Recording Artist produces CD ...... in jail
felt like i wanted to share this ....
C-Murder makes CD, video while in Gretna jail
Attorney tricked me, Jeff sheriff says of clandestine recordings
Friday, February 25, 2005
By Michelle Hunter and Rob Nelson
While the fate of accused murderer Corey Miller rests in the hands of an appeals court, authorities recently discovered that his alter ego, rap star C-Murder, kept busy recording a 17-track CD and filming a video for the first single -- all from the confines of the Jefferson Parish Correctional Center in Gretna.
The rapper's prison pastime surprised Jefferson Parish Sheriff Harry Lee, who said that while he allowed film crews from two television shows to interview Miller, he never authorized a music video.
Miller was convicted in 2003 of killing a fan at a West Bank nightclub, but was granted a new trial. Prosecutors appealed that ruling and are awaiting a decision, as is the still-jailed Miller.
Miller met with his attorney, Ronald Rakosky, mostly on weekends last fall in a room at the jail where he spit rhymes into a recording device brought in by Rakosky.
"The Truest S*** I Ever Said" is set for release March 22, along with a music video spliced together with jailhouse interviews.
"Nowhere was it ever mentioned that someone would be doing a commercial enterprise in the jail," Lee said. "I'm pissed off that that attorney would trick me."
Rakosky said Miller did nothing wrong and called the uproar an overreaction to what should be viewed as a wrongly accused man doing something positive with his time.
"I know of no law or regulation that prohibited anything that we were doing," he said.
In a rough cut of the video "Y'all Heard of Me" circulating on the Internet, Miller is clad in an orange prison jumpsuit, gesturing with his hands while rapping. The shots of Miller are interspersed with scenes from around New Orleans, including the B.W. Cooper public housing development and street scenes of other rappers and crowds.
Rakosky, who also appears in the video, and a spokesman for Miller's record company, Koch Records, confirmed that the shots of Miller were taken from interviews arranged with Court TV and local Cox Communications cable television program "Phat Phat 'N All That" at the Gretna jail.
But representatives of both Court TV and the local television program say they gave no authorization for their footage to be used in the video. "I don't know how the footage was obtained," Rakosky said. "I wasn't involved in the process."
A seething Lee vowed to get to the bottom of the issue and promised to sue to recover any profits from the record and video sales.
Miller, the younger brother of rap impresario Master P, was convicted in September 2003 of second-degree murder in the shooting death of Steve Thomas, 16, at the now-closed Platinum Club in Harvey on Jan. 12, 2002.
However, Judge Martha Sassone of the 24th Judicial District Court, who presided over the trial, overturned the verdict and granted Miller a new trial on grounds that prosecutors allegedly withheld information from Rakosky about a witness's criminal background.
Prosecutors appealed Sassone's April 2004 ruling to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeal and are awaiting a decision.
As Miller whiled away the days in jail, Rakosky said he encouraged his client to do something constructive with his time. Rakosky told Miller about another performer who signed a record deal and cut a CD from behind bars.
"I pushed him to pursue his interest from when he wasn't in jail," Rakosky said.
The attorney said he got a "mini-recording studio device" from a friend of Miller's and would tape the rapper during visits to the jail. The recordings were made when they were alone as well as when they were in the presence of deputies and others, Rakosky said.
"I hid nothing. I didn't secrete anything into the jail. I left nothing with him of any kind and I took nothing from him out of the jail," he said.
Rakosky turned over the recordings to Miller's friend and said he doesn't know what happened next.
Meanwhile, Lee said he made special arrangements to accommodate Miller's interviews, setting aside a multipurpose room on the jail's second floor. The room is also used for attorney-client meetings, church services and classes, said Col. Glenn Jambon, the jail's deputy commander.
Inmates are allowed only 30 minutes of visitation a week with three adults and three children, Jambon said, and that is through a glass partition.
Lee said he isn't sure how crews got film of Miller rapping. Deputies posted outside the room never heard any music, Jambon said.
One deputy told Lee that he looked through the window and saw Miller gesturing animatedly with his hands while speaking, the sheriff said. But the movement stopped when the deputy entered the room, Lee said.
Miller's appearance in the video comes courtesy of footage from a Court TV interview and the local cable program "Phat Phat 'N All That," which features rap artists and their videos.
Independent producer Chris Roberts said he interviewed Miller in November after getting permission from Koch Records. That interview has not aired, and he has not seen Miller's video, said Roberts, who is not the Chris Roberts who sits on the Jefferson Parish Council.
During the 20-minute interview, Miller's attorney was present, in addition to the television show's host and several deputies, Roberts said.
The crew also filmed a few public service announcements aimed at steering youths away from violence, Roberts said, describing Miller's mood as relatively upbeat.
"It was an interesting interview," Roberts said. "He was pretty positive considering all the things he's been going through."
Roberts, who emphasized that he did not shoot a music video, said he has been contacted by the sheriff.
In addition, officials at Court TV said they never knowingly provided material to be used in a music video.
"Although we aired the program, it was delivered to us by Digital Ranch, who produced and shot the show," Court TV said in a statement Thursday.
David Cargill, a producer with the California-based Digital Ranch production company, said he never sent any material to Koch Records to be used in a music video.
"I didn't even know the label," he said.
He's not the first
Miller hasn't cornered the market on jailhouse videos. In June, rapper Clifford Harris, better known as T.I., filmed an unauthorized video at the Fulton County Jail in Georgia.
And rapper Jamal "Shyne" Barrow appeared in the video for his single "Jimmy Choo" with R&B singer Ashanti at the Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora, N.Y.
But Lee isn't amused with Miller's project and has ended all his special privileges. He said he will no longer approve any television interviews with the rapper. Rakosky will be allowed to enter the jail with only a pad and a pen.
The sheriff also has ordered his attorneys to find out whether any laws have been broken. At the very least, Lee said he wants to see the profits from the record's sales frozen.
"They used my jail. I think I'm entitled to some money," Lee said
.. that's all i got to say .. i heard his music back then now and again .. when i was in high school ... that was like almost 8 years ago .. i don't listen to his old record label anymore (he was part of NO LIMIT RECORDS -- brother's label .. not now ... ) .. yep .. he did it .. like it wasnt done before .. produce a cd in jail ..
now i wonder if the chicks he used in his video were also convicts in jail ..