50 Cent’s BMF Drama Series to Shoot in Atlanta
Rapper 50 Cent (pictured) is executive producing, alongside writer Randy Huggins and others, the drama series Black Mafia Family for premium cable network Starz. Based on the cocaine trafficking crime organization of the same name led by brothers Demetrius “Big Meech” Flenory and Terry “Southwest T” Flenory, it will primarily film in Atlanta, the distribution hub for the Flenorys’ drug running and money laundering operation in the early to mid-aughts during which the city was an arena for violent and deadly BMF-related mayhem, often involving rappers, their associates or family members.
To wit… Former P. Diddy bodyguard Anthony “Wolf” Jones and another man were gunned down in the parking lot of aptly named and now-closed Buckhead nightspot Club Chaos in Nov. 2003, during the nightclub’s weekly Jermaine Dupri-sponsored hip-hop night; Big Meech was arrested in connection with the deaths, but claimed self-defense and was never indicted. BMF big cheese Fleming Daniels allegedly executed a man during a shootout outside of Midtown nightclub Velvet Room in July ’04. In May of 2005, two of Bobby Brown’s nephews were stabbed in the neck with an ice pick at Diddy’s now-defunct Atlanta restaurant Justin’s, allegedly by Marque “Baby Bleu” Dixson, younger brother of Bleu DaVinci, a rapper signed to the BMF’s record label. It’s been floated that the home invasion and attempted robbery of Gucci Mane in 2005, during which Gucci shot and killed Macon rapper Pookie Loc (one of the home invaders), was ordered by the BMF in the midst of Gucci’s ongoing feud with BMF-promoted rapper Young Jeezy. Even Shirley Franklin, Atlanta’s mayor during the height of all this, was peripherally involved; her then-son-in-law Tremayne “Kiki” Graham, a bigtime coke dealer with close ties to the BMF, allegedly ordered the killing of two people in a Highland Avenue apartment, one of which was his recently arrested courier who he feared would implicate him in court. It was also alleged by one of Graham’s co-defendants during their 2007 cocaine trafficking trial that Shirley would sometimes “pull some strings” to free Kiki from the slammer whenever he got arrested. A city mayor’s pull – even a city as politically corrupt as Atlanta – only goes so far; Graham is now serving life in prison for interstate drug trafficking.
As you might imagine, the BMF, its drug lords and their lifestyles are regarded as heroic and iconic in the rap music world, and Starz itself describes the forthcoming series, with no indication of irony, as being about “love, family and capitalism in the pursuit of the American dream.” Still, given the abundance of sordid material to work with, and the BMF’s long and lingering tentacles in rap and hip-hop music, it could be a compelling show if done from a gritty, honest, non-glorifying perspective. No cast members have been revealed yet, but production is expected to get rolling in January.