Featured Story, Street Legends

Some fiends scream about Supreme Team/a Jamaica, Queens thing- Nas, Memory Lane (Sittin’ in the Park), Illmatic (1994)

One of the most lionized and lauded drug crews in rap, the Supreme Team has gone down in hip-hop’s lyrical lore as one of the baddest to ever do it in the 1980s crack era in New York City. Their stomping ground, Baisley Projects in the Southside of Queens became ground zero for both crack and hip-hop. They were ghetto superstars in the extreme in their day, but check out the fate of these legendary American Gangsters before you try to be the next Scarface.

Kenneth “Supreme” McGriff
Kingpin, New York City street legend, hip-hop icon, movie producer

Position in Organization- Supreme was the recognized founder and leader of the Supreme Team. Everything was done under his banner. He is credited with bringing the drug crew into existence and overseeing all of their operations. At his pre-1987 peak, it’s said he generated $200,000 daily selling crack and cocaine out of his drug spots at Baisley Projects.

Claim to Fame- Oversaw the team during its “wonder years” from the early 80s until his incarceration by the state in 1985 and then the feds in 1987. Supreme was very involved in the early hip-hop scene in Queens hiring a pre Def Jam Russell Simmons to put on shows with Run DMC and the Beastie Boys, paying them $1000 a piece to perform at parties he threw. Supreme got out of prison in the 1990s and started rolling with Irv Gotti’s Murder Inc. crew. He managed to produce Crime Partners, a straight-to-video DVD based on a Donald Goines novel of the same name. He rose high in the hip-hop hierarchy, riding shotgun with Murder Inc., during their dominant chart topping years in the music industry, when they were media darlings and MTV/BET staples.

Notoriety- In Ghetto Qur’an 50 Cent called Preme the businessman and said he was very well respected in the streets. Supreme has been mentioned in numerous other raps by Ja Rule, Noreaga and others. The characters, Nino Brown in New Jack City and Majestic in Get Rich or Die Tryin’ are said to be based on Supreme. Don Diva, F.E.D.S., Vibe and BET’s American Gangster series have done interviews with him and Queen Reigns Supreme and Street Legends Vol. 1 have profiled his story. Supreme came up with the slogan, “No singles, no shorts” which his dealers chanted like a mantra, repeating it to crack customers, meaning no dollar bills and don’t come short with the money. It’s said Supreme had such an aversion to dollar bills that he used to pass out $3000 worth of singles a day, everyday in Baisley Projects. He also had turkey giveaways and funded trips to amusement parks for the kids that lived in the projects. He was like a Robin Hood from the hood.

Crimes- Supreme has been convicted numerous times and even called himself, “the usual suspect.” He was convicted of cocaine conspiracy in the state, and continuing criminal enterprise and murder for hire by the feds. In his 1990s heyday, as hip-hop royalty, he was linked by police to every rap related crime and pursued heavily by the hip-hop cops. The organized crime task force was always conducting continuous investigations regarding him and his dealings also. He has been accused of shooting 50 Cent and allegedly had a hand in the Jam Master Jay murder.

Current Status- Served two years in the state and then went home on appeal bond when he overturned his 1985 conviction. Pled guilty in 1987 to a CCE charge in the feds for running the Supreme Team and was released in 1993, just as his nephew Prince and crew were going to trial on federal RICO Act charges. He did 2 1/2 more years in the feds for a parole violation after being caught in a car where another passenger had a gun. He pled guilty to two gun charges in the early 2000s for being a felon in possession of a gun in New York and for taking target practice with a machine gun at a Maryland shooting range. In 2007 he was convicted of a murder for hire charge at the infamous Murder Inc. trial for the shooting death of Mobb Deep affiliate E-Money Bags. Irv Gotti was acquitted in the same trial. Supreme went through the Bureau of Prisons Supermax ADX Florence step program and is now at USP Lee working on his case to regain his freedom.

Gerald “Prince” Miller
Enforcer, second in command, heir apparent, Mr. Untouchable

Position in Organization- Prince, who is Supreme’s nephew, was the enforcer and second in command for the Supreme Team. He took over the drug organization in 1987 when his uncle went to federal prison. Prince had a vicious crew and security force that had several drug spots inside and out of Baisley Projects. They sold the yellow top vials of crack, making almost $500,000 monthly. Known as the enforcement wing of the team, Prince’s crew handled all beefs, confrontations, security matters and inner team disciplinary actions.

