Gil-Scott Heron, Griselda Blanco, and John Belushi: Great Articles About Cocaine

Longform.org's guide to the greatest long articles ever written.
June 1 2013 7:15 AM

The Longform Guide to Cocaine

Stories about blow that don’t suck.

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“Jackson now admits he was an ‘enabler’ to his friend's reckless spending: ‘There were warning signs early that a crash and burn was in the future,’ but, Jackson reasoned, as long as Storch kept making hits, he could sustain his purchases.

“Then Storch discovered the ego fertilizer known as cocaine. Soon he was snorting every day, Jackson says. ‘It started out light, and then it just escalated.’”

BMF: The Complete Series
Mara Shalhoup • Creative Loafing Atlanta • December 2006

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The rise and fall of the Black Mafia Family, once one of the largest cocaine empires in American history.

“To understand the story of Big Meech, you must first understand that the Black Mafia Family was two things: an alleged drug crew called BMF and a legitimate company called BMF Entertainment. And Meech was believed to be the leader of both.

“At BMF's height, investigators in a half-dozen jurisdictions had reason to suspect that the crew was one of the nation's major drug-trafficking organizations, moving hundreds of kilos of cocaine a month. Federal prosecutors would estimate that BMF pulled in tens of millions of dollars annually -- at least $270 million since the organization got its start.

“An enterprise of that size pretty much guarantees that its leader could have anything money could buy. But in 2004, Meech had his sights on new territory. He wanted to become a credible name in hip-hop.”

New York Is Killing Me
Alec Wilkinson • The New Yorker • August 2010

A profile of Gil-Scott Heron.

“A theme that Scott-Heron often brings up at performances is how people say that he disappeared during the past decade—during the years, that is, when he was serving time. Not long ago, he sold out the Blue Note, a club in Manhattan. ‘I read all of those reviews that said I disappeared,’ he said. “Wouldn’t that be great if I could add that to my act? Come up here and—poof!l Then he said, ‘I had read how great I was before I disappeared. It makes me afraid to show up.’