celebrity news and gossip

Alpo Martinez: Where is the Infamous Harlem Drug Kingpin?

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Alberto “Alpo” Martinez is a name that most will not know, however if you happen to be a New York City resident or are a history enthusiast with a preference on the War on Drugs plight within the United States of America then you may have heard of his name as the legend, the myth, as one of the Drug Kingpins of Harlem.

However, like all popular Drug Kingpins–like El Chapo–who earn themselves a recognizable legacy the empire they’ve built tends to fall as does the legend who sits upon it.

But whatever became of Alpo?

For the last 25 years, Alpo has been believed to have been a resident of ADX Florence which is a federal supermax prison located in Fremont County, Colorado serving a 35-year sentence for 14 counts of homicide. However, according to those who are connected to Alpo that is no longer the case.

It is rumored that for the past few years Alpo has been out of prison, but the last place you may ever see him is back in New York City.

Back in the mid-1980s, during the early days of when the USA began its quest to combat drug-trafficking into the country in what has become known as the War on Drugs13-year-old Puerto Rican boy named Alberto Martinez—Alpo to those on the streets—rose in prominence within Harlem as a Drug Kingpin.

With a drug trade that consisted of transporting hundreds of kilos of crack-cocaine through various parts of New York City, other Northeast cities, and most noticeably Washington D.C.—where he lived during the last few days of his drug empire—Alpo became somewhat a street legend due to his dangerous lifestyle. Alpo’s life was eventually adapted into a 2002 movie entitled Paid in Full that starred rapper Cam’ron as Alpo.

 

 

He brought attention to himself. He was charismatic and outgoing. He had a party always going on around him and people gravitated to him,” remembers Kevin Chiles, a former Harlem drug dealer who knew Alpo, in a recent interview with Vice magazine back in 2015 where he disclosed that Alpo is no longer in prison.

While he was a legend for flashing his millionaire wealth with expensive cars, clothes, and jewelry, Alpo was also widely known for committing several murders during his drug kingpin reign.

In the 1990s, Alpo was involved in several murders that made him notorious. However, there was one murder that would begin the dismantling of both his drug empire and his legacy.

On January 3, 1990, Alpo and an accomplice murdered Rich Porter who was Alpo’s one time friend and actually sold drugs with when teenagers. It was Alpo murdering Porter that led those who once revered him to turn their backs on him.

Rich’s death had a huge impact on Harlem. The timing couldn’t have been worse,” said Chiles, “Richard was in the middle of negotiating the release of his 12-year-old brother, Donnell, who had been kidnapped and was being held for $500,000 ransom. Rich was killed, and then a few days later the body of his little brother was found in the same vicinity.”

While the death of Porter dented Alpo’s reputation, the silver bullet that would destroy his legacy would come after Alpo choose to testify against his former enforcer. Before an open court, Alpo turned on his former Washington D.C. enforcer in order to avoid serving a life sentence for the murders he had been arrested for committing.

After breaking the street law of snitching, Alpo was to serve as reduce sentence of 35 years for 14 counts of murder. However back in September of 2015, according to Don Diva magazine—a magazine developed by Chiles in prison that is devoted to the drug underworld and New York City street life—Alpo has been out of prison for the last few years.

Despite being rumored to being out of prison, the chances of Alpo returning to New York City is very slim.

I am most certain that Alpo won’t come back to New York. He knows he has a bullseye on him. That situation with Rich left Harlem scarred and people have strong feelings about it,” said Chiles, talking about the possibility of Alpo returning to NYC. “I could see a younger dude, on the come-up, try to make a name for themselves by taking Alpo out. They would be instantly infamous. I’m sure these are things he should be considering.”

So, where is Alpo Martinez? That is a question that may not be answered.

George Lopez’s ‘Lopez’ on TV Land gets a 2nd Season!

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George Lopez seems to have another hit series on his hands with the recently announced renewal of his TV Land’s series aptly titled Lopez.

Check out our exclusive interview with George Lopez below! 

 

The series follows Lopez as he portrays a fictional version of himself trying to cope with all the demands that comes with being a celebrity as well as trying to fulfill a desire to give back to the Latino community within the area in-which he grew up in.

The TV Land series is the third comedy series for Lopez. From 2002 to 2007, Lopez starred in ABC’s George Lopez and in 2014 in FX’s Saint George

Lopez serves as executive producer on the series.

Season one of the series began back in March, and the season finale is scheduled to air on June 22nd.

Sofia Reyes ready to dominate American music industry!

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Sofia Reyes is about to become a big name in the U.S. and could become the next pulling force to stir a new Latin explosion in the music industry.