Claim to Fame- Prince became known as Mr. Untouchable inNew York City’s tabloid newspapers during the late-80s due to his proclivity to beat any and every case the state brought him up on. He beat multiple murder charges including the gruesome quadruple murders of four Colombian coke dealers Prince and his crew tricked into bringing 8 kilos of coke to them at Baisley Projects. Then proceeded to double-cross and murder them instead of paying them for the coke in the summer of 1987. He was also brought to trial for shooting a rival dealer point blank in the head in broad daylight and acquitted when the witnesses recanted their testimony. Prince was known as one of the most violent and feared gunmen and kingpins inNew York City during the crack era and had no problems blowing a person’s brains out whenever the opportunity presented itself.

Notoriety- Prince is mentioned in several rap song including Get Down by Nas on 2002 God’s Son and 50 Cent’s Ghetto Qur’an where he is described as the killer to Supreme’s businessman 50 raps that “nigga’s feared Prince and respected Preme.” Prince was infamous for always wearing a bulletproof vest and baseball cap everywhere he went, driving a tricked out James Bond enhanced bulletproof BMW and for having the whole projects working for “50 on 500.” That means for every $500 worth of crack they sold the dealers got $50. The rest of the money went to Prince. Prince was notorious for making potential witnesses to his and the team’s crimes disappear or recant their stories. he was a vicious dude that had no problem using violence to solve his problems. He’s done interviews in Don Diva magazine and been written about in Queens Reigns Supreme, Cop Shot and Pieces of Weight by 50 Cent, who refers to Prince in the book as King.

Crimes- Prince was finally convicted by the feds in 1991 after numerous acquittals for multiple murders, drugs and weapons charges in the state. The feds got him for RICO act violations including facilitation of a homicide, witness intimidation, drug conspiracy and continuing criminal enterprise. He has been incarcerated for over two decades. The feds took his whole crew down with him and most of them are all serving life sentences.

Current Status- After serving several short terms in the 1980s with the state while fighting his numerous charges at trial, Prince has been in federal prison since his 1993 sentencing. He is serving 7 life sentences and has done his time in the Bureau of Prisons United State Penitentiary system at USP Allenwood, USP Leavenworth and USP Beaumont known as “Bloody Beaumont” among others. Currently he is back at USP Allenwood and is working on several book and movie projects and trying to get back in court and overturn his convictions.

Colbert “Black Justice” Johnson
Supreme Team Lieutenant, hip-hop hustler, mentor to young 50 Cent

Position in Organization- Black Just was a Supreme Team lieutenant who allegedly started as a worker in Babywise’s crew before rising up to run a crew of his own. He was known to be a Supreme favorite and controlled the orange top vials, selling at several drug spots in and around Baisley Projects. Its said he made $20 to 30 thousand every other day at his spots and took care of all the other Supreme Team members financially, Supreme especially, as they went in and out of jail, fighting their cases or did their time in prison.

Claim to Fame- Black Just was known as a Supreme stalwart and it’s said that he “bled Supreme Team,” holding the crew down through thick and thin. He would go visit Supreme in federal prison and relay his orders back to Prince and the crew. When Prince went in, Black Just and Bimmy effectively became the bosses of the team. Black Just was very involved in the mid-80s and 90s hip-hop scenes, going to all the parties, events and hobnobbing with all the rap superstars to be. Blackie as he was called on the team, used to hang out in Harlem a lot. He was down with Rich Porter and Alpo back in the day and used to go to all the trendy clubs of the era like The Rooftop, Latin Quarter and The Tunnel. Blackie was a very smooth character and dresser who was known to change cars like other people changed shoes. Driving Porsches, Beamers, Benzs, Land Rovers and other luxury automobiles from the 80s and 90s. He was killed by Mobb Deep affiliate E-Money Bags in a 1999 shootout on the streets of Queens. Supreme drove him to the hospital, but it was too late Black Just had bled to death.

