Eminem's casting as White Boy Rick in 50 Cent's upcoming Starz series Black Mafia Family has earned the seal of approval from Rick Wershe Jr., aka the real-life White Boy Rick. The upcoming Starz series, described as "a story about love, family, and capitalism in the pursuit of the American dream," is inspired by the real-life story of brothers Demetrius Flenory and Terry Flenory. During the late '80s, the two brothers rose from the decaying streets of southwest Detroit "and gave birth to one of the most influential crime families in this country." After news of Eminem's casting was confirmed Tuesday, Wershe said he was honored to have the rapper portray him.
In a video message to TMZ about the casting announcement, Wershe, who served as a teenage FBI informant who infiltrated a Detroit gang before being dumped by the FBI by the age of 17 and was later arrested and sentenced to life in prison for cocaine possession, said Eminem "was actually one of the first people that was looking at doing the movie about me. So it's pretty cool that later down the line, he gets to take on this role." Since his conviction, Wershe has become an iconic character in the hip-hop world, and his story has been depicted in numerous titles. Wershe also added his praise for the series, noting that "if you look at my Instagram, I wore a 'Free Big Meech' shirt home before this was even in the works, so I've always been a supporter of his. I don't believe anybody should get 30 years for a non-violent crime." As for Eminem, Wershe said he is confident the musician will pull off the role flawlessly.
"I don't think I have to tell him anything at all. He's a professional. Everything he does, he does very well. His music speaks for itself. He's an icon, he's a legend," Wershe, who in June 2020 was paroled and released at the age of 50, said. "This for him will be a small thing. I think he'll kill it whatever he does, man. I'm a fan. It's an honor to have him do it. He's a Detroit legend; I have a huge name here. So, from one Detroiter to another, just kill it."
Although further details about Eminem's role in Black Mafia Family are being kept under wraps, The Wrap reported that he would appear in one episode. In announcing Eminem's casting, 50 Cent said saying in a statement that they "couldn't do a show based in Detroit without incorporating the legend that is Eminem." The rapper added that he is "honored and appreciative of my good friend Em for supporting my new show BMF." The series is set to premiere on Sunday, Sept. 26 at 9 p.m. ET on Starz and will also star Ajiona Alexus, Eric Kofi-Abrefa, Myles Truitt, Russell Hornsby, Steve Harris, Arkeisha "Kash Doll" Knight, and Wood Harris.