NEW JACK CITY RELOAD: B.J. Chambers No Longer Making Living On The Street, Doesn’t Forget Roots, Family Though

Former Detroit drug kingpin B.J. Chambers is on the straight and narrow these days. But one of his new legit businesses, a nightclub in his native Mariana, Arkansas, bears a name which is a clear nod to his previous life. The 53-year old Chambers, who ruled the Motor City’s street-level crack-cocaine market through most of the 1980s, was released from a near two-and-a-half decade stint in prison in 2011. Two years later, he opened Club B.L.O.W., named for the initials of him and his brothers, Larry, Otis and Willie, all gangland lieutenants of his during his reign atop the Motown narcotics scene in the Reagan Era, in addition to obviously paying an homage to his former profession (the word blow doubling for cocaine in certain circles).

The deliberate, intelligent and even-tempered B.J. and his older brother, the innovative, disciplined, yet still heavily-feared Larry aka “Marlow” aka “Rambo,” were the inspirations for the Nino Brown character in the hit movie New Jack City played on the screen by 1990s action-movie superstar Wesley Snipes. Larry Chambers is serving a life prison sentence. Willie and Otis are both free after lengthy terms behind bars.

Besides overseeing affairs at his hip southern nightclub, B.J., who spends his current days back and forth between Arkansas and Detroit, is said to be dabbling in the used cars business. His appearances at charity events, restaurants and clubs in ‘The D’ attracts much attention and fanfare on social media. He’s treated as Motor City royalty in the area’s underworld even though he’s no longer a part of it.

The Chambers Brothers Gang were featured in an episode of BET’s hit television series American Gangster. They were rapped about by New York’s Notorious B.I.G. in 1997’s The Ten Crack Commandments, a song about the rules of the drug game, much like the ones posted by the Chambers boys in each of their crack dens for all their workers to abide by ten years earlier in their adopted hometown of Detroit.

B.J. wrote a book while incarcerated called Prodigy Hustler. He launched a website last week, offering copies of the 2007 release, which have been scarce for years since it came out on the market nearly a decade ago with B.J. unable to promote it because he was imprisoned.Go to B.J.s website here.

Born and raised in the backwoods of the Arkansas Delta, one by one B.J. and several his brothers shuffled up to Michigan, first looking for employment in the auto plants, then to work in the family business in the then-exploding crack-cocaine industry birthed by a barely-out-of-high school B.J. from a local convenient store and growing to include over two dozen “hot spots,” where their drugs were being slang. Future Presidential hopeful Bill Clinton, the then-Governor of Arkansas, mentioned the Chambers Brothers Gang in his speech at the U.S. Democratic Convention in Atlanta in 1988, just months removed from the federal indictment which brought their organization down. Clinton, brought up as a youth not far from where the Chambers family resided, was elected to the White House four years later.

At the time of their arrests, the Chambers’ had assumed complete control of a local apartment building, known as The Broadmore or simply The Boulevard, because it resided on the city of Detroit’s famous Grand Boulevard (where Motown Records was founded) and depicted in the film New Jack City when Nino Brown’s Cash Money Brothers takeover of the fictional Carter Projects in NYC. The Chambers Brothers Gang was the subject of an article in the Village Voice penned by the movie’s screenwriter, Barry Michael Cooper in 1987 and entitled, “New Jack City Eats It’s Young.”

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