Notoriety- Black Just was very instrumental in the young 50 Cent’s early drug dealing career and ran a boxing club in the hood that 50 frequented. 50 Cent has mentioned Black Just numerous times in magazine interviews and rapped about him on 50 Bars of Pleasure, 50 Bars of Pain. The Supreme loyalist stayed true to his boss till the end, dying right next to him in the shootout with E-Money Bags, possibly even taking the bullet meant for Supreme. It took Supreme a couple of years, but he got revenge for Black Just by having a hit squad kill E-Money Bags Dead Presidents-style in 2002. After the hit Supreme allegedly told friends that, “Blackie could finally rest in peace.”

Crimes- Although Black Just dodged all the big cases, he was in and out of jail in the 80s and 90s, but never did any significant time. Due to the Supreme Team’s code of silence and no snitching mentality, Black Just was never indicted on any of the major RICO Act cases the crew faced. But he was known to bust his guns and do what he needed to do to get by. He was a true gangster that lived by T.O.B. (Team over Bitches). His loyalty to his comrades was legendary.

Current Status- RIP. He was killed by E-Money Bags in a 1999 shootout.
Troy “Babywise” Jones
Supreme Team Lieutenant, original seed, hustler extraordinaire

Position in Organization- Babywise was an original Supreme Team member, a part of what they called “the original seed.” He was down since day one and his crew controlled the red top vials. He worked as a lieutenant under Supreme and sold out of numerous drug spots in and around Baisley Projects. He allegedly made $20 to 30 thousand every other day and was a Supreme loyalist and supporter who answered to no one but himself.

Claim to Fame- Babywise was known as a smooth ladies man who kept to himself and avoided the limelight, but would bust his guns when necessary, while handling the teams business. He was one of the only members in the crew who refused to talk business on the phone and this was long before Goodfellas and The Wire. He didn’t take photos or go out to parties, preferring to stay low profile, get money and handle his business. He was one of the most intelligent members on the team and espoused his values on life, drug dealing and the Supreme Team freely. His word and advice was highly respected and people listened when he talked. His spots were steady and generated mucho illicit dinero for himself and the team. He was known as a fly dresser that rocked all the latest fashions and luxury automobiles of the era. It’s said that it was his crew that sported the infamous matching red Supreme Team jackets.

Notoriety- He’s been mentioned in 50 Cent’s Ghetto Qur’an and other songs. He was known as one of Supreme’s main men and allegedly shot another crew member, Green Eyed Born, in the leg, for having a disagreement with Supreme. Babywise was one of the originals and has remained loyal to Supreme and flown the Supreme Team banner since the jump. His name has gone down in legend, even as he has attempted to stay in the background and let other members of the team get all the hype and accolades.

Crimes- Babywise has a criminal record that stretches a mile long, but has never done any significant amount of time and has ducked all the big cases by always knowing when to cut out from the scene. He did a couple of years inNew York state for various drugs and weapons chargers and supposedly beat a murder case inNorth Carolina.

Current Status- He is currently free and living his life, staying low profile and out of the way, whereabouts unknown.
James “Bimmy” Antney
Supreme Team Lieutenant, hip-hop hustler, original gangster Position in

Organization-Bimmy was a long time lieutenant for the team and got down with the crew right after their inception. He was in charge of the blue top vials and was known as a major money getter and player who all the ladies and rappers flocked around. He was said to punctuate all his sentences with “Word to Preme” and considered Supreme a God. His crew controlled several drug spots in or around Baisley Projects and made almost $20 to 30 thousand every other day, selling crack and cocaine.Claim to Fame- Bimmy has always been known as the most well connected Supreme Team member in the music and entertainment business. He was down with the hip-hop scene from day one and ran with Run DMC, Russell Simmons and LL Cool J when they were still rapping on the block. The rappers were like family to him back in the day and Bimmy also supported a young 50 Cent, who used to hang with Bimmy and Black Just before he became famous. At one point Bimmy worked as an A & R man in the music industry and had his own venture, 3 to Life Entertainment, which helped him to make inroads into the industry. He has always stayed fly and in fashion and rocked luxury whips and sported dime pieces on his arm.

