KENNETH MCGRIFF: (CONTINUED)

By Christopher Zoukis

In December 1999, Supreme and one of his associates, Colbert ‘Black Just’ Johnson, were in Southeast Queens, where they ran into Eric ‘E Money Bags’ Smith.  Smith was a gangbanger, who was a wanna-be Rapper.  Smith confronted Black Just about some money Black Just owed him.  Tempers flared and Smith pulled a gun, shooting Black Just in the leg.  Supreme dragged Black Just into his SUV and took off.  Because he didn’t want to be implicated in a shooting, Supreme simply drove around.  He didn’t know what to do.  As he tried to figure a way out of the situation, Black Just died.  Finally, Supreme dumped the body at the Southeast Queens Hospital.  Then he drove off.  Colbert ‘Black Just’ Johnson / Photo courtesy vibe.com

Meanwhile, the Rapper known as 50 Cent put out a song called Ghetto Qu’ran.  The song celebrated the street hustling exploits of Supreme.  Only Supreme didn’t see it as flattery.  He saw it as “dry snitching.”  Angry words and accusations were exchanged, leaving only bad blood between Supreme and 50 Cent.  The Source magazine described 50 Cent as “a snitch.”

On May 24, 2000, 50 Cent sat in a car in front of his grandmother’s house in South Jamaica.  Another car pulled up beside 50 Cent’s car.  The man inside the car pointed a gun at 50 Cent and opened fire.   The man fired nine shots.  All nine shots hit home.  The gunman’s car squealed away.

Somehow 50 Cent drove himself to the hospital.  Except for a hole in the side of his jaw and a piece of bullet in his tongue, 50 Cent made a full recovery.  The police and the feds began an investigation.  Supreme’s name came up and he was considered a suspect.

Then on July 16, 2001, E Money Bags – who had shot Black Just in the leg – was sitting in his Navigator in Queens Village.  A black Mercedes pulled up next to the Navigator.  Inside the Mercedes were four men wearing white gloves.  The men opened fire on the Navigator, riddling the vehicle with bullets.  E Money Bags died from ten 9mm bullets.  Over 40 rounds pierced the Navigator, according to the forensic experts.

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KENNETH MCGRIFF: (CONTINUED)

By Christopher Zoukis

Now that he was out of prison, Supreme had decided to re-invent himself.  He would become a producer of movies. 

While in prison at Talladega, Supreme had had to kill a lot of time.  So he began reading.  His favorite author was Donald Goines, who was an ex-hustler from Detroit.  Goines wrote about the streets, drug trafficking and hustling.  Supreme fell in love with Goines’ novels and wanted to make them into movies.  He thought they’d be bigger hits than the Godfather.  To make this dream a reality, Supreme needed to hook up with the right kind of people – players in the entertainment business.  Irv Gotti / Photo courtesy mtv.com

Hip-hop and Rap were coming on like skyrockets in 1995.  Music labels and producers were on the lookout for new talent.  One such producer was Irv Lorenzo, who was out of Hollis, Queens.  Lorenzo started out as a DJ and a talent scout.  Calling himself DJ Irv, he hooked up with people and began handling up and coming Rappers and Hip-hoppers.  Changing his name to Irv Gotti, he started his own record label, which he christened Murder Inc, the world’s most dangerous record label.  Murder Inc. promoted and produced music that revolved around the gangsta’ life.  Which meant Gotti needed street cred.  He needed to be perceived as the real McCoy – a hustler with ties to the street, drugs and gangland style slayings.

One day Gotti was overseeing the shooting of a video for one of his Rappers, whose name was Cash Money Clicks.  A friend of Gotti’s walked up to him and told him Supreme was there and wanted to say hello.  Gotti couldn’t believe it.  This was just the street cred he needed.  Gotti jumped at the chance.

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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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