FNV In Today's Issue: November 28 2000
Well it was bound to happen.. Hip Hop zaniest character ODB was apprehended by police in Philadelphia yesterday [Monday] afternoon. As was predicted ODB managed to do something that would attract undue attention onto himself. He went to McDonalds and attracted a huge crowd of fans and well wisherrs who were out seeking autographs. The manager of Mc Donalds noticed all the commotion but had no idea as to the man causing all the ruckus. He feared something bad would break out and hence he called the police. Once the police arrived they realized they were face to face with Hip Hop's Most Wanted..According to published reports, ODB thought the police were also on hand to seek autographs. He walked on over to them and then realized they were about to arrest him. He attempted to escape by bolting into his car, but was quickly caught. He is now awaiting extradition to either New York or California.Oh well I guess thats too bad..Apparently you can be arrested for minor crimes even when you cross state lines..It was a rare and lucky opportunity for cats who attended last weeks Wu-Tang listening party and manged to catch a glimsp of ODB. It looks like he might not be hanging on stage for a while now..
Looks like things are going to get real interesting for Scarface, Rap-A-Lot Records, Congresswoman Maxine Waters and Vice President Al Gore. A few weeks back we told you how Scarface had come under fire for dissing DEA agents in a song off his latest album called 'Look Me In My Eyes'. FYI, That record is the newest single. It was in response to 12 years of continuous yet fruitless federal investigation to the upstart Houston based label. This resulted in Rap-A-Lot CEO James Prince reaching out to Congresswoman Maxine Waters for help. He felt like he and his label were prey to high level racial profiling and police harassment. Waters went down to Texas and was impressed with all the community work James Prince had done in the community. She wrote a letter to US Attorney General Janet Reno asking her to look into the issues that were raised by Prince and Rap-A-Lot. To make a long story short, the Federal investigations were stopped and the lead DEA agent Jack Schaumacher who a healthy list of complaints as well six killings under his belt was demoted. This set off a war of sorts..
First Republican Congressmen in a feeble attempt to smear Vice President Al Gore's reputation started suggesting that perhaps he had something to do with the DEA investigations being stopped. They noted that Gore had attended a church which had been given one million dollars by Rap-A-Lot CEO James Prince. Whats so ironic is the fact that Prince who came under fire from Al's wife Tipper Gore would never go out and support him.. It appears that certain political forces are simply reaching for straws. According to Rap-A-Lots people, agents had tried to smear Princes name by letting church members know that he was under investigation and that there were suspicions that he may be a former drug dealer. Next these same forces started raising questions about Maxine Waters involvement.. 'Did she use undue influence and overstep her bounds and illegally interfere with an investigation'? Next what has been described as a misinformation campaign was launched which resulted in disparaging letters maligning Rap-A-Lot, and Maxine Waters being sent to Texas newspapers and conservative talk shows.
Yesterday the ante was raised when Congress held hearings on the matter. Initially the date for the hearings was scheduled on December 6. But suddenly it was moved up to Monday November 27. No one from Rap-A-Lot was invited to speak. Nor was Congresswoman Waters. The people on board were cops and DEA agents.. This of course raised suspicions and made it look like a politically motivated attempt to both intimidate and discredit certain people.
While this was going on the Washington Post of all people did a review of Scarface's album and accused of him of being paranoid for writing the song Look Me In My Eyes. That of course was a cheap shot and totally overlooks some troubling issues that have been going on in Scarface's world. First, his best friend and former body guard was shot to death in the back by Shreveport police about 8-10 years ago. There was a robbery and the police storm trooped into a hamburger place where Scarface and his crew were at. They saw the bodyguard was strapped and they overreacted shooting both him and Scarface. Second, almost from the day Rap-A-Lot was founded there has been consistent police attention given to the label. They came underfire when someone tried to sue and say it was lyrics from a song that caused a young man to commit murder. They came under fire when they depicted Houston police officers beating on Black people in the song 'Crooked Officer'. On another occasion a friend turned/ FBI informant showed up at Scarface' s house attempting to buy weed. H e was insistent and reported face to the feds when he gave his boy a joint.. These along with the current Congressional hearings are just the tip of the iceberg..
There are reports circulating around that indicate Reverend Al Sharpton may be leading an army of Hip Hop artist down to Cuba. The New York Daily News is reporting that Sharpton has been in talks with Interscope record executive Steve Stoute to explore ways that the Hip Hop industry and Castro's Cuba could hook up and take the first steps to ending the long standing embargo that exists between the US and Cuba. According to the reports Sharpton's position is there is no reason that African Americans can not break bread with Cuba..There is no doubt that the mainstream press will try and use this as an excuse to bash Sharpton, however, Hip Hop artists from the US going down to Cuba is nothing new. There's a long line of folks ranging from Common to Paris to Michael Franti who have all graced the Island nation with their presence. These exchanges have often taken place around the time of Black August and in conjunction with Cuba's Hip Hop Festival.. We'll keep you posted as to what will happen with this..
Eminem and ODB are back in the news again. In regards to Em, Michigan authorities are determined to make the rapper who is up on gun charges spend some time behind bars.. Right now he's looking anywhere from 17 months to 9 years.. Prosecutors offered to drop one of the charges if Eminem would plead to at least one.. Either way homeboy may have to do some time. His lawyers are saying that such a harsh punishment would not fit the crime.. Now with regards to ODB. It should come as no surprise that authorities in New York have stepped up their efforts to track him down. They like everyone were caught off guard when he appeared on stage and performed with his fellow Wu-Tang members last week at Hammerstein Ballroom. They are confident they will catch him.. As one officer put it, 'they can't hide him forever'. Unfortunately just knowing how ODB tends to behave means that he's likely to do something crazy that will bring attention to himself..
While ODB is baffling law enforcement officials in New York, its nothing compared to the ruckus caused here in Cali, by Anarae Brown who is better known as X-Raided. Yesterday his much anticipated fourth album 'Vengeance Is Mine' was released and has more then a few folks up in arms. He's definitely given new meaning to the word 'controversy'. For folks who don't know, X-Raided is serving a 31 year sentence for the murder of a grandmother who lived near Sacramento. Back in '91 he and other gang members stormed the home of Patricia Harris which resulted in her in her being fatally shot. X-Raided till this day maintains that he was present but did not pull the trigger..
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