The Brutal Rise of El Mencho

Mexico’s most widespread, violent drug cartel has $20 billion dollars in savings, owns half the Jalisco police and keeps expanding. Instead of growing heroin or marijuana, they manufacture methamphetamine, which has a higher profit margin and requires no open fields. They flew under the DEA’s radar by selling in Europe, Asia and Australia instead of the US. They’re based in a coastal regionwith busy shipping ports and even used submarines to avoid detection. They have a complete disregard for human life. They’re called the Cartel Jalisco Nueva Generación, or CJNG, and they’re very successful.

Author: Josh Eells
Source: Rolling Stone
Published: Jul 11, 2017
Length: 26 minutes (6,634 words)

The Secret Life of Transgender Rocker Tom Gabel

The lead singer of Against Me!, married with a child, is now Laura Jane Grace. She speaks out about gender dysphoria, which left her uncomfortable in a male body for as long as she can remember:

“In retrospect, the lyrics are almost shockingly direct: If I could have chosen I would have been born a woman / My mother once told me she would have named me Laura / I would grow up to be strong and beautiful like her / One day I’d find an honest man to make my husband

“Gabel says he thought he was ‘completely outing himself’ with a lyric like that. He expected to be confronted – a part of him even craved it. But if anyone suspected anything, no one brought it up. ‘When we did that song, I was like, “What is that about?”‘ says Butch Vig, who produced Against Me!’s last two albums. ‘He just kind of laughed it off. He said, “I was stoned and dreaming about what life can be.”‘”

Author: Josh Eells
Source: Rolling Stone
Published: Jun 4, 2012
Length: 22 minutes (5,709 words)

Jack White Is the Coolest, Weirdest, Savviest Rock Star of Our Time

Inside the rock star’s Nashville home and the headquarters for his growing company, Third Man Records:

“White walked back to a room called the Vault, which is maintained at a constant 64 degrees. He pressed his thumb to a biometric scanner. The lock clicked, and he swung the door open to reveal floor-to-ceiling shelves containing the master recordings of nearly every song he’s ever been involved with. Unusually for a musician, White has maintained control of his own masters, granting him extraordinary artistic freedom as well as truckloads of money. ‘It’s good to finally have them in a nice sealed environment,’ White said. I asked where they’d been before, and he laughed. ‘In a closet in my house. Ready to be set on fire.’

“White said the building used to be a candy factory, but I had my doubts. He’s notoriously bendy with the truth — most famously his claim that his White Stripes bandmate, Meg White, was his sister, when in fact she was his wife. Considering the White Stripes named themselves for peppermint candies, the whole thing seemed a little neat. ‘That’s what they told me,’ he insisted, not quite convincingly. I asked if I needed to worry about him embellishing details like that, and he cackled in delight. ‘Yes,’ he said. ‘Yes.'”

Author: Josh Eells
Published: Apr 6, 2012
Length: 20 minutes (5,206 words)