Two years ago, bachata superstar Prince Royce signed the Monterey, Mexico native to his label called D’León Records, and since then Reyes has been garnering a reputation within the music scene.

Collaborating with reggeaton veteran Wisin, electronic dance music trio Cash Cash, singer Kendal Schmidt, and Prince Royce himself, Reyes could be the leading force that brings a second Latin craze similar to the one seen back in 1999 that introduced Americans to Ricky Martin, Marc Anthony, and Shakira.

I’m really thankful for [Prince Royce’s] support,” said Reyes, 20, in a recent interview about her climbing success. “He’s an amazing person and an amazing artist. He works so hard, and that’s why I admire him so much, and I am just really thankful that artists like him and Wisin and Kendal Schmidt support my career.”

With only a few singles to her name, Reyes is nearing the release of her first studio album which some fans are expecting to drop in June.

I’ve been working on it for three years—which is a long time—and I’m actually working on my second album [as well], because I don’t want to waste any more time,” she said. “These singles are just a little bit of what my album is going to be.”

Reyes albums will feature some songs in English, some in Spanish, and some that are in both. Much like Ricky Martin, Marc Anthony, and Shakira, Reyes album and would surely impact more audience members in the country.

I grew up listening to English music, to Spanish music – so singing in both languages for me is very natural,” she said. “It’s not forzado (forced). I feel like people all around the world keep listening to my music. Even people who don’t speak Spanish love my Spanish songs, which is really cool. I feel like music has no rules.”

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Eva Longoria to Wed this weekend! Maybe.

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Eva Longoria might be a married woman come next week.

According to sources, the former Desperate Housewives and Telenovela star will be reportedly tying the knot with her fiancé Jose Antonio Baston in Mexico this upcoming weekend

After dating for nearly three years, Longoria,41, and Baston,47, announced their engagement back in December after being on a romantic getaway vacation to Dubai.

It was such a surprise,” the actress told the Today show earlier this year. Longoria also added that the wedding will be a “big fat Mexican wedding.”

Sources are saying that the wedding will be held at Jane the Virgin actor Jaime Camil’s home which is located in Acapulco, Mexico. The source also stated that guests may include the likes of David and Victoria Beckham, Penelope Cruz, Ricky Martin, Mario Lopez, as well as Longoria’s Telenovela co-star Amaury Nolasco.

Reps for Longoria refused to give a comment regarding the possible nuptials. So, whatever the case may be—congratulations to the star!

‘Sons of Anarchy’ returns to FX with a Latino Twist

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Sons of Anarchy fans can rejoice as the show will be returning to FX, but it will be returning with a Latino twist.

Back in December 2014, Kurt Stutter’s hit biker gang series aired its final episode after 7 seasons. Since its end, Stutter announced just 8 months ago that he had plans to revisit the biker drama that he created and millions of fans came to love.

So now his announcement comes to life as FX has ordered a script for a spin-off to the series entitled, Mayans MC.

Much like SOA, the show will have the same tone and spirit as the original series but will have a “Latino lens” of the biker world of the show by following the Mayan biker gang that held a big role on the original series.

SOA was FX’s highest rated series during the show’s run on the network and followed the biker gang known as SAMCRO (Sons of Anarchy Motorcycle Club, Redwood Original) and its main character Jackson “Jax” Teller (played by Charlie Hunnam) rise to ultimately leading the gang and his fellow bikers.

In a recent interview about the series, Stutter will work on the series with Elgin James in co-producing the series.

I wanted to find a strong, unique Latino voice. Because I didn’t think a white guy from Jersey should be writing about Latin culture and traditions—Elgin is that voice,” said Stutter.

James could be a good source for the upcoming series considering the hardships he has had to overcome in his own life. Homeless as a teenager, James found himself forming his own street gang that reportedly targeted Neo-Nazis & Drug Dealers.

After spending more than 15 years in the gang, James eventually left the gang and traveled to Los Angeles where he entered the Sundance Institute Feature Film program and got his start in the film industry.

James made his directorial debut at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival for the film Little Birds which starred Juno Temple & Leslie Mann.

However, a few months after his debut James began serving time in prison for a past gang-related matter. But despite the brief stint in jail, once out James continued what he started in Hollywood and is now branching into the small screen.

On the original series of SOA, the Mayans MC bike gang was led by Marcus Alvarez who was played by Emilio Rivera. No word yet on if Rivera will appear on the series as a regular.

Fast & Furious 8 causes Traffic Jams in Cuba!

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While the Fast & Furious franchise is continuing to grow as its next installment is currently being filmed in Cuba it may be a joy to some of the film’s fan but an upset to some Cuban residents.

