The Cast Seems to be Set for Straight Outta Compton Sequel “DPG 4 Life”

A cast seems to be set for the sequel to the smash movie, Straight Outta Compton. The movie DPG 4 Life, or Dogg Pound 4 Life, will show the rise and fall of the super-group that emanated from Dr. Dre’s partnering with Suge Knight at Death Row Records. Death Row vet Daz Dillinger posted pictures of the cast together in the studio on his Instagram account.

#DPG4LIFEMOVIE

A photo posted by DAZ DILLINGER (@dazdillinger) on

The rumored cast of the movie goes as follow:

  • Azad Arnaud as Daz Dillinger
  • Reggie Noble as Suge Knight
  • Melvin Jackson Jr. as Kurupt
  • DaDa as Tupac
  • Curtis Young (Dr. Dre’s son) as Dr. Dre

It seems that many more Hip-Hop movies will now have a chance to see the light of day thanks to the success of Straight Outta Compton.

King Jut (@KingJut92)

Dr. Dre Wins Lawsuit With Death Row Records

Dr. Dre earns all rights to his smash-hit debut record, sold in illegal ways by Death row for years

For the past year Dr. Dre‘s team has been battling Death Row Records over unpaid profits for his debut album, The Chronic. While last year they lost a very big case against the record company, as of today Dre has received an equally large win, being able to receive all the profits from his career-launching work in the Hip Hop world.

Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Christina Snyder ruled in favor of Dre claiming he has made far less off of the record than he is entitled, specifically in online sales that WIDEAwake Death Row was responsible for.

Dre’s attorney, Howard King, told the Associated Press that WideAwake (The company who bought Death Row out of bankruptcy last year) was improperly selling The Chronic and making digital compilations without permission from Dre.  While this new ruling does not halt Death Row from making digital sales, it does make sure that Dre earns 100% of his entitled profits.

King wrote in a statement:

For years, Death Row Records forgot about Dre when they continued to distribute his music digitally and combined his hits with weaker Death Row tracks in an attempt to elevate the stature of their other artists.  We are gratified that the federal court has unambiguously declared that Death Row has no right to engage in such tactics, and must hold all proceeds from these illicit distributions in trust for our client.”

The rapper has been battling Death Row Records in lawsuits for a number of years now, a label he co-founded and left later on.

-Curt Cramer (@CurtCramer)

Alabama Death Row Inmate Exonerated After 30 Years

Inmate is free after 30 years on Alabama’s death row for murders he says he didn’t commit

Alabama death row inmate Anthony Ray Hinton, 58, and his lawyers stood outside the county jail in Birmingham, as he took his first steps as a free man since 1985. He spoke during a press conference of unjustly losing three decades of his life with the fear of execution as his fate, for something he didn’t do.

All they had to do was to test the gun, but when you think you’re high and mighty and you’re above the law, you don’t have to answer to nobody. But I’ve got news for you…everybody that played a part in sending me to death row, you will answer to God.”

Hinton was convicted of murder in the 1985 deaths of two Birmingham, fast-food restaurant managers, John Davidson and Thomas Wayne Vason. Hinton was 29 at the time of the killings and had always maintained his innocence, said the Equal Justice Initiative, a group that helped win his release.

Jefferson County Circuit Court Judge Laura Petro had ordered Hinton be released after granting the state’s motion to dismiss charges against him. A new trial was ordered in 2014 after firearms experts testified 12 years earlier that the revolver Hinton was said to have used in the crimes could not be matched to evidence in either case, and the two killings couldn’t be linked to each other. The state then declined to re-prosecute the case.

For all of us that say that we believe in justice, this is the case to start showing, because I shouldn’t have (sat) on death row for 30 years.”

Hinton spent this weekend with family and friends. He will meet with his attorneys Monday to start planning for his immediate needs, such as obtaining identification, getting a health checkup, and the full re-adjustment process back into society.

-Infinite Wiz (@InfiniteWiz)

Suge Knight’s Self-Defense Claim May Have Just Been Validated

Suge Knight has said from the beginning that he had acted in self-defense in the deadly hit-and-run that has resulted in his facing premeditated murder charges. The incident occurred in the parking lot of Tam’s Burger, on January 28th in Compton, CA.

It seems there has been a break in the case, as it is now being reported Cle (Bone) Sloan, who survived being run over by Suge’s truck in January, told an investigator with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, that he “I f—-d him up!” referring to Knight. It is said that Sloan made the admission from his hospital bed. According to The NY Daily News “Sloan said he contacted Knight and began to punch him through the driver side window,” the report stated.  “Sloan stated Knight tried to exit the red Ford but was stopped by his punches,” the report continued.

The confrontation stemmed from a verbal altercation between Knight and Sloan at a previous location three miles away. The first location was not far from the production of the N.W.A. biopic Straight Outta Compton. Once Sloan spotted the Death Row Records co-founder in the parking lot he pursued the matter further. According to Knight‘s lawyer Sloan initiated both altercations. The second man involved Terry Carter, was struck by Knight’s truck, killing the 55-year-old married dad.

