Atlanta legends Big Bank, DJ Scream, and Baby Jade welcomed Black Mafia Family associate Chad “JBo” Brown as their guest for today’s (March 16) episode of the “Big Facts” podcast on REVOLT.
JBo detailed actually meeting BMF founder Demetrius “Big Meech” Flenory for the first time when a friend invited him to Decatur, GA for a friendly battle on a PlayStation video game. JBo lost $800 that day but was affiliated soon enough — he is often described as the drug trafficking organization’s “underboss” and witnessed BMF’s epic run, firsthand.
“If you’d [seen] us out back then, you’d be like, ‘Damn them n**gas move in a cool a** hood a** militant type way,’” said JBo. “We had rules that was understood. We followed them rules and we had a long little run. Just by us [being] willing to take orders, or commands, or ideas from another guy or a group of guys that we really didn’t know.”
He added, “My side of the crew was like a melting pot. We had ‘Bama, Atlanta, Brooklyn, St. Louis, LA… different types of guys around us. Whereas T, he had more Detroit and a few outside St. Louis guys.”
JBo reminisced for a bit about his days in St. Louis before he hit the streets. The OG detailed how he was a highly recruited high school football player, but after catching a case, he fell back from the sport and tried out hustling. One of his friends was putting in work, and JBo actually ran off on the plug after being fronted an ounce of weed to sell, but he was fortunate enough to get schooled. “I went out and made the money, and spent the money,” recalled JBo. “I started ducking him. He caught up with me. He was like, ‘Don’t do that s**t, bruh. You ain’t gotta do that. If you got a problem, just try to talk about it, come talk to me… whoever you owe, get an understanding. In the streets, they’ll give you a second, maybe a third chance to try to make that money back up.’ He gave me a good tutorial of hustling, and he gave me some more work. That’s how I got introduced to drugs.”
To say that BMF was lucrative when it came to the drug trade would be an understatement —they reportedly raked in millions daily at their peak. But in 2005, JBo was indicted on cocaine and money-laundering charges that he pled guilty to a couple of years later. He was sentenced to 20 years in prison. The BMF lieutenant never turned informant, and co-host Big Bank ask JBo who in his life disappointed him the most when it came to cooperating with the authorities after his arrest. He wasn’t shy and detailed why he feels BMF rapper Bleu DaVinci allegedly talking got him sent into the hole after he had just been transferred to an Georgia prison, Robert A. Deyton Detention Facility aka Lovejoy.
But besides witnesses pointing fingers, JBo feels the famed “The World Is BMF’s” billboards — plural — that went up in Atlanta while the crew was holding its infamous parties in the city is what made things “hot.” “I hated that s**t,” said JBo, who appeared in one of the massive signs. “One of our biggest downfalls was the billboard s**t. We rocking. We doing what we do… You supposed to keep [as] low a profile as possible. But, at the same time, we was trying to get our record label out there. So you gotta pop out. You gotta show everybody that these n**gas really doing music, and we was.”
However, JBo, whose name stands for “Junior Boss,” was candid that the music was secondary, at least for him. But he admitted that Big Meech really was trying to transition to the music business. He further detailed having a conversation with Big Meech about becoming his partner. Most everyone was on board when Meech relayed the new hierarchy — except when it came to spending their own money — since BMF was known for buying out bars and spending lavishly on behalf of their associates.
Nevertheless, JBo remained humble when moving in the streets and life, most times. “I know what it feels like not to have that power. If you f**k with me, I f**k with you, we rock together. I never abused that feeling that you got from transitioning from trap n**ga to trap superstar.”
As the episode went on, JBo shared insight into BMF’s epic parties. Jade, a friend of BMF herself, asked him to detail stories about trips to Cancun, Meech’s King of the Jungle-themed birthday party with wild animals, and the Essence Festival. JBo also talked the Flenory brothers falling out and what he did and didn’t expect when he finally came home after serving about 11 years in prison.
But despite the highs of the drug trade, JBo offered sobering thoughts on what the reality was in finally touching down in the town again. Even though he helped out a lot of people before the Feds came knocking, his bank account was not ringing when he completed his sentence. “I ain’t that person that’s going to sit back and wait for a handout,” said JBo. “I’m not going to stop because the streets taught me how to move when it comes to making money — and not just with drugs. You gotta use that same mentality for your life.”
If you liked the recap of this week’s “Big Facts,” make sure you stay tuned in for new episodes every Thursday. Plus, don’t forget to watch the latest show here.