights for themselves and others in society, including attaining the right to vote and working toward social justice. The 20th century was a wide-open opportunity for women to embrace the modern world, outside of the traditional bounds of the home.
American society experienced a revolution in the late 1960s and early 70s, especially for African-Americans and women. Janis Joplin was the finest white blues singer of her generation; female singer-songwriters like Carole King and Joni Mitchell shared their innermost thoughts and feelings; Aretha Franklin emerged as the Queen of Soul; and Bonnie Raitt established herself as both a strong vocalist and a brilliant guitarist. Through their music, the women of this era created the soundtrack of social progress.
Women became the center of the 1970s mainstream, from The Runaways and Heart to Fleetwood Mac and Donna Summer. The gains of the feminist movement throughout the 70s enabled women working in all areas of the music industry to assume more control over their careers.
Madonna unapologetically celebrated and monetized her sexuality when she began her career in the 1980s. Her bold behavior paved the way for other female performers—including Cyndi Lauper, Britney Spears, and Janet Jackson—giving them the freedom to explore previously taboo roles and take control of their image and career.
The DIY aspect of punk rock made it easier for a woman such as Siouxsie Sioux, Deborah Harry, Marianne Faithfull and Kim Deal to find a place in music. "That was the beuty of the punk thing," Chrissie Hynde later said. "[Sexual] discrimination didn't exist in that scene."