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Nikkia Sullivan Wanted To Become A Kingpin, And Almost Succeeded

Women's Voices From DCI - Logo 1
Juliet Fromholt

Nikkia Sullivan grew up wanting to be a kingpin. At 13 she set out to make her dream come true. In this story she talks to fellow inmate LeShae Landry about what it was like growing up in that lifestyle

Highlights from the audio:

“My day started at 8 p.m. That’s when my day started. Call my homeboys, whatever the case may be, like, you all got any licks for me? Ya got some money for me?”

“A block hugger is somebody that sits out on the block and hustles all day...tennis shoe hustlers. They sit out on the block, it’s frickin 13 degrees outside, and you like out on the block waitin’ for a fiend to walk up.”

“To be honest, it’s still in me. So, I’m just hoping that my career goal of being a motivational speaker and medical transcriptionist and all of that outweighs and takes away that desire. Like I hope it consumes me to the point where I don’t, I no longer fiend for that type of lifestyle.”

Women’s Voices from Dayton Correctional Institution is a series of stories based on WYSO’s Community Voices class at the prison on the west side. WYSO selected 10 incarcerated women through a competitive application process, and taught them interviewing, storytelling and recording skills. The series is produced and mixed by managing editor Lewis Wallace and Community Voices producer Renee Wilde, with volunteer support from Community Voices graduate Dr. Venita Kelley and editorial input from general manager Neenah Ellis.


Renee Wilde tumbled into public radio - following a career path that has been full of creative adventures and community service. After graduating from the Ohio State University with a fine arts degree in photography - she served as the Exhibitions Coordinator for several Columbus art galleries and the Columbus Art League, while simultaneously slinging food and booze - memorably dropping a glass of orange juice on Johnny Rotten’s bare feet when he answered the hotel room door in just his skivvies (his response, “would shit be the appropriate word?”).