BET+ is back with a new season of its hit show “American Gangster: Trap Queens.” The second season follows the stories of three local Detroit women who made their mark in the crime world. With charges ranging from grand larceny and fraud to drug trafficking, BET+ is giving viewers an inside look at some of America’s most notorious crime lords.
Narrated by Kimberly Jones, better know as rapper Lil Kim, the stories and crimes of Brandi Davis, Dwen Curry and Tiffani Rose Peak are detailed and are presented through their reminiscences as well as first-person accounts from law enforcement, friends and family.
“After the success of the first season of ‘American Gangster: Trap Queens,’ we are excited to bring another iteration of captivating stories to the screen,” says Frank Sinton, president of A. Smith & Co.’s Dox division and executive producer for the series. “While addressing social issues such as systematic racial and gender disparities, the stories this season vary from thrilling to shocking and everything in between.”
Of the queens featured, Dwen Curry, the show’s first transgender woman, is breaking barriers and sharing her story of her rise and fall in the crime world. Noted as the “original gay gangster” and queen of wire fraud and identity theft, she grew up in Detroit and was exposed to bullying because of her sexuality which in turn lead on a road to addiction. At 23 years old, Curry moved to California and stopped using drugs, but was soon drawn into a much different game.
“I guess I had so much clarity that I turned around and established some type of rule of thumb committing fraud, which is something that pretty much fell in my lap,” Curry says. “I wasn’t looking for this type of thing. It came to me being nosey and being incredulously intuitive.”
Rising in the game, Curry lived a double life working as a stylist to the stars while also committing identity theft and fraud. With clients like songstress Mariah Carey and rappers Eve and Missy Elliot and actress LisaRay McCoy, Curry’s fast life would soon come to a screeching halt.
In 2016, Curry was arrested in California on charges of felony identity theft and attempted grand theft. Serving over three years in jail and faced with the harsh realities of life behind bars, the notorious queen served her time and learned what lies behind jail walls.
“I was held in a men’s facility and so now I understand what the meaning of a predator is like. No one wants to be preyed upon,” Curry says.
Now, clean and no longer committing crimes of fraud, Curry is telling her story to help inspire someone else to change their life.
“One thing about it, when it comes to BET+, they are extremely adamant and very assertive and very matter-of-fact in how they tell your story so they can be able to have the best content to not display you in a negative light,” Curry says. “None of this would be happening if it wasn’t for BET.”
Curry’s unapologetic narrative has laid the foundation for other members of the LGBTQ+ community to live out loud and in their truth.
“Stand in your truth and be you. Don’t be scared of the different metamorphosis you go through,” Curry says.
With a larger-than-life personality, Curry represents a small demographic in the crime world, but is not focused on the past. Moving towards the future and a guarantee to steer the course, she plans to keep the entrance open for others to have the opportunity to come out refreshed.
“We’ve never heard of a gay gangster and I’m not the only one that hustles like this,” Curry says. “I love the fact that I’m the first one to open up the door, but since the door is open, I will not be the last one.”
The unscripted show can be streamed on BET+ with the first 5 episodes following additional queens Perrion Roberts and Shauntay Henderson, the series is produced by Detroit native, activist and Daytime Emmy award-winner Judge Greg Mathis. To watch, sign up for a free trial of the streaming app.