14 episodes

Steve Kough lived many lives. He was an NFL journeyman, a male model, and one of the most well-connected smugglers in 1980’s Miami, the “Drug Capital of the World."

Kough collected many souvenirs from his adventures, but his most treasured bounty – a beautiful ceramic, crafted by Pablo Picasso and gifted to Ernest Hemingway at the author’s Cuban home, the Finca Vigia... or so the story goes.
Lost during the Cuban Revolution, the artwork resurfaced when Kough took it as a payment for drug run financed by the notorious Pablo Escobar.

Kough passed away in 2018, passing the piece down to his son, Stevie, a skateboarding hippie growing weed in California.
Stevie feels he needs to complete his father’s mission – of selling this piece and telling Steve’s cinematic life story.

So, is the Picasso authentic—or a fraud? Was Steve Kough a big talker or a real deal smuggler? Does any of that matter or is this a story of aspiration, legacy, and difficult love? Tune in on Monday’s starting on October 18th to find out!

This is a Somethin' Else production in association with Vespucci.

Hemingway's Picasso Somethin' Else / Sony Music Entertainment

    • True Crime
    • 4.3 • 162 Ratings

Steve Kough lived many lives. He was an NFL journeyman, a male model, and one of the most well-connected smugglers in 1980’s Miami, the “Drug Capital of the World."

Kough collected many souvenirs from his adventures, but his most treasured bounty – a beautiful ceramic, crafted by Pablo Picasso and gifted to Ernest Hemingway at the author’s Cuban home, the Finca Vigia... or so the story goes.
Lost during the Cuban Revolution, the artwork resurfaced when Kough took it as a payment for drug run financed by the notorious Pablo Escobar.

Kough passed away in 2018, passing the piece down to his son, Stevie, a skateboarding hippie growing weed in California.
Stevie feels he needs to complete his father’s mission – of selling this piece and telling Steve’s cinematic life story.

So, is the Picasso authentic—or a fraud? Was Steve Kough a big talker or a real deal smuggler? Does any of that matter or is this a story of aspiration, legacy, and difficult love? Tune in on Monday’s starting on October 18th to find out!

This is a Somethin' Else production in association with Vespucci.

    Chapter One: Into the Mine

    Chapter One: Into the Mine

    Steve Kough was a lot of things: an ex-NFL player, model, drug smuggler, art aficionado, Miami’s heart-throb, and a father. His unfiltered and brazen thirst for excitement mixed with a family history of crime was a cocktail for a wild life. On a cocaine drug run to Cuba in 1989, Steve winds up with a Picasso ceramic tile that once belonged to Ernest Hemingway. The piece is apparently meant to go to Pablo Escobar in lieu of cash, but due to political complications in Cuba, Steve gets to keep the piece.



    Steve’s son, Stevie now holds the treasured piece that represents all the incarnations of his father. The question is, do we believe the story?



    This is a Somethin' Else production in association with Vespucci. 
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    • 42 min
    Chapter Two: Bisquick

    Chapter Two: Bisquick

    During Steve’s short career on the football field he has a run in with his old buddies in the Detroit Mafia who lure him on his first trip across the border to Mexico. 



    Steve’s son, Stevie reveals what life was like as the son of a drug smuggler in Miami. 



    This is a Somethin' Else production in association with Vespucci. 


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    • 45 min
    Chapter Three: The Other Side of the World

    Chapter Three: The Other Side of the World

    Steve deals with the consequences of his arrest from his drug run in Mexico. He moves to Miami to chase his dreams of football stardom, and ends up exploring what else the city has to offer. But then, he gets an angry call from his mother. 



    Meanwhile, Steve’s daughter, Jamie, uncovers what it was like to have a father like Steve, the good and the bad. 



    This is a Somethin' Else production in association with Vespucci. 
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    • 46 min
    Chapter Four: Poor Pablo

    Chapter Four: Poor Pablo

    After being released from prison in 1984, Steve tries his luck at getting a normal job. 

    But when his past kept catching up with him, Mustafa Hamshaw, AKA Joe Pegg, gives him a chance of a lifetime. 



    Steve meets a Miami Dolphins cheerleader, Patron, one night on the dance floor, and they elope quickly thereafter. 

    After a whirlwind romance, a less-than-perfect marriage followed, and soon Steve would realize he might need to make one last, big run to try to get out of the game and save his family. 



    This is a Somethin' Else production in association with Vespucci. 


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    • 51 min
    Chapter Five: The Equation

    Chapter Five: The Equation

    Leah attempts to understand how Hemingway could have ended up with a Picasso ceramic by examining the relationship between these two important figures. 



    She goes through the work Steve Senior already went through to establish the piece’s provenance, or the history of its ownership. And she makes some discoveries of her own. 



    This is a Somethin' Else production in association with Vespucci.
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    • 48 min
    Chapter Six: Verso

    Chapter Six: Verso

    The consequences of Steve’s actions as a father and drug smuggler have lasting effects on his loved ones. 

    Stevie, his son, recounts an altercation he had with his father when he was 18, and how it set his mental health to spiral out of control. 

    He spends the next 10 years of his life distancing himself from his father’s Miami and the heavy burden of Fred and Betty. 



    Steve’s old girlfriend, Lourdes, comes back into his life 30 years later, during his last and final years. But then, Steve receives a phone call that threatens to put an end to their love story. 



    This is a Somethin' Else production in association with Vespucci. 


    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 48 min

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5
162 Ratings

162 Ratings

Tulips21 ,

Great ❗️

What a great mystery! So many famous names involved! BTW… how much do art dealers know anyway? I believe Leah and the other journalists did more to track down the actual truth- Stevie, you have a f**cking Picaso!

Debikayo ,

this took too long

I have to say that the first episode was really great, pulled you in and hooked you. After that, it sort of degraded. It was a real stretch to make this the 8 actual episodes to reveal the answer to the main question.
By the time this was done, the last few episodes were hashing over all the stuff they had already talked about or revealed. It got annoying. Actually, when the narrator decided she had to share her own unfortunate background, that was a bridge too far. We all have crappy stuff in our life. And her almost whining voice didnt help. I was aware of her tone in parts like that and it was almost a deal breaker.

I had stopped listening for a few months, but then decided to finish it up. Definitely a bit of a whomp whomp moment.
Actually I just listened to her episode about a man who knew Picasso when he was a boy and his family stayed with the artist and his partner. THAT 20 min was infinitely more interesting than the last 3-4 episodes of this podcast. It was tedious, and I wanted it to end with some of the excitement and interesting story telling in the first few episodes… nope.
The title caught my attention but I would be very hesitant to listen to this particular podcaster again.

DanCan21 ,

Not worth the listen

Let me save you the time. It’s not hemmingway’s Picasso. This podcast did a great job reeling me in on 1st episode, then it quickly goes down hill from there. Why should I keep listening when there’s maybe 1 decent person in this story. Sorry but this podcast was a huge waste of time and has the most non climactic end EVER. Some stories were fun hence the extra star.

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