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Notes and sourcing for "Hip-hop's shadowy empire, part 3"

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THE DEAL

BLEU'S SIGNIFICANCE: In the 2004 DVD magazine, The Raw Report, Meech describes BMF Entertainment's devotion to rapper Bleu DaVinci: "What we focusing on right now is Bleu DaVinci. I believe that most labels take so much time out and they focus on so many artists that you never get the realness out of the one artist, because you're focusing on 10 or 20 artists. That's why all our independent focus is on what Bleu DaVinci gonna do and how he's gonna make it. If he take off, then we take off. If he don't take off, then we don't want to take off. Simple."

J-BO'S RANK: The Raw Report DVD introduces J-Bo as BMF Entertainment's chief operating officer. At a July 2006 hearing in relation to an October 2005 federal case out of Detroit, assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Leibson described Chad "J-Bo" Brown's position within BMF the following way: "Mr. Brown was one of the higher ranking members of the organization."

AT THE TIME OF THE VIDEO

BLEU'S VIDEO: In addition to Bleu DaVinci's "Still Here," Benny Boom also has directed videos for P. Diddy, Busta Rhymes, Nelly, Ciara, P$C and Young Dro. In The Raw Report DVD, Meech describes how BMF Entertainment can "just give Bleu $500,000 for his video."

CASH AND COCAINE: According to documents filed in relation to the October 2005 federal case, alleged BMF member Jabari Hayes was pulled over in Missouri on March 16, 2004, outside St. Louis, at which time the DEA seized nearly $600,000, and again on April 11, 2004, 90 miles west of St. Louis, during which Phelps County deputies discovered more than 100 kilos of cocaine. The documents also state that alleged BMF members Christopher "Pig" Triplett and Calvin "Playboy" Sparks were stopped outside St. Louis, on April 5, 2004, and caught with nine kilos of coke.

MEECH AS LEADER: A) Documents filed in relation to the October 2005 federal case allege: "Terry Lee Flenory and Demetrius Edward Flenory began to operate their illegal cocaine business from Atlanta, Ga., and Los Angeles, Calif., as well as Detroit. Between approximately 2001 and 2003, Terry Lee Flenory and Demetrius Edward Flenory began to refer to their activities as being part of an entity they called 'Black Mafia Family' (BMF)." B) Documents filed in the case also claim that Meech "admitted to being the owner of BMF entertainment and the executive editor of Juice Magazine" and that "[t]hese enterprises are legitimate only in the sense that they are in the legal business of representing entertainers and publishing a magazine. The evidence in the case indicates that the money behind these ostensibly legitimate businesses comes from the illegitimate sale of cocaine." C) At a January hearing in relation to the case, DEA Agent Bob Bell testified: "The information that we developed was that Black Mafia Family is the drug organization, and from that Black Mafia Entertainment was actually incorporated I believe in March of 2004 with the idea to -- I believe, if I'm using the right terminology, to produce music, rap type music, but that in many ways [the business was] all one and the same with the organization."

SCARFACE ALLUSIONS: In addition to the billboards stating, "The World is BMF's," both albums released by BMF Entertainment's sole artist, Bleu DaVinci, were titled The World is BMF's, volumes 1 and 2. And a wiretap investigation involving two alleged BMF members indicated that BMF had been involved in the operation of a now-defunct Buckhead club called Babylon -- which is also the name of the club at the center of the film.

BMF'S BILLBOARDS: Documents filed in relation to an October 2004 case in DeKalb County Superior Court show photographs of the billboards and include copies of receipts sent from billboard company Lamar to BMF Entertainment's magazine, The Juice, for work done on billboards located on Peacthree Road and on I-75. The billboards also are shown in DVD magazine The Raw Report.

THE PARTYING

MEECH'S BIRTHDAY: At the January 2006 hearing in relation to the October 2005 case, DEA Agent Bell testified, "A birthday party ... was thrown on behalf of Demetrius Flenory in which records indicate more than $100,000 was spent to bring in exotic African-type animals and -- with models attending." He said the party was "in the Atlanta area" and that BMF had rented out "an entire club." Photos of the party, which was held in the summer of 2004 at Compound, can be viewed here.

MAKING IT RAIN: The act of throwing stacks of dollar bills into the air at nightclubs and strip clubs are shown in the DVD magazine Smack, which was released in 2005 and filmed in 2004. On another DVD released along with Bleu DaVinci's October 2006 compilation record, The World is BMF's, Vol. 2, Bleu says, "We the originators of making it rain."

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