07 May I Think I’m Big Meech…
BMF: The Rise and Fall of a Hip-Hop Drug Empire was released on Netflix this week and it brought me back to an interview I did with then Atlanta’s Creative Loafing Editor-In-Chief Mara Shalhoup. This interview was actually done around the time she released her book detailing the drug organization from their start to its crumbling.
Here’s what she had to say during the On Wax Magazine interview.
On Wax: What are your overall opinion of the Big Meech and Southwest T?
Mara Shalhoup: It’s interesting because these guys created a big empire and weren’t from a place where people weren’t highly successful and didn’t do things like go to college. There rational was to help the community while they destroyed it. They felt that if they didn’t do it, someone else would.
On Wax: Overall, what led to the destruction of the BMF?
Mara Shalhoup: The ironic thing about it, is that Big Meech was the flashy one who was out in the open with everything while Terry was the more covert one. In fact one of Big Meech’s lawyers used as an argument during the case was that flaunting wasn’t a crime. The feds built their case against Terry through wire taps and such which again is ironic because he wasn’t out there.
On Wax: Why wasn’t Big Meech’s record label successful in your opinion?
Mara Shalhoup: Besides the talent, there was speculation that rappers were seeing the heat with BMF and were concerned that they where getting to close with the investigation.
On Wax: Why does a lot hip hop seem to be so drawn to drug culture?
Mara Shalhoup: They’re the ones who speak unapologetically about to the reality. Other genres may see the realities of street life as to squeamish. hip hop has been quick to deal into the streets.
I would also write one of my first literary reviews on the book she wrote. My review excerpt even made future copies of the book.
“A first rate read by Mara Shalhoup, BMF: The Rise and Fall of Big Meech and The Black Mafia Family will take readers through the inner workings of one of the nations infamous crime families. While the cover and title may reference only Demetrius “Big Meech” Flenory, the story is also touches on in great detail the other brother’s equal part in the cocaine operation Terry “Southwest T” Flenory. The fact that both brothers continued to work the operation as a family even after their big split and radically different managing styles adds to the appeal they had to everyone including the hip-hop community, the communities that held the operation and of course the feds. While most people will look at the BMF as a crime organization, the book makes them seem like an illegal corporation with all of the operation ranks from CEO and CFO to even a secretary. The stretch of the operation even reached as far as Atlanta’s then mayor.”