EXCLUSIVE - 21 Questions with Big Meech Part Two: Crack Laws, Obama, and the Jeezy Connection
In Part One of AllHipHop.com's exclusive interview with Black Mafia Family (BMF) boss Demetrius “Big Meech” Flenory, he shared his thoughts on the origins of BMF, what he felt his prison sentence should have been, and his thoughts on his iconic status.
In Part Two, Big Meech discusses his thoughts on “Blowing Money Fast,” his relationship with Young Jeezy, and what his days are like inside Lewisburg U.S. Penitentiary, Special Management Unit:
AllHipHop.com: Mandatory sentencing disparities recently changed under President Obama. Any thoughts?
Big Meech: (LOL) Yeah, they changed the crack law twice in 24 years, and it still only helped a few people. We are grateful for the ones that it has helped, but all of the drug laws need to be changed, especially for first-time, non-violent offenders. Everyone deserves a second chance in life. Powder and crack are the same drug in different form. You put 15 grams of baking soda on 35 grams of powder cocaine, then cook the 15 grams of baking soda off to bring it to a rock form of 35 grams or less, depending on how you cook. So, what’s the difference besides the thousand years the judge is going to sentence you to in court for the crack instead of powder? The government knows that crack is sold in predominately Black and Hispanic neighborhoods, so that’s who their targets are to keep the incarceration rate up.
AllHipHop.com: What are your thoughts on the president?
Big Meech: First, I’m thankful that God blessed me to live and see our first Black president. I feel that the president before him made one big mess of America that it is impossible for Obama to clean it up, even if he gets a second term. I feel that all the stimulus packages in the world won’t revamp our economy, if we can’t create new jobs or new ways to make money. Violence is high in most of our Black cities and communities because our children have no guidance or people that they respect enough to listen to at home or in the community.
Hopefully, President Obama will take the time to look out for his people before he leaves office. Bush pardoned the most people ever before he left office, which included John Forte who did seven years of a 14-year prison sentence. I’m not looking for a pardon, although I would take it if he did it for me. I would love to see him change all the drug laws which are too severe and extreme for this day and age. If you look at all the fathers and mothers serving lengthy prison sentences, elderly grandparents are raising their young children. The gap between the children and their grandparents is so far apart that communication and understanding between them is almost impossible. So, there’s a lot of hostility and disrespect between young people and elderly people. Other than that, I think President Obama and his family handle being in the spotlight and the scrutiny that comes with that office very well.
AllHipHop.com: What are your thoughts on prisons in America?
Big Meech: We have the highest incarceration rate in the entire world, over three million people and counting. America is supposed to be the land of the free and the home of the brave. Prison is nowhere near the rehabilitation place the justice system claims it is. They mix nonviolent inmates with violent inmates. Some people come in with three or four years, and end up with 20 or more years, or a life sentence simply because they had to protect themselves. Any and everything can send you to jail or prison in America, and that’s not always the right answer. They need to bring back 65 percent (time served of time sentenced) and parole for federal inmates. In the state of Georgia, you do 35 percent of your time if your crime is non-iolent or drug related. The feds are taking over so many state cases, that people who would’ve gotten probation or county jail time are now getting six years or more.
AllHipHop.com: Describe what your day is like?
Big Meech: (LMFAO). I have to laugh at this question to keep from crying, but trust me, I’m crying inside. I’ve been in the hold on '23 and 1' [23 hours in cell and one hour out per day] since June 2011. This SMU sh*t is like a torture camp for real. First, showers are only on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Both me and my celly have to cuff up whether one of us is leaving to go to rec, shower, or medical, or if both of us are leaving. Everywhere we go, our hands are in black box handcuffs behind our back with a C.O. holding our cuffs, walking with us. I’m always trying to get out of my handcuffs first because you never know when your celly may have a bad day and jump you while you still have your cuffs on.
There’s three or four fights or stabbings daily, especially since it’s hot. If you disobey them, you’ll get a heavy dose of tear gas, which has the whole building choking and coughing, eyes burning. Then they’ll put you in restraints handcuffed extra tight with a chain around your waist, shackled. I’ve heard grown men cry crocodile tears from their hands swelling and nerve damage from the cuffs. If that’s not enough, they have another form of punishment called “Four Points” where they put you on your back chained around both ankles and wrists in a very cold room with the lights on. Everyone who reads this should look up Lewisburg SMU online and read about the deaths, disfigurements, and inhumane conditions and brutality that goes on in here. So, my days are like a living hell.
AllHipHop.com: How is your family coping?
