If you ever wanted to know what it’s like touching millions of dollars to being a queen pin, OG to the game Tonesa aka Toni Welch will have some stories for you.
Appearing and producing on ALLBLCK’s latest show, Notorious Queen’s of Hip Hop, it’s clear the first lady of the Black Mafia Family deserves a seat at the table.
The Black Mafia Family was allegedly known for being one of the largest black drug organizations in the history of the United States. Started in the eighties, the organization was going strong until their indictment in 2005.
The new series follows women labeled “notorious” due to their past romantic experiences and intense media coverage. As they lean on each other for support, their stories intertwine as the women experience new horizons in love, business, and friendship…even if they don’t necessarily get along all the time.
Monsters & Critics recently spoke with Toni Welch on her glamorous past and life since leaving prison.
Toni reflects on her life as a queen pin
So what does being a queen pin actually mean? Toni described it as, “a lady who could just do it all too – sell more drugs, be popular, have a lot of money. I traveled from Africa to Spain to anywhere – you name it. I was on private planes, I could walk in you know, Louis Vuitton, Gucci, when it was closed. I lived a life as a celebrity would live.”
Although the men of BMF were in the spotlight, Toni worked her to establish her own identity away from the names of Demetrius “Big Meech” Flenory and Terry “Southwest T” Flenory.
“They were always up front, people don’t see the woman. You know, they was like where did she come from? She living behind them, she doing this,” she explained. “I’ve always been a hustler. Terry, Meech and nobody else made me do anything. Anything I’ve done, I’m not going to blame them.”
Starting out fresh from her own past that landed her in prison for 5 years for drugs and money laundering, Toni is ready to repair the relationships who felt abandoned with her incarceration.
Not only is she looking to strengthen the bonds with her three sons, but Toni has also made herself a resource for felons looking for assistance with their rehabilitation. Acknowledging that the toughest battle is simply understanding what available help is out there, she wants to make it easier for anyone in this position.
One of her notable achievements is working with the mayor of Los Angeles to eliminate the box on job applications that distinguishes the applicant as a felon.
Prison helped prepare Toni for the large personalities of the Notorious Queens of Hip Hop
Walking into a new show with some major personalities, Toni’s experience being incarcerated prepared her for the unscripted show.
When asked how she deals with her new co-stars, she stated, “I’ve applied the two’s that I’ve learned from prison. I was around sometimes 300-600 women at a time and you had to learn to get along.”
Following up on her philosophy, she continued, “Everybody, we’re not cookie-cutter, God didn’t make us all the same. So I apply that, we gon’ argue but you better not touch me and that’s how it went in prison. We can agree to disagree.”
Not someone to let things simmer, she’s going to let her co-stars know when she has an issue. “I learned sometimes arguing and getting it out – then we can get through it. I had to learn that. I had roommates that I didn’t like but I didn’t have a choice, and you learn to deal with it.”
Notorious Queens of Hip Hop is currently streaming on ALLBLK.