There’s major buzz around hip-hop mogul and TV producer 50 Cent and his latest TV series, “BMF,” the real-life story of two Detroit brothers, Demetrius “Big Meech” and Terry “Southwest T” Flenory. The brothers were notorious drug dealers in the 1980s and made a name for themselves as the Black Mafia Family (BMF), one of the most prominent crime families in the U.S.
BMF led a national drug ring with more than 500 employees distributing $270 million worth of cocaine. The brothers also ventured into hip-hop with BMF Entertainment before being sentenced to 30 years behind bars in 2005.
Here are seven things to know about Lil Meech.
1. Lil Meech never acted before
Flenory Jr., 21, never planned on becoming an actor until Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson urged him to play his father in the TV series.
“I got a call from my dad, who’s in prison, and he told me 50 Cent had the rights to the BMF story and he could do whatever he wanted with it – a movie or a TV series,” Flenory Jr. told The New York Post.
“The first casting was in Atlanta, and my dad wanted me to go meet Fifty so that I could see how everything was going to work.”
After the meeting, 50 Cent told Flenory Jr. that he wanted to move him to Los Angeles and enroll him in acting classes.
“At first it sounded crazy — I had never acted before,” Flenory said. “I was actually in school for business at UNLV, in Las Vegas. (Now) I want to act for the rest of my life, and I feel like I found my calling. So, Fifty basically brought acting to me. He’s the reason that I’m acting. He helped me get the role, but I had to earn it and show the network (that I was the right choice).”
2. Preparation wasn’t fast
Flenory Jr. took acting classes five days a week for two years before shooting began on “BMF,” according to the New York Post.
“He made sure, you know, I had the foundational acting before I just jumped out there on screen and didn’t have any acting experience, you know, as far as any classes,” said Flenory Jr. “(I took) intense acting classes, five days a week, (sometimes) two times a day, for two years.”
3. Lil Meech: Actor and producer
Flenory Jr. has also now produced two episodes of the Starz series “BMF,” PopSugar reported.
4. Lil Meech signed up for Season 2
The drama has already been renewed for Season 2, and Flenory Jr. will be on board.
5. Lil Meech has made his father proud
“My dad has seen (the show), my family has seen it, and they all love it,” Flenory Jr. said. “Of course, they wanted to make sure that I knew what I was doing. But once they got the chance to see me in action, they saw how seriously I was taking it. My ultimate goal is to make them proud.”
Big Meech was incarcerated when Flenory Jr. was 7 years old. When preparing for the series, Flenory Jr. visited his father in prison once a month for eight hours, The New York Post reported.
“He gave me insight and told me where his mindset was at the time. I didn’t know a lot about his childhood and how he grew up,” Flenory Jr. said. “I didn’t understand how poor he was and the decisions he had to make. He thought he had to be a man at 15, 16 years old. So, he had to really help me to understand the obstacles that he was facing at the time.”
Flenory Jr. said he hoped people better understand his father through the series. “People misjudge what type of man he is,” he said. “People don’t understand how loving and how much of a caring person he is. They only know what they hear. So this story will help people understand. BMF is much more than drug dealers, much more than mafia or whatever you think.
“I hope everybody can get to see (the show) and read between the lines and understand that it’s about brotherhood and loyalty and family, and it has a soul to it.”
Flenory Jr. told Hot 107.9 that he didn’t know what his father did for a living when he was younger. “I didn’t know who my dad was growing up. All I knew was I had a cool ass dad who would take me on private jets everywhere, had fast cars…I didn’t know who he was and what he did until I grew up.”
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6. More acting on the horizon
Flenory Jr. is set to appear on the HBO series “Euphoria.” He could potentially be a recurring character on the show, PopSugar reported.
7. Lil Meech responds to Bleu DaVinci beef
Bleu DaVinci was the only hip-artist signed to the BMF crime family’s record label and he spent five years in prison for his associations with the BMF.
He issued a warning to 50 Cent. In a video posted on YouTube by Hip-Hop Lately, DaVinci said: “The only thing I’m saying is that if they handle my name wrong. I’m coming to see you. Play with me if you want. The writers, the producers, the directors, the executive producers. Y’all play with my name, I’m telling y’all right now. If you play with my name it’s up. There won’t be no more shooting. No more filming that sh*t. I’m gonna try to find a way to f*ck up everything about it. Soon as I get the first report they are playing with my name, I’m coming. So have your security beefed up.”
Flenory Jr. commented on the beef in a non-comment. Intel HipHop posted his video response to DaVinci in which Flenory simply shows off his car, his jewelry and his sneakers. In the end, he gives his location and says “Pull up.”