Earlier this month, the 8th installment of the Fast & Furious series began filming and is said to be the film series first of the final trilogy of films that will conclude its run and send the franchise’s main characters off with a bang. And sadly, with Paul Walker passing thus the film giving his character a bittersweet sendoff from Fast & Furious 7 the film series finds a new addition to its cast in Charlize Theron.

And much like the excitement of the film series itself, the residents of Cuba are becoming excited as well by the grand film production that has appeared in the Caribbean country. Since production began and seemingly has taken over the island, the Havana neighborhood named Vedado located in Central and Old Havana is experience havoc with its daily commuter routine due to unusual traffic jams and groups of curious onlookers thanks to the film’s presence.

Fast & Furious is the first major U.S. film production to be shot in Cuba in over 50 years since the embargo was lifted, and it is not without notice. Barriers have been built keep in order to keep curious onlookers separated from the set, crew members, and as well. And thanks to these barriers local motorists are not exactly experiencing the same level of excitement as others.

This has never happened before,” said Yani, a state worker who describes how since the major streets are closed off she has to find alternate routes just to get around, adding that it has been “a nightmare.”

According to some of the Central Havana residents, the once tranquil neighborhood is no longer there due to the presence of the traffic jams to civilians and the press trying to capture the film’s activity despite being denied access.

It’s really crazy. There are many people complaining because they’re arriving late to work, sometimes they don’t announce where the filming will occur … but Cubans are adapting to it all,” said Alain, a Havana resident who, like many others, tried to find a spot in Malecon—one of the streets in Havana—in order to see the film being shot.

For a film series that is renowned for displaying some of the hottest and latest vehicles in spectacular car racing and high-tech action scenes, it comes as no surprise that Cuba was selected as a filming location.

If you were to walk down a street within a Cuban city, you can expect to find quite a few antique 1950s U.S. autos parked alongside a couple of curbs.

The 8th installment of Fast & Furious is set to hit theaters in 2017.

The Artist known as Prince, has died at 57

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Considered one of the music industry’s most inventive artists and truly a legendary performer: Prince has passed away.

Yesterday, reports began to circulated that Prince Rogers Nelson had passed away at only the age of 57. The reports were confirmed after the singer’s publicist announced his sudden passing.

It is with profound sadness that I am confirming that the legendary, iconic, performer, Prince Rogers Nelson, has died at his Paisley Park residence this morning at the age of 57,” said Yvette Noel-Schure, in the released statement.

Although the exact cause of Prince’s death is yet unknown, the multi-winning Grammy-winner was allegedly found unconscious in the elevator of his home in Minneapolis.

The singer’s death comes after a shock despite reports recently stating the star had been in poor health for some time. To counter these claims, at a recent concert Prince himself debunk the reports. The singer is known to have epilepsy, and whether this is related to his passing is yet unknown.

During his four-decade legacy in the music industry, Prince has worked with numerous artists from Shelia E., Vanity 6, Beyonce, and the list goes on. With an impressive discography consisting of hit album after hit album, Prince was predominantly known for being a sex symbol who balanced a style between androgyny and gender, while also being publicly defiant of racial stereotypes.

After the news regarding Prince’s passing, several Latino stars like Jennifer Lopez, Gina Rodriguez, Demi Lovatio Gael Garcia Bernal, and etc. took to their respective social media to share their sadness over the loss of the innovative music star.

It was Mario Lopez who said it best with his tweet:

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With songs like When Doves Cry, Little Red Corvette, The Most Beautiful Girl in the World to just name a few, one of Prince’s most popular song–from fans who worshipped him to people who barely knew him would agree to–would have to be Purple Rain. And at the 2007 Superbowl Halftime Show, during a downpour of rain Prince performs the hit song reminding everyone why he is the artist.

Evelyn Lozada Graces April cover of LatinTRENDS

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A Puerto Rican native New Yorker and white hot on this month’s cover of LatinTRENDS magazine, “Basketball Wives” Evelyn Lozada is back on top. In this exclusive interview, Evelyn gushes over her famous friends, including Oprah Winfrey and Jennifer Lopez. She describes her new outlook on love and life, and offers her opinion on the portrayal of women in reality television. Her show “Livin’ Lozada” returns with all-new episodes on May 7th at 10pm on OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network.

FOX’s “Empire” also returns for a new season, and Hakeen Lyon’s truest love interest is back. Laura Callero, played by Jamila Velazquez, is not only a songstress on the show, but she tells LatinTRENDS she is a musical artist in real life too. For more on music, this month’s issue also includes interviews with stars like Miami funk band Locos por Juana and Mexican regional singer Luis Coronel.

