|“||I'm not guilty. *You're* the one that's guilty. The lawmakers, the politicians, the Columbian drug lords, all you who lobby against making drugs legal. Just like you did with alcohol during the prohibition. You're the one who's guilty. I mean, c'mon, let's kick the ballistics here: Ain't no Uzi's made in Harlem. Not one of us in here owns a poppy field. This thing is bigger than Nino Brown. This is big business. This is the American way.||„|
|~ Nino Brown|
Not much is known about Nino Brown's past life. But what is known is that Nino worked with a gang. In order to prove himself to the gang, he approached a woman and killed her in cold blood. It turns out that she was Scotty Appleton's mother.
New Jack City
Nino Brown and his gang, the Cash Money Brothers, become the dominant drug ring in New York City, once crack cocaine is introduced to the streets, during the late 1980s. He starts off by throwing a man to his death to the East River because the guy fails to come up with his money.
Nino plots to turn an apartment complex into a crack house, with the assistance of his best friend/right-hand man, Gee Money, enforcer, Duh Duh Duh Man, gun moll Keisha, Nino's girlfriend, Selina and her tech-savy cousin, Kareem Akbar. Gee Money and Keisha take out Rastafarian rival, Fat Smitty, while the CMB throws the tenants out the Carter, and Nino forces the building's landlord out into the streets, naked.
Frankie Needles pays Nino a visit to deliver him a message from mob boss Don Armeteo who taxes the CMB. Nino scornfully calls for Needles to relay a message back to the Don that he is cutting off taxing him, and that CMB is an independent operation.
Nino does not trust Gee Money's new clientele, but agrees to do business with Scotty, warning Gee that if Scotty isn't who he claims, he'll kill the both of them. On their first encounter, Nino tells Scotty a story of how he murdered a school teacher as a part of his initiation into a gang called the L.A. Boyz, as a youth. When questioned by Scotty if the murder was personal or business, Nino explains this away by saying: "My brother, it's always business. Never personal." Scotty further gains the trust of Nino after "saving" him from a gun-toting old man—who earlier, tried to convince the police of Nino's destruction of the community—and by revealing information about Gee Money's side deal.
While at a wedding, the Don orders a hit on Nino, A massive shootout erupts between the CMB and the hitters. After witnessing Nino use a little girl as a shield to protect himself, Scotty attempts to shoot Nino behind his back. Keisha is gunned down as she sprays a hail of bullets into the van the shooters escape in. Later, Selina condemns Nino for his murderous activities and Nino throws her out. Don Armeteo calls Nino to taunt him, explaining that he "needed to be spanked" for his arrogance. Nino threatens him before the Don hangs up. Later, he opens fire on Don Armeteo and his henchman from the back of a speeding motorcycle, killing them all.
Eventually, Scotty and the police sets up a sting operation, But at the sting, Scotty's cover is blown by Kareem, who just happened to be at the scene the day Scotty wounded Pookie. A shootout ensues; Nick saves Scotty by killing the Duh Duh Duh Man, before he could open fire on him. Nino manages to escape. That night, he confronts Gee Money for his act of betrayal. Gee accuses Nino of being egotistical, and putting himself over what they built together. Gee wants things to go back to the way they were, but Nino sees no going back, and regretfully kills him.
After the gang's collapse, Nino holes himself up in an apartment and continues his criminal empire, solo. Scotty and Nick infiltrate the complex, with Nick taking out Nino's guards and Scotty crashing into Nino's apartment. Nino is brutally beaten by Scotty, who reveals that the school teacher Nino killed was his mother. For his crimes against the community, as well as his mother's murder, Scotty attempts to kill Nino again, but Nick gets him to put down the gun. As a bloodied Nino is taken into custody, he warns Scotty that he will be out in a week and that he is a dead man.
At his trial, Nino pleads guilty to a lesser charge and turns state's evidence, falsely claiming that he was forced to work for the CMB because they threatened to kill his mother and pointing the finger at Kareem as the actual leader of CMB. Because his punishment would include at least 12 months prison time, Nino gets only a year in prison, which leaves Scotty outraged. But as he is speaking with reporters outside of the courtroom, Nino is greeted by the old man (who tried to kill him earlier) who says "Idolator! Your soul is required in hell!" before shooting Nino in the chest. Scotty and Nick are both satisfied, as Nino falls over the balcony to his death. As onlookers look down at Nino's corpse, an epilogue states to the viewers that "Although this is a fictional story, there are Nino Browns in every major city in America. If we don't confront the problem realistically--without empty slogans and promises--then drugs will continue to destroy our country."