KENNETH MCGRIFF: (continued)

By Christopher Zoukis

Things changed while Supreme paid his debt to society.  The Dominicans started pushing a new drug onto the streets.  Crack.  Almost overnight, cocaine was out and crack was in as the number one hit. 

Crack was two parts cocaine and one part baking soda mixed with a little bit of water.  Heat it up until the solution separated.  The precipitate was then skimmed off and the cocaine dried.  The resulting cocaine flakes were called crack.   Photo courtesy gorillaconvict.com

When Supreme got out of prison in 1987, he was ready to jump back onto the streets.  He had missed the adrenaline rush of the action and the feeling of power he got from being the Top Dog.  Holding a meeting of the Supreme Team, he re-established his authority and told his crew their goals were to make money and rule the streets.  The Supreme Team hit the road in bulletproof luxury cars and used rooftop lookouts with walkie-talkies to counter the police.  Handbooks on how-to-be a smart criminal were put together and distributed to the Team.

What Supreme didn’t know was that the feds and the Queens Narcotics Squad were keeping tabs on the top members of the Supreme Team.  The Supreme Team’s activities under the violent reign of Prince had attracted cops like ants to a picnic.  Like Big Brother, the feds were watching everything and everybody, waiting for their chance.  The feds even had Supreme’s mother under surveillance.

On November 6, 1987, the feds got their chance. 

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Kenneth McGriff: ‘Supreme’

By Christopher Zoukis

The South Jamaica section of Queens, New York was where Kenneth McGriff was born and raised.  The McGriffs lived right across the street from the Baisley Projects.  It was a working class neighborhood.  Both his parents worked for the Transit Authority on New York’s subway system.  They wanted their son to go to college and get a good job.  That was the future they dreamed about and worked for.

Some dreams come true.  Others don’t.   Image courtesy evi.com

When he was 10 years old, Kenneth got religion.  He came under the influence of a quasi-religion known as The 5 Percent Nation, which was also known as The Nation of Gods and Earths.  For lack of a better term, it was a cult.  The Five Percent Nation came from the peculiar imagination of Clarence 13X, who – once upon a time – had been part of the Nation of Islam.  Before he converted, 13X’s name used to be Clarence Edward Smith.  Later, Clarence 13X decided he could no longer accept the idea that Wallace Fard – who was the founder of the Nation of Islam – was god.  So Clarence 13X left and started his own religion.  His new religion taught that God was the Blackman and woman was his Earth.  In other words, the Blackman was the highest power or Supreme Being of the Universe. 

The 5 Percent Nation took their name from the fact that they believed they were the chosen five percent of humanity.  The other 95% of humanity were made up of two divergent groups.  Those who lacked knowledge accounted for 85%.  And those who were devils made up the remaining 10%.  The devils were people who knew the truth but deliberately taught lies for the purpose of personal gain. 

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