Alpo Martinez immortalized in film, hip-hop before death

Long before he was gunned down on a Harlem street, Alberto “Alpo” Martinez was immortalized in film and song as one of the city’s most mythical drug kingpins of the 1980s.

Rap hits by the likes of Jay-Z and Meek Mill referenced Martinez, and the character Rico in the 2002 crime drama “Paid in complete” — played by fellow Harlem native Cam’ron — was based on the notorious gangster.

Cam’s Rico stood out amongst the film’s three leads, no doubt thanks to the appeal and carelessness of a young, wild and high Martinez.

“If you think about Rico’s character, he’s supposed to steal the scene,” director Charles Stone III told The Ringer in January. “Once he leaves, people are supposed to go: ‘Yo, what’s up with your man?!’”

“These guys were real ghetto celebs,” producer Dame Dash said of Martinez and fellow Harlem drug dealers Azie “AZ” Faison and Richard “high” Porter, who were also portrayed in the street typical.

The real-life Martinez did time for murder but got out of a federal supermax prison in Colorado in 2015 and wound up in observe protection for testifying against former associates.

Alpo Martinez in an undated mugshot.
Martinez was one of the most mythical drug kingpins of the ’80s.

This blatant breaking of the streets code may have prompted someone to shoot him to death inside a pick-up truck on Fredrick Douglas Boulevard at 3:30 a.m Sunday, law enforcement supplies told The Post.

It also made him a complicated figure in the hip-hop world, one who was condemned for his snitching and for unpopular moves, such as his alleged slaying of Porter.

In Meek Mill’s “Tony Story,” the Philadelphia MC compares the fictional “Tony” who kills his friend “Ty” out of jealousy to Alpo, rhyming, “Tony was like the Alpo, Ty was the Lil’ high / Two n—as with a dream, that plotted on goin’ high / Started as a team, but Ty he got on quick / Jealousy the reason that Ty got left stiff.”

Meanwhile, Brooklyn’s Jay-Z — known for his own drug dealer history in the ’80s — bragged of providing Martinez with “bricks” on 2013’s “La Familia.”

He also referred to Martinez snitching in a verse he performed in Drake’s 2018 track “Talk Up.”

50 Cent, Future and several others have been name-dropping the fallen pusher since his Harlem reign.

Nas name-checked him in multiple songs, including his 1994 track “Memory Lane (Sittin’ in da Park),” in which he listed Martinez among a group of then-notorious drug gangs and lords from the time.

Martinez also made a more personal impact on the rap game, as his son — who he only met as an adult — is now an aspiring rapper named Popperazzi Po who put out a new single called “Brick Squad Monopoly” shortly before his dad’s death.

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