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Slangin' Dope at Art Basel

Miami's drug dealers see Art Basel as their Christmas bonus.

A nightclub where white people probably love to do cocaine. (Image via)

Once a year, thousands of rich assholes flock to South Beach to buy artistic shit at Art Basel, one of the most famous art fairs in the world. After rich people finish buying garbage, they like to let their hair down and party with copious amounts of cocaine, as white people are wont to do.

The event has become a boon for Miami’s underground drug economy, and local dope dealers now see the three-day art fair as their little Christmas bonus. We had a chat with one such dealer, who calls himself Truelove. He told us about the nose-diving exploits of the artsy-fartsy assholes at Art Basel.


This photo was sent to us by Truelove. He's trying to tell you something.

VICE: Why do you call yourself Truelove?
Truelove: It's the last name of the main character in that movie Alpha Dog, who sells weed and kills kidnappers. He was a real person.

How long have you been selling dope?
I started really young, when I was turning 17. My mum had a lot of weed in the house, and I took some all the time and sold it. I knew I was going to be really good at it because I went to summer camp and made a lot of money selling it. I've never had to get a real job.

How does Basel affect your line of work?
Basel is awesome. I get a lot of rich New Yorkers – a bunch of know-it-alls with a shitload of money.

Who are the types of people who come to you during Basel?
I don't know what it is about New Yorkers, but they are all cokeheads. New Yorkers pay the most for the worst shit, so it's easy to impress them. To us, all New Yorkers are rich. A New Yorker who works a shitty job still gets paid the same as a hardworking person in Miami. New Yorkers are all blood diamond-rich. It's crazy.

Do they buy a lot?
They're not buying in large quantities, but they keep coming back throughout the night. It doesn't matter what time it is. New Yorkers are nocturnal, a different breed of human. You can tell where people are coming from by what they're wearing. If someone is coming to town to look at art, you know they have money. People from California wear open, flow-y shit, and people from NYC are upright and uptight.


What are your sales like during Basel? 
I don't really know, but it's a lot. At Basel, cocaine does the best. Weed and MDMA also get good sales. I'm not sure if you know and I probably shouldn't tell you, but MDMA is synthetic and fake here. It's all methylone – just bath salts. I should technically encourage people not to buy it, but I won't.

Do you have competition? Are there Art Basel drug territories? 
I'm a gorgeous Jewish white boy – I don't like dealing with that kind of shit. I had a gun in my car when I was in high school, but that was stupid. Nobody interferes; we all help each other here in Miami. I'll protect friends. Don't step on my foot and I won't step on yours – that's how we all work down here, even during Art Basel.

What's your territory?
My location is Wynwood. I like the art. Midtown is where I generally roam. I don't like South Beach – there are too many cops. The Biscayne area of Miami is all me.

Is there a hotel or club where you get the majority of your calls?
Bardot. I don't want to call it out, but Bardot is the spot. It's the oldest lounge in Midtown.

Do you like that Art Basel comes to Miami every year?
I think Miami is already a trashy place, so it's not bad to pollute the street with snobby fucks.

Follow Jimmy on Twitter: @dieselmad

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