Kenneth MgGriff established his version of the Black Mafia in NYC over 40 years ago. He got into music and became a progenitor of gangster culture in the hip-hop industry. If you’re wondering if he’s still active, Kenneth McGriff net worth may provide a clue.
McGriff was the man infamously known as Supreme. He was the leader of an organized crime syndicate that operated in New York throughout the 80s. They didn’t just dabble in the drug trade. The Supreme Team seized control over the city. They were at the heart of every illicit activity that generated millions of dollars.
But believe it or not, Kenneth McGriff’s original goal was far from being a crime boss. He didn’t dream of becoming part of a crime family. He had no association with violent gangs until late in his teens. Kenneth wanted to go to college and become an athlete.
Here’s a short read about the notorious Kingpin of Queens.
Kenneth McGriff Net Worth
Kenneth McGriff net worth is estimated at $50 million. The once powerful drug lord made a lucrative career from crime and involvement in the music industry. In 2021, he was sent to the United States Penitentiary after he was convicted and sentenced to life in prison on a litany of charges.
It is uncertain if his career as an American gangster and drug kingpin is over. Power and influence have kept McGriff relevant throughout the decades.
Kenneth McGriff – Short Bio
Kenneth McGriff was born on September 19, 1960, in Queens, New York. He was a very optimistic boy. You could say McGriff, and DJ Envy are mildly similar. They grew up in the same ghetto neighborhood where gangsters being chased by cops is a daily scene.
They lived in the part of town called South Jamaica, an area populated by the working class. Kenneth was raised in a good home, supported by his parents, who both worked in the transit industry. Kenneth valued education and had dreams of becoming a football player.
Kenneth was far from a thug. He was intelligent, charming, and yearning to build something good with his life. It is also important to note that Kenneth grew up before crack cocaine became rampant on the streets. And when it did, many lives were ruined, and families fell apart.
Despite having dreams of a good future, those were times when opportunities were too rare and elusive for a young man like Kenneth. He eventually chose the easier but more dangerous path.
Kenneth McGriff’s Career
McGriff dropped out of high school in the 70s to join the Nation of Gods and Earths or the Five Percenters. This is where he was given the name “Supreme.”
The Five Percenters was not a criminal organization but a black nationalist movement. The group preaches a mixture of logical, commendable, and factually bewildering beliefs. Many of the members joined to gain inspiration. Others used it as a cover for their criminal activities.
Kenneth ran with this crowd. They rivaled against another gang called the Seven Crowns over the control and distribution of heroin in the local market. The competition was tight until the 80s.
McGriff formed the Supreme Team and quickly became one of the major players in the trade. The underworld bore a new gateway in Queens when McGriff established the gang’s headquarters in South Jamaica, opening myriad opportunities to make money aside from drugs.
Around the mid-80s, McGriff was sentenced to nine years for drug and weapons possession charges. But after making a plea, Kenneth was free after only serving two years. In November of 1987, McGriff was arrested for a second time for continuing to operate a criminal enterprise.
He served six out of a twelve-year sentence. While incarcerated, McGriff planned to enter the entertainment business once his time was done.
The Entertainment Business
After his release in 1993, Kenneth met with Irv Gotti, a young DJ who needed the street cred that someone like the once-notorious Supreme could provide. Shortly after, the label Murder Inc was born. Their famous acts include Ja Rule, Ashanti, Jay-Z, DMX, and many others.
From hip-hop, gangsta rap evolved from the genre. Its been around since the early 80s but became the more dominant style in the 90s, influenced by the growing issues of poverty, violence, and drugs. And Murder Inc had the perfect poster boy with Supreme on their side.
He also produced the film Crime Partners featuring rap artists Snoop Dogg and Ice-T, which yielded $4 million. Through Murder Inc Records, Kenneth was earning millions. Unfortunately, he couldn’t help but look back to his old endeavors.
This greed became the root of more violence. Kenneth became the target of jealousy, and in retaliation, he successfully took the lives of two of his main aggressors.
Kenneth McGriff was charged with the murders of “Big Nose” Troy Singleton and Eric “Moneybags” Smith via gun for hire. It also seemed that he lost everything after his conviction.
Kenneth McGriff Net Worth – Frequently Asked Questions
How Much is Kenneth McGriff Net Worth?
Despite being incarcerated for twenty years, Kenneth McGriff net worth is estimated at $50 million. As far as the public knows, the additional money laundering charge was concentrated on the funds used for the label Murder Inc and the production of Crime Partners.
He had a separate operation from his involvement with the entertainment industry, thus speculating that the former kingpin had ample resources stashed away.
Who is Kenneth McGriff?
Kenneth McGriff is one of the most notorious drug lords who went down in history as the Kingpin of Queens. He changed the game in the drug trade in the 80s when cocaine hit the streets of NYC.
What Happened to Kenneth McGriff?
Supreme is currently serving a life sentence at the U.S. Penitentiary mainly for the murders of “Big Nose” Troy Singleton and Eric “Moneybags” Smith via gun for hire.
Kenneth McGriff Net Worth – Conclusion
Kenneth McGriff’s career as the notorious Supreme is probably over, but his influence in the hip-hop and gangster culture is far from dying. He built the connection between the two worlds, molding 90s rap music right from its infancy, permanently ingraining his style and aspirations.
It may be difficult to see how all that chaos was worth gunning for. Then again, we could probably have been born a little more fortunate, safely tucked away from the environment that led Kenneth to the life he gambled for and lost to. He gained so much, then lost even more.
The choice is a double-edged sword, but it is ours to make, and Supreme made his. Our best takeaway is to use his life story as a reference to having better futures.
For more inspiring stories and money-making tips:
- Struggle Jennings Net Worth: 5 Years of Contemplation and New Rules to Success
- Damon Oates Net Worth: Leading Creative Talents for Business
Founder of Spark Nomad, Radical FIRE, Celebz Net Worth, Copywriter
Expertise: Personal finance and travel content. I’m a full-time traveler, and I’ve been to 49 countries and 5 continents.
Education: Bachelor of Economics at Radboud University, Master in Finance at Radboud University, Minor in Economics at Chapman University.
Over 200 articles, essays, and short stories published across the web.
Marjolein Dilven is a journalist and founder of Spark Nomad, a travel platform, and Radical FIRE, a personal finance platform. Marjolein has a finance and economics background with a master’s in Finance. She has quit her job to travel the world, documenting her travels on Spark Nomad to help people plan their travels. Marjolein Dilven has written for publications like MSN, Associated Press, CNBC, Town News syndicate, and more.