Knight has been charged with murder and attempted murder.  He has pleaded not guilty and is currently behind bars and being held without bail. Prosecutors still believe Knight intentionally ran over Sloan and Carter.

After the news of Sloan‘s stunning admission has changed the course of the case. Court has definitely taken its toll on Knight, 49, who had been recently deemed legally bind.

 

– Victoria B. (@unabashedlytori)

TDE CEO, Anthony Tiffith, Responds To Suge Knight’s Comments About Kendrick Lamar’s Record Deal

suge lamar

Death Row vs Top Dawg

Suge Knight made some interesting comments to Arsenio Hall on his late night show a month or so back concerning the types of record deals that artist, specifically the two most notable ones from Compton (Game, Kendrick Lamar) signed to become major label artists that have riled up the feathers of the otherwise relatively soft-spoken TDE CEO. Suge initially had this to say to Hall:

The deals are still messed up. I think it’s unfair if you really look at it, if you look at Interscope, the two guys from Compton—Game, Kendrick Lamar—got two of the worst deals in the industry. And when you look at it, it’s not so much the production company fault, but what people don’t realize is that if you’re on Universal, it’s the ship. Then Interscope get they cut, then Aftermath get they cut, then G-Unit get they cut. Then the guy who really has Game signed, it was another production company, then it came to Game. The reality is there’s more slavery now than ever.

Last night, on BET, Suge Knight clarified his comments, adding that he wasn’t trying to put the artists down, but he was expressing the sentiment that he felt as if the record labels were treating “my people” like slaves.

Top Dawg, better known as Anthony Tiffith, who famously pulled Kendrick Lamar out of GQ’s celebratory Men Of The Year concert last year because of racial overtones in his cover story, fired back at Suge on Twitter with a simple request:

 

Things are heating up out west.

On Death Row, Ray Jasper Pens A Letter Filled With Insight And Controversy

ray jasperYou probably don’t know what your plans are for March 19th, possibly eight hours of routine work or ten hours of Netflix binge watching. However, for Ray Jasper, this date has been highlighted on his calendar for quite sometime. Not because its marks his thirty sixth birthday, but the exact opposite; it was day Texas’ Judicial system has determined will be his last. Having the knowledge of when and how your life is going to come to end, is an haunting experience; one that is reserved for those our society has deemed as unable to rehabilitate.

Jasper has lived with this everyday for over a decade, giving him plenty of time to reflect on his life, the judicial system, the country, and the systematic oppression of black youth. On Tuesday, Gawker released an intimate, highly personal letter that he wrote from the cell on death row. After reading the complete transcription, it is clear that this “prisoner” has been able to find truth that is typically shunned or hidden away from the public at large, which makes it an important, powerful piece. Unfortunately, as Lincoln Anthony Blades’ states, his problematic self-perception casts doubt on the credibility of the points he espouses.

There are an innumerable amount of valid points brought up over the course of the six pages. Jasper points out the fallacies that he sees in the world around, spending a considerable portion of time discussing the lack of historical identity in the black community, and its damaging effect on youth.

When you have a black man name John Williams and a white man name John Williams, the black man got his name from the white man. Within that lies a lost of identity. There are blacks in this country that don’t even consider themselves African. Well, what are we? When did we stop being African? If you ask a young black person if they’re African, they will say ‘No, I’m American’. They’ve lost their roots. They think slavery is their roots. Again, its a strong identity crisis.

You take the identity crisis, mix it with capitalism, where money comes before empathy, and you’ll have a lot of young blacks trying to get money by any means because they’re trying to get out of poverty or stay out of poverty. Now, money is what they try to find an identity in. They feel like if they get rich, legal or illegal, they’ve become somebody. Which in America is partly true because superficially we hail the rich and despise the poor. We give Jay-Z more credit than we do Al Sharpton. What has Jay-Z done besides get rich? Yet we see dollar signs and somehow give more respect to the man with the money.

Furthermore, he connects this lack of identity and historical context to the prison industrial complex or epidemic. It was a truly harrowing portion of the letter, difficult to read through.

I understand that it’s not popular to talk about race issues these days, but I speak on the subject of race because I hold a burden in my heart for all the young blacks who are locked up or who see the street life as the only means to make something of themselves. When I walked into prison at 19 years old, I said to myself ‘Damn, I have never seen so many black dudes in my life’. I mean, it looked like I went to Africa. I couldn’t believe it. The lyrics of 2Pac echoed in my head, ‘The penitentiary is packed/ and its filled with blacks’.

It’s really an epidemic, the number of blacks locked up in this country. That’s why I look, not only at my own situation, but why all of us young blacks are in prison. I’ve come to see, it’s largely due to an indentity crisis. We don t know our history. We don’t know how to really indentify with white people. We are really of a different culture, but by being slaves, we lost ourselves.

