It's been a strange and troubling week for Hip Hop. late last week we got word that Bay Area rapper Rappin' 4Tay's 14 year daughter Jasmin was missing. She went to school and never came back. 4tay was beside himself as he tried desperately to get the word out. In fact we were going to do a big thing on her disappearance today.
Part of what 4Tay was up against was he could not get any help. California's much herald 'Amber Alert' system was not being used to help bring attention to his missing daughter. I'm not sure if it was because she was too old, or the circumstances surrounding her disappearance, or because she was African American, or because 4Tay is from the hood and doesn't have that nice appeal like others who have been profiled. I guess we can forget the age thing because we know the Amber Alert was used to track down those two Southern Cali cheerleaders who were kidnapped a couple of month's back. One would think that because of him at least being a celebrity and a high profile person who had a couple of hit records that his plight would've been highlighted. All I know is that it seems like every other day the Amber Alert is being used and the news media is jumping all over the story.
Locally 4Tay was not able to get the cooperation from the local media. His daughter's plight wasn't the lead story on the evening news. There were no front page newspaper stories. Heck according to some of his peoples, even the local stations that play his music and have him perform at shows weren't blowing this up. I'm still wondering why...
In any case we were set to drop a huge story this morning when we got word last night that his daughter was found. She was in Berkeley somewhere and checked into a hospital. We are not sure of the details. We're not sure if it was foul play or if she simply ran away or anything. Thank God she was found and it wasn't another tragic situation surrounding a missing child. We will let you know what went down as soon as we talk to 4Tay's folks.
Meanwhile while everyone was gearing up to help Rappin' 4Tay, a heart breaking missing child case involving another Bay Area rapper Young Lay came to an end. Some of you all may recall this case which went down 6 years ago. The girlfriend and mother of Young Lay's son Le-Zhan Williams was brutally murdered in Vallejo. Her house was set on fire and her baby who was then two weeks old came up missing.
When all this went down it caused major upset in the community as the police tried to focus attention on Young Lay. There was also much speculation from Vallejo PD who are claiming that Lay's then recent signing to Atlantic Records and the harsh lyrics in some of his songs may have been the root cause of this tragedy. The train of thought behind this is that Young Lay's rapid rise within the music industry has caused intense jealousy from street rivals within Vallejo. In other words the whole crab in the barrel syndrome was in full effect...Around that time Young lay was blowing up with a hit song called 'All About My Fetti' which was featured on the New Jersey Drive Soundtrack.Around the time of the murder and kidnapping I spoke with Vallejo PD representatives who categorically denied they were trying to connect Lay's lyrics to the cause of the murder. They officially stated that they were leaning on the theory of him and his son and girlfriend being the target of 'playerhaters'. [This was the word they used back in '96]. For those who don't know Vallejo PD has a long history of connecting crimes to the rap lyrics. Ask artist like Mac Dre and his crew who have found themselves in a world of hotwater with the VPD for controversial song lyrics. At one point in time over 30 people were arrested based upon things mentioned in a song. Peep this article for more details http://www.daveyd.com/whyrapispowerart.html With regards to Young Lay, they weren't sure if his activities had something to do with this tragedy. In the meantime Lay was doing what he could to get the word out. He appeared on local radio stations and the newspapers ran a few articles. Unfortunately the young child had seemingly vanished.
To add insult to injury, not too long after this took place, Young Lay was shot in the head as he sat at a traffic stop and was left in a coma for 10 days. He eventually recovered in what doctors were calling a miracle. He later went on to even recorded a few songs. To this day we are not sure of all the details that led up to that. The VPD believed it was connected to the murder of his girl friend and kidnapping of his child
On a side note Young Lay was being managed by 2Pac's old manager Leila Steinberg when all this went down. Sadly she along with the rest of Hip Hop community would have to deal with the tragic shooting and death of 2Pac a couple of months later in September of 1996.
After a while things died down and many of us closed the chapter on this case. Young Lay's missing child and the murder of his baby's mother-17 year old Daphane Boyden was set to go down as a dark chapter in Bay Area history.
Well, over the weekend we got word that Young Lay's child was found. He was attending school in Vallejo and living under a false name. A 22 year old woman named Latasha Brown was arrested and charged with murder and kidnapping. The woman's 44 year old mother Delores Ann Brown was arrested and charged and charged with concealing a child.
Vallejo police said that an anonymous tip directed them to the two women. They were later able to confirm that the Latasha Brown had not given birth to Le-Zhan.
Last night they showed members of the Boyden family on TV who seemed relieved that this case was solved. They noted that they would be patient with the young man who's whole world must be in shambles. Imagine what he must be going through to find out that the person who he thought was his mother and grandmother had a hand in what easily had to be one of Vallejo's most horrific murders and kidnapping.
I'm not sure what's happening with Young Lay with regards to all this... I suggest that we pray for this young child who will undoubtly be going through a lot. Also please pray for the Boyden family who also must be going through a lot because of the murder of their daughter.