Lil Boosie Charged With Smuggling Drugs Into Prison

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Maybe you’ve only heard of Lil Boosie in passing, or perhaps you’ve never heard of him at all. His songs have never earned regular local radio play, and his influence west of the Rockies is usually relegated to street rap diehards and those who read their RSS feed intravenously.

But in the South, his influence is omnipresent, crossing racial and class divides. He’s a cult figure with a mass following, a high-top faded and ferocious performer perennially enduring some sort of struggle (whether it’s women, diabetes or triumphing over illegal downloading to buy a candy-painted car).

From his first days as a member of C-Loc’s Concentration Camp clique to being promoted as the next Trill star by Pimp C, to his classic mixtapes, to a trio of solo albums released on Asylum Records, Boosie has earned a reputation as one of the rawest rappers in the South, a region known for unfiltered flamboyant personas.

Alas, it’s also a region known for the frequency with which its most popular artists are incarcerated. Over the last few years, T.I., Gucci Mane, Lil Wayne, Mystikal and Lil Boosie have been incarcerated for various indiscretions. Yet Boosie’s charges trump them all.

While it’s dificult to parse his current legal woes, at the moment he is facing charges ranging from ordering the murder of rivals (a charge that could get him the death penalty) to various conspiracy charges to distribute and smuggle narcotics into a federal penitiary. And on Monday, he was indicted on charges of trying to smuggle codeine into a second state prison. The indictment comes from a May 25 charge that Boosie and two local men had been attempting to smuggle in the banned substance. If convicted, it could lead to two to four years being tacked onto Boosie’s prison time.

Ignoring speculation about his guilt or innocence, it’s sad to watch one of the most singular voices of his generation get shut down. With his sinister amphibian croak, Boosie rapped about many of the same tropes as his peers, but he always conveyed greater anguish, sincerity and unfiltered passion. He created music to triumph over adversity, which resonated with anyone going through any sort of woe. He also stole the show on “Wipe Me Down,” which remains one of the funnest songs of all time.

Recently, a bootleg mixtape compilation of his most recent work has cropped up. Downloading it is recommended. Of local interest is “California,” a paean to the streets of L.A. and its most famous cash crop.

DMX Released From Prison

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Rap star DMX has been released from an Arizona state prison after serving an extra week behind bars for failing a drug test while incarcerated.

Arizona Department of Corrections spokesman Bill Lamoreaux says family members were at the facility in Yuma to pick up the multi-platinum selling recording artist Tuesday.

DMX, whose real name is Earl Simmons, was given a year in prison in December after his probation was revoked for failing to submit to drug testing and driving on a suspended license.

The 40-year-old Simmons was credited with 117 days he had already served.

Simmons had been earning 20 cents an hour as a porter.

Foxy Brown Suing New York City For $100 Millon

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A couple days after having a restraining order violation charge dropped against her, Foxy Brown is now seeking legal retribution of her own.

The restraining order was originally filed due to an earlier charge, initiated by Arlene Raymond, Foxy Brown’s neighbor, in 2007. Brown allegedly threw and hit Ms. Raymond with a Blackberry. The artist was arrested and released on $50,000 bail.

Now, the plaintiff, Raymond, claims Brown became very agitated towards her for staring in her direction. Brown proceeded to walk up to her and begin yelling. Ms. Raymond then claims that Brown “bent over and thrust her buttocks, and said, ‘kiss my ass’”. Brown’s manager on the other hand claims Brown was making her way to her car, when the neighbor initiated an altercation.

Regardless of what happened, the ‘mooning’ case was later dismissed when Ms. Raymond refused to testify. On July 12th, Justice John Walsh cleared Foxy Brown of the misdemeanor charge of violating an order of protection.

The legal battle may now switch sides, this time with Brown in the plaintiff’s seat. Her lawyer, Salvatore Strazullo, told the New York Post that his client, Brown, plans to sue the ADA, Assistant District Attorney’s office, for $100 million in damages.

Strazullo said the initial charges were “malicious”, and the ADA should never have gone after his client, Brown, in the first place. “Do we want our tax dollars going for this?” Strazullo commented.

Source

Chicago, Illinois – 07/15/11

Bronx, New York – 07/15/11

R. Kelly Is Losing His Chicago Crib

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Hip-hop crooner R. Kelly, who has had his share of legal issues in the past, is facing another: He may lose his mansion near Chicago to foreclosure. J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. has filed a foreclosure action against the singer, whose real name is Robert Sylvester Kelly, saying he hasn’t paid his mortgage in a year.

With the foreclosure, Kels, as he is known to some fans, joins a long list of rap and R&B stars before him who failed to pay their mortgage bills.

Last year, we reported that Chamillionaire, the lyrical mind behind the hit single “Ridin,’” defaulted on the loan for his Houston mansion. Atlanta-based “Prince of the South” and southern gangsta rapper Lil Scrappy was reportedly foreclosed on late last year, along with his girlfriend Diamond, of the hard-core rap group Crime Mob. Rapper Xzibit, of “Pimp My Ride” fame, faced the music in 2009, after missing $21,000 in payments on his California home. Hip-hop record executive Damon Dash lost his TriBeCa duplex last year to foreclosure. Even Nelly (remember “Country Grammar” and “Hot in Herre”?) was accused by a former manager of being in danger of losing his home to foreclosure, although he denies it.

All of this brings up some interesting questions about hip-hop artists and their thoughts on real-estate, one’s obligations vis-à-vis private property and debt, and the economic crisis. We know from their lyrics that rappers love money, and claim to have a lot of it. We also know from music videos and TV shows like MTV’s “Cribs” that rappers also like big houses and flashy cars. But does foreclosure even register with rhyme-sayers, or are they too busy living the high life to care?

Rap Genius, a website devoted to hip-hop lyrics, shows that 12 hip-hop songs contain the word “foreclosure,” and 7 more with some variation of the word “foreclose.”

Staten Island native and Wu-Tang protégé Trife Diesel, for example, in his song “World Today,” which starts with an audio sample of Barack Obama giving a speech about the economy, raps, “FDA approved medicines, killing off us Americans / Homes in foreclosures, we being kicked out of residence / It’s time to represent, for our next to kin.” He stops short of proposing a solution to the foreclosure crisis, but offers this analysis of tightening of mortgage-lending standards by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac: “People with A1 credit can’t afford steak sauce.”

Other rappers have taken on the economy, too. Statik Selektah, for example, in “So Close, So Far,” wistfully imagines a world without the GM and AIG bailouts and the subprime loan mess: “Wouldn’t it be nice if the banks didn’t f— up the loans / And people ain’t have to move out they homes? … That the world I’m talkin’ about is where we would like to be / Worried about debts, recessions and foreclosure…”

Perhaps not surprisingly, a lot of rappers are in caught up in foreclosures of their own doing. Chicago’s Real Estate Daily, citing an unnamed source, reported that R. Kelly “stopped making payments on the mortgage in an attempt to force the bank to negotiate a modification of the loan.” It’s a tactic adopted by many American homeowners, who find that banks are unable or unwilling to negotiate a new loan or interest rate for them unless they have missed payments. Chamillionaire’s case, too, was a strategic default, or so he told celebrity-news website TMZ last year.

If we are to believe the hype, hip-hop artists probably have the money to pay their mortgages, but seeing continuing weakness in the housing market, choose not to.

From the point of view of economic self-interest, you can hardly blame them. Wasn’t it Ice-T who first said, “Don’t hate the playa / Hate the game”?

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