I’m not trying to play the race card, I’m looking at the roots of why so many young blacks are locked up. The odds are stacked against us, we suffer from an identity crisis, and we’re being targeted more, instead of taught better. Ask any young black person their views on the Police, I assure you their response will not be positive. Yet if you have something against the Police, who represent the government, you cannot sit on a trial jury. A young black woman was struck from the jury in my case because she said she sees the Police as ‘intimidators’. She never had a good experience with the Police like most young blacks, but even though she’s just being true to her experience, she’s not worthy to take part as a juror in a trial.

ray-jasper-croppedMajority of the beginning of the memo was spent endorsing empathy. While it is a simple concept, one that has been passed down for generations, it still carries a lot of power.

I think ’empathy’ is one of the most powerful words in this world that is expressed in all cultures. This is my underlining theme. I do not own a dictionary, so I can’t give you the Oxford or Webster definition of the word, but in my own words, empathy means ‘putting the shoe on the other foot.’

Empathy. A rich man would look at a poor man, not with sympathy, feeling sorrow for the unfortunate poverty, but also not with contempt, feeling disdain for the man’s poverish state, but with empathy, which means the rich man would put himself in the poor man’s shoes, feel what the poor man is feeling, and understand what it is to be the poor man.

Empathy breeds proper judgement. Sympathy breeds sorrow. Contempt breeds arrogance. Neither are proper judgements because they’re based on emotions. That’s why two people can look at the same situation and have totally different views. We all feel differently about a lot of things. Empathy gives you an inside view. It doesn’t say ‘If that was me…’, empathy says, ‘That is me.’

What that does is it takes the emotions out of situations and forces us to be honest with ourselves. Honesty has no hidden agenda. Thoreau proposed that ‘one honest man’ could morally regenerate an entire society.

It’s beautiful language and well written, but unfortunately it comes with a catch. Ray Jasper found himself on death row after being convicted of plotting the slaying of David Alejando, the owner of a radio studio. During the course of his trial, it was found that he tricked Alejando into coming to the radio studio late at night, and then slicing his throat, while his friends stabbed him to death. In order to avoid getting the death penalty, his counsel argued that he technically didn’t kill the victim, rather it was co-conspirators. This argument was eventually too thin to work, and he was sentenced to death.

His words were so powerful in the letter that it almost wiped away his past actions, and made readers all across the world hail him as a martyr of a corrupt system; which, in a number of ways, he is, but there is too many other factors to consider when looking at his legacy. This is possibly a simple case of right message, but wrong messenger. It isn’t that he doesn’t have the right to voice his disagreement with the way the world works, rather that his words will now forever be tied to his past misdeeds. The fact that he never asked for forgiveness during the entire six page diatribe, is an indication that he still doesn’t understand what he has done or how it has effected those involved.

The truth that can be found throughout his letter will unfortunately be marked.It shouldn’t though, truth is truth.  Hopefully people will see this as an opportunity to start a serious conversation about the topic that he did bring up.

Jimi (@Nativejimi)

*Quotes via Gawker

Florida Death Row Inmate Thinks He’s Protected By His IQ Score

Florida Death Row Inmate is claiming his protection from execution because he is mentally disabledfreddieleehall

The supreme court is hearing an appeal from Florida Death Row inmate, Freddie Lee Hall, who is saying he is mentally disabled and therefore should not be executed. Until now the court has let the states set rules for judging who is mentally disabled. In Florida and certain other states an IQ score higher than a 70 means that an inmate is not considered mentally disabled, even if evidence indicates otherwise.

Unfortunately for Hall, he has been scoring above 70 on most IQ tests he has taken since 1968. But Hall believes other evidence shows that he is in fact mentally disabled. During an early stage in the case a judge had ruled that Hall had been mentally retarded his whole life. Medical professionals that have examined Hall say he too is mentally disabled.

Hall has been incarcerated for the past 35 years on multiple accounts. The Florida Supreme Court has ruled that an inmate who tests above a 70 cannot lever an execution based on mental disability. The psychiatrists and psychologists who are supporting Hall say that an IQ test cannot stand alone to fully diagnose someone’s mental disability. These professionals believe that individuals must also be evaluated among the lines of the ability of the individual to function in society as well as stemming the mental disability back to childhood.

Check out the full story on Hall’s court appeal here.

Last Meals Of Death Row Inmates, Photographed by Henry Hargreaves

Ted Bundy, Timothy McVeigh, Henry Hargreaves, photography, death row

Whether you are for or against it, the death penalty has long been a controversial topic in America. Aside from personal beliefs,  one of the first thoughts when the subject comes up regards the last meals of the inmates staying there.

Photographer Henry Hargreaves embarked on a project where he: 1) found out what the meals were of popular inmates, 2) staged and photographed said meals and 3) attempted to eat each meal himself with the help of a chef. “It was kind of like going to a hospital and eating the lunch of someone who’s just been pronounced dead” , Hargreaves said after eating a spoonful of ice cream from one convict’s recreated final meal. Ranging from Ted Bundy to Timothy McVeigh, what do you think, does looking at any of these meals give you any insight into the killer’s legacies? Checkout the resulting pictures of the re-created meals after the jump!

While I was reading about efforts to stop the Last Meal tradition in Texas it sparked my interest. In the most unnatural moment there is (state sponsored death) what kind of requests for food had been made? – Hargreaves


Matt Whitlock – @mattwhitlockPM