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Big U: From the Streets to Industry Influence


In the vibrant tapestry of South Central, Los Angeles, where the streets speak their own language and stories of resilience and struggle abound, Eugene “Big U” Henley emerged as a prominent figure deeply entrenched in the fabric of the community. Big U's journey from the tough neighborhoods of Arlington and Slauson to becoming a pivotal player in the music industry is a testament to his tenacity, street smarts, and unwavering determination.

Growing up amidst the backdrop of South Central in the 1980s, Big U was immersed in a world shaped by the realities of gang culture and urban strife. Raised in Arlington, which was part of the notorious 60’s territory, Big U was no stranger to the challenges and dangers that lurked on the streets. His cousin, Chilly Capone, led the Arlington Gang, laying the groundwork for what would eventually evolve into the Rollin’ 60’s, a formidable force in the area.


While Big U didn't directly join the Rollin’ 60’s, his affiliation with the Arlington Gang naturally aligned him with the group. Renowned for his prowess as a fighter and possessing innate leadership skills, Big U quickly rose through the ranks, eventually assuming leadership after Chilly Capone's passing. As the Crack epidemic swept through the neighborhood, the focus shifted to acquiring wealth, leading to increased tensions and conflicts with rival factions.


During this tumultuous period, firearms became readily accessible, escalating the violence and turmoil in the community. Big U's involvement in criminal activities, including robbing dealers, eventually caught up with him, resulting in a lengthy prison sentence of 23 years, of which he served 12. However, even behind bars, Big U's influence continued to reverberate.

During his incarceration, Big U took on the role of mentor and manager, guiding emerging talents like Kurupt, who would later sign with Death Row Records. Drawing inspiration from books provided by Michael “Harry-O” Harris, Big U delved into the intricacies of the music business, laying the groundwork for his future endeavors.


Upon his release, Big U transitioned into the music industry, leveraging his connections and expertise to bridge the gap between street rappers and industry executives. His association with figures like Suge Knight and his management of the late Nipsey Hussle catapulted him into the spotlight, garnering both praise and scrutiny.


Despite his tumultuous past, Big U remains committed to giving back to his community. Through initiatives like "Developing Options," founded in 2004, he provides resources and opportunities for the youth of South Central, striving to create a brighter future amidst the challenges of inner-city life.


Eugene “Big U” Henley's journey from the streets of South Central to influential industry insider is a testament to the power of resilience, redemption, and the ability to rise above adversity. In a world where survival often hinges on street smarts and sheer determination, Big U stands as a symbol of hope and possibility, inspiring others to overcome obstacles and pursue their dreams against all odds.

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