KENNETH “SUPREME” MCGRIFF
Business: Drug Trade
Region: Queens, New York
Claim to Fame: McGriff became a movie producer, who worked with legendary hip-hop artists.
Downfall: convicted of ordering two ‘revenge’ murders
Sentence: life in prison without parole
Status: Federal ‘supermax’ prison in Florence, Colorado
Lesson: Getting in the game is eas; getting out is hard.
Kenneth “Supreme” McGriff's long, strange journey led him to form a Queens-based drug ring, The Supreme Team. Raised in the Baisley Park projects of southeast Queens, McGriff was drawn to gangs and had a natural charisma that drew others to him. He took the name ‘Supreme Team’ from the Nation of Islam’s Five Percenters, whose teachings taught that the Black man was by nature divine, and in fact was the original man, the Supreme Being. Surpreme’s team flourished in the drug trade, until he was convicted and sent to prison in the late 1980s. While serving time McGriff was moved by the novels of underground legends Iceberg Slim and particularly Donald Goines. Once released from prison he became a friend and associate of music entrepreneur Irv "Gotti" Lorenzo, and re-invented himself as a movie producer with "Crime Partners," the first Goines novel to be made into a film, and featuring Snoop Dogg, Ice-T, and Ja Rule. However, his newfound career ended abruptly when he was charged and convicted for ordering deadly hits on two rivals, and sentenced to life in prison without parole.