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BMF season 2 cast explains how 50 Cent is “committed to excellence”

The BMF cast tell us about putting together season 2 of the drama series, and the secret to Curtis '50 Cent' Jackson's ongoing success.

BMF season 2

The preamble to drama series BMF states that much of this show really happened. As ridiculous as some of what’s coming might seem, the Flenory brothers, and their empire of drug-dealing and organised crime, were a genuine phenomenon in the United States from the ’80s to the 2000s.

Starting out in Detroit, their network started small, and BMF season 2 – which stands for ‘Black Mafia Family’ – covers the early deals that preciptated the vast operation. It’s another production of Curtis ’50 Cent’ Jackson, who’s been instrumental in turning Courtney A Kemp’s thriller series Power into an ever-expanding franchise.

Jackson’s working with creator Randy Huggins on BMF, and though fans of Power will find plenty of similarities, this is a different kind of story. It’s a biography, and the people involved are still alive. We got to speak to many of the main BMF cast about stepping up to that challenge, what it means to them, and the standard required to join one of Jackson’s projects.

“Initially, I felt this responsibility, and the huge undertaking that it was, and it felt like we were under a certain amount of pressure,” Russell Hornsby told The Digital Fix. “But once we started working, I felt like all I had to do was approach it with a sense of honesty, a sense of purpose, integrity, and my intentions were pure. When I approached it with that, the weight was lifted.”

In the Flenory family, Hornsby portrays Charles, father to brothers Demetrius ‘Meech’ Flenory and Terry ‘Southwest T’ Flenory. Opposite him is Michole Briana White, as Lucille Flenory. A large portion of the TV series deals with the shifting sands of their relationships, as Terry and Charles build a limousine company together, whereas Demetrius remains dedicated to crime.

BMF season 2

“Everything is on [Meech’s] shoulders,” Demetrius ‘Little Meech’ Flenory Jr, who portrays his father Meech, says. “He does a very good job with dealing with it. Making sure all the right people are in the right positions, and everything is in the right place for him to expand and get bigger since he’s his own man.”

BMF season 2 often works off the contrast in the brother’s lives. On the one hand, you have Meech, who’s earning the trust of different gangs and seeing these arrangements pay off, whereas Terry’s struggling to satisfy arrogant customers. Flenory Jr comments that they funamentally approach challenges different, Meech being more of a “gladiator” than his brother.

“Terry’s a more calm, subtle man that thinks about his actions,” Flenory Jr states. “He makes sure that he avoids all harm and all of the wrong things. He’s already thinking about all the processes not going well, so he’s already in the wrong and thinking negative.”

BMF season 2

Da’Vinchi portrays Terry, and he adds that Southwest T is in a transition period this season. “He’s definitely in that in betwee place,” Da’Vinchi says. “He has a lot of things that he’s juggling, and he’s thinking about them all, and you see him a little stressed out. That lifestyle comes with a lot of stresses.”

The two sons undergoing different kinds of transformation creates an intense household, and White talks about the way Lucille interanlises that as their mother. “She’s really struggling with just seeing her boys do all this stuff. She feels responsible in some way,” she says. “There’s a lot of shame, embarrassment – what did I do wrong? How do I deal with these things?”

While BMF is about the creation of an empire, season 2 examines the family that gets lost in the process. These characters are still alive as well, furthering the need for nuance when bringing this story to our screens. The privilege of having the actual people to draw from isn’t lost on the cast.

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“To be able to really just talk to them still, and all of them to be around and alive and moving. It’s like it’s, it’s a phenomena, honestly,” Da’Vinchi states, “and I’m just happy that I was just blessed to be in that position where I’m telling the story.”

Some stars were there when the actual BMF was around, and they remember how the Flenory brothers made themselves known. “I lived in Los Angeles when these guys came to Los Angeles,” Kelly Hu, who portrays detective Veronica Taylor, remembers. “I seen the billboards, you know, I knew who they were up to a point. I didn’t know what they were about.”

Hu’s character is one of the ways BMF enhances the story, because Veronica was created for the series. She notes that there weren’t many Asian-American members of the police force, and her inclusion gives a way into Detroit’s underbelly.

BMF season 2

“Bringing on a woman who is also Asian at a time when there was so much anti Asian sentiment, the Japanese car industry had been blamed for all these people losing their jobs in Detroit, just before this era takes place,” she says. “There’s there’s so much history to talk about and uncover.”

That injection of fiction to enhance the fact is perhaps part of why Jackson has proven so savvy when it comes to television. The Power franchise continues to be a longform powerhouse, and BMF is one of his most ambitious undertakings to date. His collaborators are full of praise, La La Anthony actually jumping at the chance to join BMF after featuring on Power.

“He’s one of my closest friends and he told me about Power long before there was a Power and I saw the amazing success of that,” La La Anthony tells The Digital Fix. “When I heard about BMF, and just his passion, his work ethic, I knew that it was going to be incredible and he just never misses.”

BMF season 2

While Jackson himself knows his way around production, it’s on the strenght of his collaborators that so many productions have been successful. Hornsby and White, who’ve both had long careers in filmmaking and television, espouse that Jackson’s high standard is what makes Power and BMF what they are.

“First and foremost is that 50 cent is been committed to excellence. He made a statement from the outset – he wants quality, and he wants high production value,” H:ornsby says, White adding: “BMF to me is as also very similar to his own life story, how he came up as a rapper and has turned his life around. Amazing, extraordinary the things that he’s done, and that’s what BMF is about to me.”

BMF season 2 is available to watch in full now on Starzplay and Lionsgate Plus.