A rapper who is in jail awaiting a murder trial has angered the sheriff by recording parts of his forthcoming music video behind bars.
The rapper C-Murder, whose real name is Corey Miller, has been jailed for more than three years, facing a second-degree murder charge in the killing of a 16-year-old inside a nightclub. He was found guilty in 2003, but his conviction was thrown out last April.
While awaiting his second trial, Miller has created a 17-song album called “The Truest S--- I Ever Said,” set to be released on March 22. An early version of a music video of the album’s single “Y’all Heard of Me” shows Miller in jail, in an orange prison outfit, complaining that he and other poor blacks must endure racial profiling.
The release of the video and CD angered Jefferson Parish Sheriff Harry Lee, who says he learned of the video Wednesday after The Associated Press asked to interview Miller in the jail.
Lee said he had been unaware that the rapper had made music and video recordings from behind bars. Lee said he was tricked and the filming was done without his permission.
“Suffice it to say, I’m not pleased,” Lee said. “The only thing I’ll say is, he will not make another video while he’s in my jail.”
The rapper’s lawyer, Ron Rakosky, said the footage in the video was recorded by two film crews: one for Court TV, the other with a local cable-access show. Rakosky said both film crews received permission from the sheriff’s office to interview Miller inside the jail.
“The bottom line is, we didn’t do anything wrong,” Rakosky said.
The early version of Miller’s video shows another rapper, B.G., performing amid large crowds in and around New Orleans housing projects, where Miller grew up with his brothers Percy, the rapper Master P, and Vyshonne, whose stage name is Silkk the Shocker.
The record is Miller’s first since 2002. His career peaked in the 1990s, when he had a hit “I’m Bout It, Bout It,” in a trio called TRU with his brothers, then the solo record “Life Or Death,” in 1998, which sold nearly 1 million copies.
A victims’ advocate said she was upset to hear that Miller would be making money on record sales while in jail.
“He is a suspect in a murder case. I don’t think he should be allowed these privileges, especially earning money, until his name is totally cleared,” said Beverly Siemssen, president of New Orleans-based Victims and Citizens Against Crime
Rakosky said he has encouraged Miller to continue working while in jail.
“Here’s a guy in jail, making constructive use of his time instead of withering away,” he said. “He’s lost more than three years of his life, locked up for a crime he did not commit. At least he’s not just sitting there, wasting away.