Notoriety- Bimmy has been known as a longtime Supreme Team lieutenant and Supreme enthusiast who had one foot firmly entrenched in the entertainment world and one foot squarely planted in the criminal realm. He has been around since the beginning of hip-hop and has managed to move between the two worlds successfully. At the same time inspiring rappers like Run DMC and LL Cool J, who adopted his street styles, attitudes and mentality. He has always been a familiar figure around the Southside of Jamaica cruising in his BMW or Mercedes Benz. Although not known to bust his gun, he has always been a serious money getter and hustler extraordinaire.

Crimes- Bimmy has done some time in the state here and there, but nothing major. He had a 3 to life bid in the state, but got out and never caught another major bid. Due to this and the notoriety he had because of the company he kept, a lot of people in the streets have long suspected Bimmy of being an informant, but his name has never showed up in anyone’s paperwork, so team members put it down to idle talk and jealousy of a hustler who had a long and uninterrupted run of success.

Current Status- Bimmy is very present and accounted for these days with a hip-hop culture magazine, Cornerstore, many Youtube videos on the Internet talking about the Supreme Team’s past glories and a nephew, Waka Flocka Flame, who is big in the rap game. Bimmy is rumored to be working on a tell all Supreme Team book with Prince and other members of the team, including efforts to land a DVD and/or movie deal. Frank C. Matthews who wrote Respect the Jux, is rumored to be the writer Bimmy is working with.

Ernesto “Puerto Rican Righteous” Piniella
security team leader, Prince’s bodyguard, enforcer

Position in Organization- Puerto Rican Righteous was one of the Supreme Team’s top enforcers. He got down with Supreme and the team early in its existence. He was known as a go hard boriqua and acted as security for the crew. He was one of the most feared and respected team members and eventually was placed in charge of the security force under Prince. When Prince and Supreme were in jail, fighting cases,  Righteous handled their business, collected moneys owed and enforced their will on the streets. Making sure the spots ran smoothly, the connects kicked down kilos and malcontents got in line by any means necessary.

Claim to Fame- Righteous worked under both Supreme and Prince as an enforcer. His inclusion into the team ensured the future entrance of Hispanic members into the crew. With Righteous and their Spanish members the Supreme Team was able to bypass the bigger black dealers like Fat Cat, Pretty Tony and Tommy Mickens and buy cocaine in wholesale quantities directly from Colombians, thus cutting the price down and increasing the quality of the product at the same time. Righteous was said to be genuinely fearless and was very respected for the work that he put in. He played a major part in the double-cross murder robbery of four unsuspecting Colombian cocaine dealers, who were lured into Baisley Projects under false pretenses, and then viciously killed for the 8 kilos of cocaine they brought to sell to the team. Righteous allegedly acted under Prince’s orders.

Notoriety- Righteous is mentioned in 50 Cent’s Ghetto Qur’an and became infamous as a turncoat when he switched sides and decided to testify against Prince and his former comrades. He has gone down in the chronicles of gangster lore as a rat of the highest order. One who betrayed the trust of his homeboys by breaking weak and snitching to save his own ass. He has told people that he testified against Prince because Prince slept with his wife when he got locked up, implying that Prince betrayed him first. Righteous was also known as a loose cannon who perpetrated the worst of the Supreme Team’s heinous and violent crimes and then flipped the script on his comrades and blamed them for his actions.

Crimes- Righteous has been in and out of jail since the 80s for various violent crimes. He was know as the ultimate stand up guy until his late-80s arrest for engaging in a shootout with three police officers. He eventually pleaded guilty to this charge and agreed to testify against Prince and his fellow security team members for an 8 to 16 year fixed term in the state for his cooperation. He testified at Prince’s state and federal trials, did his time and got out, forever branded a rat.

Current Status- A sister of one of Prince’s co-defendant’s allegedly saw Puerto Rican Righteous in the late-1990s at Beach Week inVirginia Beach. He was driving a brand new Mercedes and told the sister that “all that (him testifying) wasn’t meant for Teddy and them,” meaning that his testimony was only for Prince. He implied that the other dudes from Prince’s crew just got caught in the snitching crossfire. His current whereabouts are unknown.

Check out their story in The Supreme Team: The Birth of Crack and Hip-Hop, Prince’s Reign of Terro and the Supreme/50 Cent Beef Exposed.

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