Layton Simon is a former American drug dealer who is the inspiration behind the character Lamar Silas from BMF, the hit Starz series. That name may not mean much to anyone unfamiliar with the BMF series that chronicles the life and activities of the Flenory brothers – Demetrius “Big Meech” Flenory and Terry Flenory.
Lamar Silas, portrayed by actor Eric Kofi-Abrefa, is a character in the series who was one of the Flenory brothers’ rivals. Over time, several sources have concluded that there are similarities between the character and Layton Simon, who was also active at the time Big Meech and his brother were in their prime. This article explores the life and activities of the real-life Layton Simon.
Layton Simon was Born in Detroit
Not much is known about Layton Simon, including his exact date of birth, but several accounts of his upbringing, including the fact that he was arrested at the age of 9 in 1967, suggest that he was most likely born in 1958 in Detroit, Michigan, United States. It is a fact that confirms his status as an American citizen, as well as the fact that he is around 66 years old.
His physical appearance also points to the fact that he belongs to the African American ethnic group, even though not much is known about his birth family members. Still, from the interviews that he has given throughout the years, we have been able to deduce the fact that he has a brother who was killed.
Layton’s upbringing was rough, to say the least. According to him, he was only eight years old when he defended his mom from two drug addicts with a shotgun he had brought home from the South. The assailants had broken into his home and attacked his mom, demanding that she give them the $80,000 they knew she had in the house and some drugs.
He had intervened and threatened to shoot the druggies if they refused to let his mom go. He claims he would have shot them if his mom had not stopped him from doing so. According to the former drug dealer, that moment gave him the confidence he needed to survive on the streets.
Layton Simon Got Into the Drug Business as a Teenager
According to several close sources, Layton Simon was 14 years old when he was introduced into the drug business. Living in Detroit, then described as the Motor City and fast becoming the Murder Capital of the US, thanks to the 751 killings in 1973, required street smarts to survive.
Layton had that in abundance and soon found an outlet for it. Detroit in the 1970s was teeming with drug gangs who all wanted a piece of the pie that was the booming drug trade at the time, and one of the drug lords at the time was a man named Harold Stinson.
Almost everything Layton knew about the drug business, he learned from Stinson. After just a year in the business, Layton had earned enough money to buy a car, aged just 15 years old. The car was a 1972 Lincoln Town car he paid cash for despite his friend’s advice that doing so would hurt his credit score.
The passage of time saw Layton Simon rise to the top of the food chain, and he was soon in charge of the Southwest Detroit drug operation. His relative rise to power meant that he was soon embroiled in territory battles with other drug gangs.
Layton Simon’s Rivalry With Big Meech
One of the groups Layton had serious beef with was the Flenory brothers Big Meech and Terry. He reserved a special kind of hatred for Big Meech, and it was a rivalry that even resulted in him shooting Big Meech 18 times, even though only one of the bullets grazed the latter’s cheek.
Layton’s brother had just been murdered, and Big Meech appeared to be taking credit for it, and he warned him to stop. Things appeared to have calmed down until Layton’s nephew was found dead, and Big Meech started running his mouth again.
On his way home one night, he spots the now-incarcerated drug dealer at the Coney Island restaurant with about 30 of his goons. The restaurant was just down the street from his house, and as soon as he got home, he grabbed his gun and proceeded to shoot at Meech, who escaped by hiding under the dashboard of his vehicle.
Despite their rivalry, Layton respected Big Meech because he wasn’t a snitch. He revealed that the latter kept their beef in the streets and never once ran to the cops, unlike Edrick E.D. Boyd, who Layton claims snitched on him, to the police several times.
The Flenory Brothers were Not Layton Simon’s Biggest Drug Rivals
The BMF series may have zeroed in on the rivalry between Layton Simon and the Flenory brothers, but the former drug dealer has maintained a different position stating that the brothers were not his biggest rivals.
That dubious honor belonged to Ashford & Simpson, the songwriting couple that comprised Nickolas Ashford and his wife, Valerie Simpson. Nick reportedly grew up in Ypsilanti, Michigan, which is about 30 minutes away from Detroit, where Layton held sway.
Layton Simon Had Trouble With The Law
Layton Simon had always had trouble with the law, an issue that went as far back as when he was just nine years old when he was arrested during the Detroit Riot of 1967 for stealing some hats. He didn’t exactly go to jail because of his age at the time.
One can imagine that that incident was not his last run-in with the law, given his history of drug dealing, but things came to a head for him when he had to move away from his territory after a police officer moved into his apartment block. That opened the door for the Flenory brothers to move in.
Layton Simon is the Inspiration Behind Lamar Silas in BMF
Anyone who has seen the BMF series knows all about the character Lamar Silas, portrayed by actor Eric Kofi-Abrefa. Throughout the series, it has become crystal clear that Layton Simon is the real-life personality whom the character was modeled after.
The similarities between Simon and the character were apparent in several ways, including the rumor about the former drug dealer being sent to a mental institution during the 1980s. There are also several dissimilarities between the character and Layton.
During the first season of the series, Lamar attacks and kills Darius, Big Meech’s sister Nicole’s boyfriend, while trying to abduct her. It is a scene that bothered Layton because he says he never hurt women and would never hurt children.
Another change the showrunners made that did not tally with real events was Lamar’s escape from a mental institution. Layton says the rumors that he was sent to a mental institution were false because his faculties were intact despite rumors that he was crazy.
While he admits that dealing with his brother’s death was traumatic enough to drive anyone crazy, he held on to his sanity quite well.
Is Layton Simon, Lamar From BMF, Still Alive in Real Life?
Layton Simon is still alive in real life. After serving time in prison, he returned to Detroit, but no longer as a drug dealer and a gang banger. He has turned his life around and is now an upstanding citizen.
He currently devotes his time and efforts to advocating for social change and youth development. His efforts have seen him positively mentor a lot of young people in his community by sharing his personal experiences with them.
Layton speaks at schools and social events about the importance of education and the dangers of a life of crime. He also currently runs a clothing line known as Made In Plain. The profits he earns from this business allow him to give back to society.