April’s entertainment section also offers exclusives with Syfy’s “12 Monkeys” star Kirk Acevedo who plays Jose Ramse, a hero saving the world from a deadly virus. Heroes don’t sleep and neither does the cast of “New York Nunca Duerme.” This fresh reality show follows NY’s leading Latina business women and all their drama. See them Fridays on Telemicro Internacional. Another leading Latina is just a teen and she has taken Vine by storm with the most loops—ever! Vine star Lele Pons, has made a leap into the publishing world with her new book, “Surviving High School,” co-written by New York Times bestselling author Melissa de la Cruz. Lele tells LatinTRENDS how bullying at school actually helped launch her career.

In celebration of Financial Literacy Month see LatinTRENDS’ money making advice in “Four for Four: Wealth Building Tips” and “Reality Check for a Dream Retirement.”

Gun control in America is a hot button issue. See LatinTRENDS in-depth investigation and learn more about “What Latinos Think About Gun Control.” And in more coverage of national interest topics “Girls Code and Women Fire it Up,” celebrates young girls in tech featured in the film documentary “CodeGirl,” and “Discrimination in Single-Sex Bathrooms: A Thing of the Past?” explores Mayor Bill de Blasio’s executive order that seeks to help end discrimination against transgender and gender non-conforming New Yorkers

 

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About us: LatinTRENDS is the source that helps shape, guide and tell the stories of those influencing pop culture with a Latin twist. It is the leading platform for acculturated Latinos in New York, producing content that informs, entertains and inspires the forward thinking.

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Benicio Del Toro set to play Kingpin of the Cuban-American Mafia in ‘The Corporation’!

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Benicio Del Toro is set to play Jose Miguel Battle Sr., the Don of a Cuban-American Mafia, in a soon to be made film.

Del Toro will star in The Corporation which is a book of the same name written by author T.J. English and highlights the Cuban-American underworld.

Paramount Pictures & The Appian Way production company—owned by Actor Leonardo DiCaprio—were the victors in acquiring the rights to the book-to-film adaptation after a bidding war between Hollywood studios & production companies broke out last week. The film has been cited as becoming the “Cuban Version” of the The Godfather & American Gangster.”

The film’s screenplay will be written by David Matthews who has penned scripts for HBO series Boardwalk Empire & Vinyl and will surely capture the book’s “epic story” of the Cuban-American crime syndicate, The Corporation.

Del Toro will portray Jose Miguel Battle Sr. who was the head of the Cuban-American mafia. Prior to becoming the Godfather of the Cuban mafia, Battle Sr. was a former police officer during President Fulgencio Batista’s presidency prior to the Cuban Revolution; in the early 60s, he also assisted the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in training Cuban exiles, and volunteered as a soldier in the Cuban liberation effort of the Bay of Pigs Invasion in April 1961 in-which he was captured. After being released, Battle Sr. moved to Union City, New Jersey were he began The Corporation empire.

This is the first time Del Toro has portrayed an influential figure of the underworld. In Escobar: Paradise Lost, Del Toro played Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar so he is surely able to get into the mindset of what it takes to be the leader of such an organization.

There’s no word yet when the film goes into production, but so far it has Hollywood buzzing.

Selena Gomez & Charlie Puth dating??

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Selena Gomez’s love life has become quite the hot topic as of late.

Last week, rumors began to circulate that Gomez and former-beau Justin Bieber were going to give their on-and-off again relationship another go after she was spotted attending Bieber’s concert in Los Angeles…however, this week it seems like that may not happen.

This past Wednesday, Gomez, 23, has been rumored to be dating fellow music collaborator Charlie Puth, 24, after she has repeatedly denied the two are an item.

We’re not (dating), that’s for sure,” said the former-Wizards of Waverly Place star, at the red carpet event for the Biennial UNICEF Ball back in January, where the star had to dispel the constant rumors springing up about her love life; which she simply puts as: “What else is new?

Despite denying the rumors then, Gomez and Puth have been a talked about possible item since their collaboration for the hit song, We Don’t Talk Anymore which is a song regarding former couples no longer speaking to one another…foreshadowing?

It’s not serious, but she’s super into him,” so says an insider, “They have not been anything other than friends.”

While Gomez has denied the alleged relationship she did acknowledged that she and Putin did have instant chemistry upon meeting for their collaboration.

I just met him a few months ago and we hit it off and we’re having so much fun,” said Gomez, back in December while on the red carpet at Billboard’s Women in Music[Charlie] pulls out the best in me. It’s really great. He’s super talented and it was fun. It just kind of happened organically, to be honest.”

Gomez’s love life has become a public interest after she and DJ Zedd ended their summer fling back in April 2015 with whom she had recorded a hit dance single, Want You To Know, with.