‘BMF’: Demetrius ‘Lil Meech’ Flenory Jr. Felt a Lot of Pressure to Portray His Father

Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson and Detroit-born creator Randy Huggins have come together on Starz‘s newest project, BMF. Set in the 1980s in Detroit, the series chronicles the lives of Demetrius “Big Meech” Flenory (Demetrius “Lil Meech” Flenory Jr.) and Terry “Southwest T” Flenory (Da’Vinchi).

The real-life brothers came of age amid the crack cocaine epidemic and became two of the biggest drug traffickers in the country. They went on to expand their business into the music industry before they were arrested in 2005. In the series, Lil Meech portrays his father. He says he had some massive shoes to fill.

Demetrius “Lil Meech” Flenory Jr. as Demetrius “Big Meech” Flenory and Da’Vinchi as Terry “Southwest T” Flenory iwearing furt coars and sn 'BMF'
Demetrius “Lil Meech” Flenory Jr. as Demetrius “Big Meech” Flenory and Da’Vinchi as Terry “Southwest T” Flenory in ‘BMF’ | Starz

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50 Cent put Demetrius ‘Lil Meech’ Flenory Jr. in acting classes for two years so he could be in ‘BMF’

50 Cent has been working on bringing BMF to the small-screen for years. As it began to come together, he envisioned Lil Meech stepping into his father’s shoes. To make that happen, he personally put the younger Flenory in acting classes.

“He made sure, you know, I had the foundational acting before I just jumped out there on the screen and didn’t have any acting experience, you know, as far as any classes,” Flenory told The Grio. “(I took) intense acting classes, five days a week, (sometimes) two times a day, for two years.”

Still, all of his work with actor/director Tasha Smith did not mean that Lil Meech automatically got the role.  “You know, they could of got somebody else who has been acting before,” he explained “that doesn’t look nothing like my dad. Just because that’s my dad, doesn’t mean I (automatically) get the job. So I had to show people that, you know, I really knew what I was doing.”

Demetrius ‘Lil Meech’ Flenory Jr. felt a ton of pressure to portray his father

Big Meech has such a massive presence both in American history and in hip-hop culture. Though he’s been incarcerated since Lil Meech was just a kid, the 21-year-old wanted to make sure that he did his father justice in his portrayal of him.

Though he did the work in acting class and spoke with his father and those who knew him at the time daily, he was still nervous about Big Meech seeing the pilot. “No one’s credibility amounts to his,” he told The Source. “I just want him to tell me he’s proud- he’s seen it, and he’s happy I did it and I killed it. Once I hear that, then it’s all good for me. That’s what I want for my family.”

Lil Meech will be able to fine-tune his acting skill and dive further into his father’s history since Starz has greenlit BMF for season 2.

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‘BMF’ showrunner Randy Huggins doesn’t think Lil Meech sounds like he’s from Detroit

Though the younger Flenory does look a great deal like his father, Huggins wasn’t sure that he was the right fit for the role. The BMF creator didn’t think Lil Meech sounded like he was from the city. “Lil Meech doesn’t sound like a Detroiter,” Huggins told TV Line. “He sounds like he’s from Miami because that’s where he’s from.”

However, Lil Meech has defended his accent choices. “I love Randy, but he be hating on me a little bit,” he laughed. “He be hating on my Detroit accent, but I know how people in Detroit talk and sound. My accent on the show came naturally because I spent a lot of time there when I would go and visit my grandma, even after my dad got locked up. It’s an honor to play my dad. And I can’t mess this up.”