Big Meech: My family is handling my incarceration the best way that they can, but it’s very hard on my mother and father. My father went to prison for 18 months for money laundering, and both their sons got 30-year sentences which, at their age, seem like life sentences. I’ve been in the worst mood of my bid because my father is in a lot of pain due to diabetes and may have to have both of his legs cut off. I can’t even make a phone call to speak to him or anyone for that matter. I get so frustrated and agitated at times. I have a really strong family bond, so when one of us is going through it, it’s like all of us is going through it.
AllHipHop.com: Do you still talk to Young Jeezy?
Big Meech: I haven’t been able to talk to anyone on the phone for the last five months. The last time I spoke to him was near the end of last year.
AllHipHop.com: How do you feel about his success?
Big Meech: Being the person largely responsible for his success, I've always and always will be proud of his success. I would never wish or hope or his downfall for any reasons. I just personally feel that he could do more abut helping me to regain my freedom in a timely fashion, with his success and the position he is in right now in life. For example, [he could say] 'I could not rest knowing he has a 30-year sentence for a first-time, nonviolent offender. I'm meeting with every reputable attorney in America until I can find one that can at least get him a sentence reduction, if not bring him home...'
...but that's me and the love I have for him and the majority of people in my B.M.F. family. To be honest, I get ask so many questions about him - from C.O.'s to convicts to random people in the mail - some of which I have no answers for, 'cause for me to have the answers to most of the questions, I would have to have an excuse which there is "NO EXCUSE."
AllHipHop.com: What do you think of Rick Ross making the song "B.M.F."?
Big Meech: Actually, I appreciate all of the music that Rick Ross and MMG has put out period. But in 2010, when I first heard my name repeatedly in the "B.M.F." song, I was like, “Damn, that’s hot.” And it’s a hit. To this day, he has people from all over the world saying, “I think I’m Big Meech,” which is a priceless way of recognizing and paying homage to me and the B.M.F. family. We all have 100% love for Ross and MMG. I think he is a helluva artist and mogul.
AllHipHop.com: Does it bother you that he was once a corrections officer?
Big Meech: (LMAO). I think this question is old and irrelevant, because I have friends and family that are C.O.’s. I’ve ran across some good men and women C.O.’s. I think that Ross is a great example of being a dreamer and dreams coming true, just from what I know about him being with Suave House and writing rhymes and rapping and for all the years he stuck with it. And now he has built a brand and an empire. So the answer is no, it doesn’t bother me that he was a C.O. It would only bother me if he was a “rat.”
AllHipHop.com: Or that he is in a fight with “Freeway Ricky Ross” for the use of his name?
Big Meech: I know “Freeway” but I’ve never spoken to him about his name, but in my opinion, if I felt that we had to get an understanding about the use of my name, then we would arrange a meeting at everyone’s convenience in a comfortable environment not a courtroom. I personally don’t see anything wrong with him using the name. I think he made the Rick Ross name popular and positive; it would be great and more beneficial if they did some charity events together instead of some senseless feud.
AllHipHop.com: Would you ever permit an aspiring rapper to use your name?
Big Meech: I wouldn’t have a problem with it as long as he’s good at his craft, especially if he’s as successful as Rick Ross and 50 Cent. Both of those men made their names worldwide household brands, and I respect both of their grinds to success. They both are very blessed, whether they realize it or not.
AllHipHop.com: Is it possible that you could come home?
Big Meech: I have an out-date where I could come home one day, but I’m not trying to wait until the “Elroy Jetson” date of 2032 that the BOP has given me. If some of these political figures, ACLU, or NAACP would speak up and stand up for me, which would put my unjust 30-year plea deal in the spotlight, I probably would’ve been home three or four years ago. Those types of people only seem to speak up once one of us has been killed, then it’s too late. If enough people come together with voting power, I could see a change in my sentence or come home, just like when Russell Simmons helped change the RICO law in New York.
AllHipHop.com: How do you keep your sanity?
Big Meech: I’ve been through so much in my lifetime to make me the strong-minded man that I am. They can’t break what they didn’t create, so I stay focused on the future and being free again. I try to stay in tune with what’s going on in the world today in music, entertainment, technology, and sports, just to feel like I’m still up on everything. But for real, I refuse to lose anything more than the time I have already lost that I can never get back. They can’t undo what I’ve already done and they can’t change or erase my memories and history. I know I have more life ahead of me than behind me so like I said in my letter on MySpace in 2006, “Nothing beats the trials of the present like the EXPECTATIONS of the future.”