U.S. Government Accuses 7 Hip Hop Music Labels Disguising Illegal Drug Operations
The government has made it known that as least seven hip hop rap music and rap labels for staging their business as fronts for illegal drug operations. While most people are aware of how rappers Tupac Shakur and Notorious Big died living the gangsta life, we can suspect there are many more that did exactly what the (BMF) Black Mafia Family did that landed all of them in prison for a long time.
Over the years, several record labels have been charged with pushing packs as well as raps, using their legit label operations as front for an illegal get money movement. Source
Here’s a current list of 7 hip hop labels that the government is claiming as drug operators:
On April 24, 2012, 25 people were arrested and nearly a dozen more were sought by authorities after a four-year sting operation into late Bay area rapper Mac Dre’s label, Thizz Ent. According to authorities, the label is a front for a nationwide drug ring, specializing in the club drug Ecstasy. Members of the label, including several rappers, were charged with conspiracy to distribute ecstasy, cocaine, marijuana, heroin and codeine cough syrup after a raid uncovered 45,000 e-pills, four pounds of crack cocaine, eight ounces of heroin and $200,000 in cash.
Sucka Free Records
In December 2011, former Houston independent record label owner Duane “Big Hump” Hobbs was arrested and allegedly exposed as being a key player in a large-scale drug network. Prosecutors claimed Lil Flip’s former boss regularly distributed kilos of cocaine dating back to 1995. In late March 2012, Hump pled guilty to cocaine distribution charges. Hobbs faces a minimum of 10 years without the possibility of parole when sentenced.
Not officially a record label, Czar Entertainment is a record management company, CEO’d by James “Jimmy Henchman” Rosemond, that formerly claimed clients like Game and Sean Kingston. On June 21, 2011 Rosemond was arrested by the Feds in New York City after a month long manhunt and charged him with heading $10 million a year drug ring. The DEA allege that Henchman shipped large amounts of cocaine cross-country in “road cases” normally used to transport musical equipment. Documents also revealed the Rosemond allegedly arranged pickups and deliveries at the office of Interscope Records.
Behind Da Scenes Entertainment
In late 2010, CEOs of indie label, Behind Da Scenes Entertainment, Ricky “DP” Branscom and Charles Ransom, were indicted by the Feds and charged with moving large amounts of cocaine from L.A to Baltimore via private jet. Authorities seized 298 white squares and $1.1 million in cash. Among the several charges levied at the crew were conspiracy to distribute cocaine, possession with intent to distribute and conspiracy to launder cash.
Murder Inc. Records
On January 26, 2005, Murder Inc Records CEO Irv Gotti was arrested and indicted on money laundering charges. The United States Attorney’s Office in New York accused Gotti (born Irving Lorenzo) along with his brother Christopher of laundering over $1 million in cash through their label for ‘80s drug lord, “Kenneth “Supreme” McGriff. The indictment also alleged the Gotti bros obtained funds from an unnamed record company for McGriff’s personal use.
1st and 15th Entertainment
The Chicago based independent label was co-founded by Lupe Fiasco and Charles “Chilly” Patton around 2002. In 2003, Chilly was caught with six kilos of heroin. Authorities allege that Patton used profits from record deals to buy heroin and sell it throughout Chicago, but Fiasco was never implicated in the case.
In October 2005, the DEA arrested some 30 members of BMF including brothers Demetrius “Big Meech” Flenory and Terry Flenory under the Continuing Criminal Enterprise statute. Authorities allege that the crew, who were affiliated with rapper Young Jeezy and backed artist Blu DaVinci, moved over 2,500 kilos a month and had made over $1 billion of cocaine profit.