December 30, 2020 – Black Mafia Family boss Demetrius (Big Meech) Flenory was about to head to Houston for Southern Rap pioneer Bun B’s birthday party when he was taken into custody in Frisco, Texas, just outside of Dallas, on October 21, 2005. The seemingly ubiquitous Big Meech, one of the most storied crime lords in American history and the subject of an upcoming Starz television show, hasn’t tasted freedom since.

Bun B (real name Bernard Freeman), who as part of the groundbreaking country hip-hop duo UGK (along with Chad “Pimp C” Butler), planted the seeds for Southern Rap with their 1992 Jive Records’ classic Too Hard To Swallow, recounted the story in an interview with hotnewhiphop.com last week.

“Big Meech’s life was like an infomercial (for hustling) , it’s like, “We ball’in, you can be ball’in too…..to be so larger than life and still be so down to earth at the same time, that’s who Meech was,” Bun B told Aron of HNHH.

UGK hailed from Port Arthur, Texas. They appeared on hit records by Jay-Z (Big Pimping) and Three Six Mafia (Sipping On Some Syrup) in the 2000s.

Houston’s Rap-A-Lot records and its signature act, The Geto Boys, broke Southern Rap to the masses in the late 1980s and was quickly followed by acts like UGK in Texas, 8Ball and MJG in Memphis, 2 Live Crew in Miami and Goodie Mob and Outkast in Atlanta. By the dawning of the New Millennium, the genre was bubbling in New Orleans as Master P’s No Limit Records and the Williams brothers’ Cash Money Records put “Bling Rap” on the map. Nelly from St. Louis and Missy Elliott and producer Timabland out of Virginia brought the genre into the mainstream. The current Trap Rap takeover spawned from those roots, directly inspired by Big Meech and his BMF reign.

While Big Meech started his BMF drug empire in Detroit, Michigan, he was in expansion mode throughout the 1990s and his money helped fund some of the era’s biggest rap labels. BMF established outlets in two dozen major cities in the United States. Big Meech moved to Atlanta. His little brother and BMF co-founder Terry (Southwest T) Flenory set up shop in Los Angeles.

BMF’s Houston and Dallas hubs were run by Terrence (Texas Cuz) Short. By late summer 2005, Big Meech knew the heat was on and the feds were coming with a case, so he moved to a mansion in Frisco, Texas to lay low. DEA agents came knocking in the early hours of October 21, 2005, his bags already packed for Houston and Bun B’s B-Day bash he would never windup attending.

Exactly a week later, on October 28, the U.S. Attorneys Office in Detroit officially announced the Operation Motor City Mafia indictment, a multi-tiered assault on the Flenorys’ sprawling organization. Both Flenory brothers copped pleas on the morning of what was supposed to be their trial in 2007 and received 30-year prison sentences.

Terry Flenory, 50, was issued a compassionate release due to health concerns at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic back in the spring. Big Meech, 52, had his bid for a compassionate release rejected and is doing his time in a federal correctional facility in Oregon with a 2031 outdate. “Texas Cuz” Short, the Flenorys’ point man in the Lonestar State, did 12 years behind bars on the case and was released in 2017.

Rapper and actor 50 Cent is in the process of producing a Black Mafia Family scripted television series for the Starz network as his follow-up to the hit show Power, which recently ended its highly successful six-year run. Black Mafia Family will tell the story of the rise and fall of the Flenory brothers with shooting set to begin in the coming months.

Bun B, 47, went solo in 2005 after Pimp C had to go to prison on a gun case. Pimp C died in 2007 at age 34 in a drug and sleep-apnea incident at the swanky Mondrian Hotel in West Hollywood.

Leave a Reply