Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

C-Murder: Rapper Lives His Lyrics

"The Truest S**t I Ever Said"

For the remainder of 2004, Corey's case dropped from the public radar as attorneys for both sides prepared their cases for the retrial. However, in early 2005, he resurfaced as C-Murder in a big way: as the star of a new 17-track CD and music video, recorded and filmed in the Jefferson Parish Correctional Center. It was released on March 22 but previews of it were available a month earlier.

Entitled "The Truest S**t I Ever Said," the CD/video was an instant hit, C-Murder's first new release since just before his Baton Rouge arrest four years earlier. Featured on the cover was a picture of the bare-chested rapper pointing accusingly at the camera in front of the Calliope Project. True to its title, the CD did indeed feature some of C-Murder's strongest lyrics to date.

In the music video made for the CD's opening track, "Y'all Heard of Me," Corey is seen in his orange prison jumpsuit, gesturing wildly with his hands while rapping. The video was inter-cut with scenes from around inner city New Orleans, including the Calliope Project, as well as shots of other rappers, crowds and street scenes. Rakosky appears in the video, confirming that the shots of Corey were taken from interviews arranged with Court TV and a local Cox Communications cable TV program, "Phat Phat 'n' All That," a regular program that features rap artists and their videos. However, spokespersons for both sources denied that permission had been granted for use of the footage shot inside the prison.

The CD, released on the New York-based Koch label, was reviewed in the July 2005 issue of OffBeat, a monthly magazine that focuses on New Orleans and Louisiana recording artists and the music scene. Reviewer Robert Fontenot called it "the best CD of (C-Murder's) career," despite the irony of the clandestine methods used to record it. National music publications gave it similar rave reviews. C-Murder remained a top-name rap star, despite his confined circumstances. Some even speculated that the charges against him only added to his celebrity status.

The making of the CD and video stirred debate on whether convicted criminals should be allowed to profit from their creative products — whether they be books, movies, recordings or videos. Several states, including Texas and California, prohibit this but Louisiana does not. Jefferson Parish District Attorney Paul Connick, Jr. (a cousin of musical superstar Harry Connick, Jr.) confirmed that no laws were broken in the release of Corey's CD/video.

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