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BMF: The Rise and Fall of Big Meech and the Black Mafia Family Paperback – January 18, 2011

4.3 out of 5 stars 91 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

The Black Mafia Family, ostensibly a hip-hop record label, was actually an urban midlevel drug-distribution network. Originally based in Detroit, the operation expanded through the genius of the Flenory brothers. Demetrius “Big Meech” was the flamboyant personality behind the Atlanta operation, and Terry was the low-profile and conservative operator of the L.A. operation. With major direct cocaine sources out of Mexico, these brothers escalated their distribution to more than $250 million wholesale value before their downfall. They operated for a period apparently with immunity in Atlanta but were eventually caught through the persistence of a couple of local police and two nationwide federal drug-enforcement networks. Before their fall, the Flenory brothers managed to spread their taint of violence and drugs to reach several prominent people, including Atlanta mayor Shirley Franklin and singer Bobby Brown. The rapper known as “Baby Blue” fell as part of the BMF crew, and rapper Young Jeezy escaped by the skin of his teeth. Shalhoup, an award-winning journalist, offers an insightful look at the street-drug industry, which casts a wide net of beneficiaries as well as victims. --Vernon Ford --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

“With superb pacing and a thorough handle on her extensive cast, Shalhoup's true crime debut makes a highly addictive read.” ―Publisher's Weekly (Starred Review!)

“A first rate read.” ―On Wax Magazine

“An instant classic.” ―AllHipHop.com

“…deftly tracks the fortunes of multiple BMF associates and their pursuers in law enforcement… her journalistic chops convey two inescapable messages: The cocaine industry is bigger and more entrenched than most people suspect; and sooner or later, no matter how glamorous, everybody goes down.” ―Kirkus Reviews

“A wild ride rivaling anything you've seen in a Hollywood crime movie.” ―MOG.com

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin; Reprint edition (January 18, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312674155
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312674151
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.9 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (91 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #200,920 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
The author does a credible job of crafting the BMF story over the course of 277 pages. The book is at it's best early on and tapers off significantly toward the end. It was apparent that this was a voyeuristic endeavor for the author whose interest in the lifestyle and personalities of the BMF members was apparent throughout. In as much the finite details of the story don't receive nearly the amount of attention they deserve. Had the author done so, she would have found many inconsistencies in regard to the BMF operation and the legend that has emerged.

Ignorant and naive, are the most appropriate terms to describe the behavior of BMF's co-founder Demetrius "Meechie" Flenory throughout the story. At least this is the impression one gets from the author. The story opens with an interview session where a jailed Meech reminisces over all that he has lost. The cars, the money, the notoriety are all listed by the author but it is apparent what he seeks is validation. For all that he has lost, the most precious of all "freedom," isn't mentioned. It's a curious omission from a man facing the remainder of his natural life behind bars.

It's sad because it demonstrates the mentality and mindset of so many men and women, "some young and some more experienced," who are sure to pick up this title and relate or adopt Flenory's irrational manner of thinking themselves. The author falls into the trap of trying to justify the actions of the group by employing the over-used excuse "if it wasn't the Flenory brothers...some else would-perhaps someone not so willing to give back.

Give back? Give back to what, where and to whom? The truth of the matter is BMF spent whatever earnings they made in the clubs of Buckhead, Vegas and Miami!
Read more ›
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I liked it, but its not great. As a follower of hip-hop culture and underground news I've heard about BMF for a few years now, and I was following their story before Meech/ BMF was arrested or sentenced. So when I read the book I didnt come across much information that I hadn't already done from my own personal sleuthing. As I read the book I kept thinking "man, i could've written this" but i'm not an investigative writer or reporter, which If I was, I would have produced pretty much the exact same book, which is one of my gripes about it. Basically this is a good book for people who have never heard or are new to the Name Big Meech (likely through the Rick Ross song BMF). Its a compilation of all the public domain info on the peoples and group itself. My only other gripe was the absence of certain names/ photos, like Bleu DaVinci, and the story of Jeezy and Gucci Mane, which for some some reason has Gucci listed an unnamed rapper beef. Im hoping that's just some legal thing, but Im waiting for the personal stories to come out, directly from the mouth of Meech and Big T and how their "management styles" clashed and lead to their downfall, which is the real story in this typical drug tale.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I couldn't put this down - (I had to at some points to go to work), it reads like a non fiction, certainly as exciting as the godfather series, an updated version. I loved learning the details of how BMF and Sin City pulled off their dealings and also interesting to hear how the investigators connected the dots.

Great book! I can't wait for the movie.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
In the early 1990s, Demetrius "Big Meech" Flenory and his brother, Terry "Southwest T," rose up from the slums of Detroit to build one of the largest cocaine empires in American history: the Black Mafia Family. After a decade in the drug game, the Flenorys had it all--a fleet of Maybachs, Bentleys and Ferraris, a 500-man workforce operating in six states, and an estimated quarter of a billion in drug sales. They socialized with music mogul Sean "Diddy" Combs, did business with New York's king of bling Jacob "The Jeweler" Arabo, and built allegiances with rap superstars Young Jeezy and Fabolous. Yet even as BMF was attracting celebrity attention, its crew members created a cult of violence that struck fear in a city and threatened to spill beyond the boundaries of the drug underworld. Ruthlessness fueled BMF's rise to incredible power; greed and that same ruthlessness led to their downfall.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I too could not put this book down. It was so detailed and full of play by play information. But what shocked and surprised me was the amount of crew members that became goverment witnesses. I was not expecting those major players to roll on the Terry like they did, so much for their slogan Death before Dishonor....Before the movie comes out, how about a sequel to update us on how many of those who turned government snitches are still alive!!! Overall a very good book!! I was pleased with the content.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The book provided very good insight to the BMF rise in the south. Very detailed descripted writing about this story. Easy to follow and I wouldn't be suprised if this book is used as the basis for a future screen play. You iwll not be disappointed.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book held my interest through and through. The characters were colorful. It was very interesting keeping up with everyone's moves. I could see this happening. I don't know if this story is true or not, but I could believe, it is a true story.

I would like to know, what happened to spouses, paramours, etc? Was anyone else charged, besides the top echelon?
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