When I was a young kid on the West Side of Chicago, someone opened up a videogame arcade spot near the house and after school before going home, I would play my favorite game Mappy. While other brothas chased skirts or played school sports or the band or threw basement house music parties in Chicago, nah this brotha here chosen to be different and spend my valuable time playing the ish out of Mappy:
So one day when I woke up in the morning and going to school, I saw a whole bunch of police cars and wagon surrounding the house next to the game room with the door busted open and they had the owner in handcuffs and putting more people in the wagon with cuffs on taking them out the house. The arcade was also busted open and cops were all in there. I realize I couldn’t play Mappy anymore and from that point, decided to be like all the other lamers out there. So I decided I just go ahead and hustle hard downtown Chicago to get some side paper, become a drum machine programmer and chase skirts as a kid.
But what I learned later on and what I remember to this day was it comes to find out they were drug dealers and they handled the money, lots of the drug money. But the dumb part was they sold drugs from the home next to their arcade setup and that’s what did them in. The obvious reason they were running an arcade was because that is how they were trying to launder their money to make it appear legit. With that said, we are going to talk real quick about how cartels learned to used vending machines and video games to launder drug/illegal money and established them and their people economically to be legit.
The different between a dumb criminal organization and a cartel is a cartel avoids federal tax problems while a dumb criminal organization do not. Back in the days, it was the mafia that was running vending based games like pinball machines where they would report these things made all of this money and they also hid their illegal gains in the income. See, these vending games took cash and no one knows how much cash they receive so they can put their drug money and everything else in these operations. But dumb criminals engage in stuff like drug dealing, grow houses, pimping little girls and we suppose to admire in the Black community, right?
The reason why is vending machines does not have inventory or products, it is based on utilization. So as you know it was not only pinball machines that the cartels hid their money in, they also hid their money in other coin-operated ventures like coin operated, Laundromats and casinos. Now there was another thing many cats don’t know but the mafia cats also hid their money in record labels because you really did not know how many album they sold and could have reported someone sold millions when they probably only sold thousands. That’s how the cartels hid and laundered their money.
But guess what happened? The casinos went legit, the pinballs turned into legit arcade video game companies and record labels turned legit and the sons and daughters or associates of the original cartel are now running these companies or just silent shareholders with generational wealth because their family did dirt back in the days. Las Vegas, Atlantic City, major record label signing up these rappers talking about drugs and distribution of drugs – now you know where all this ish came from.
The funny part and the sad part is you know who are the biggest CUSTOMER of these hustles – yeah, our Black ancestors were customers of these pinball, laundromat and other vending operations and they put these businesses in our Black neighborhoods. But some of the Black gang members picked up on this hustle and started doing shell type businesses where they can hide their money which is stuff like party/promotion companies, strip clubs, rap music labels putting out mixtapes, coin operated game rooms and laundromats and these are stuff that did not require upfront inventory and just somehow – cash was made and the IRS cannot trace it back.
However, the problem we have in our community is we have dumb criminals, not cartel characters. See, the cartels back in the days turned legitimate and gave their family generational wealth while Black criminals only throw money around wanting you to admire them as some legendary street pimp and our dumb Black asses admire that shallow ish.
On the south side of Chicago in more recent times, there were a couple of dudes with very bad reputations; Flukey Stokes and his son Willie the Wimp. They beat people up. They sold drugs. They became wealthy. Willie the Wimp was shot in 1984 and dad threw a funeral. Thousands were invited. Even more invited themselves. People don’t often see the recently departed sitting up and holding the steering wheel of a coffin modeled after the Cadillac Seville. A coffin with flashing lights and flowers for wheels. Oh sure, there were some other thoughtful touches, rings on his fingers and c-notes stuck like cigarettes in his hands.
The post-burial birthday party for Willie the Wimp was held at the same motel where Willie was shot. So it was, Willie the Wimp became more famous in his coffin than he had been in the street. It’s a story that inspires song. Flukey Stokes was gunned down last November as he sat in his car. We thought you’d like to know Stevie Ray isn’t singing about some Mickey Spillane fiction. He’s singing about Chicago.
So this is what Black folks back in the day were celebrating – someone who beats people up and sold drugs and we got web sites trying to admire these characters who ain’t left a damn thing for the younger generation to stack paper on. But the cartels – oh, the cartels from Italy, Japan, China, Thailand, Columbia, Russia and so on have kids and daughters who are multi-millionaires with legit money to pass down to their kids and they all legit now and on television and movies and you don’t even realize it.
Here is what I’m trying to say here – I’m not reading some Panache blog and admiring two-bit street mother*ckers who ain’t done ish on a cartel level and as far as I’m concerned, they are just overhyped dumb criminals in my book. No, show me the cat who build economic power like television studios in Manhattan, casinos in Las Vegas and record labels signing these self-hating Blacks rapping about drug dealing and they proud they push snow to their own Black people like a snow man. F*ck those lightweight ass people some of yall name-dropping as “street legends” in our communities – when we got cats smart enough to setup cartels that create wealth and economics for their people and they know how to exit quietly instead of throwing ignorant lavish parties, yall let me know.