canibus, dmx, forte, pun, mos def
(wow, talk about a moment in time. Canibus, DMX, John Forte, Big Pun, Mic Geronimo [obscured] and Mos Def***)

The Washington Post reports:

A Grammy Award-winning rapper and music producer originally sentenced to 14 years in prison for smuggling cocaine is one of 16 people receiving pardons or reduced sentences from President Bush.

John Edward Forte of North Brunswick, N.J., a graduate of the elite Phillips Exeter Academy prep school who later became a producer for the rap group The Fugees and released two albums on his own, was caught in 2000 at Newark International Airport with two briefcases filled with $1.4 million worth of liquid cocaine, according to court documents.

Forte, 33, a first-time offender, was convicted of possessing the 31 pounds of cocaine with intent to distribute and was sentenced to a minimum of 14 years at Fort Dix, N.J. (Forte’s Web site)

With the commutation*, Forte will be released Dec. 22, after serving just over seven years. He still faces five years of supervised probation.”

(I’ve never been a fan of how instrinsic to Forte’s story was that dang Phillips Exeter alumni subtext. )

I guess Carly Simon was still advocating on Forte’s behalf even 7 years later? Wow. Too bad the old gang is all in a disarray. I talking to Forte back in the day, he was a clever guy. What a crazy road its been.

Here’s an old Rolling Stone interview from jail.

***the 7-part vintage video interview after the jump

This is crazy…props to Shades of Hip Hop if they’re the ones who originally taped this.

I’m dying to know where this dinner was held. I remember there was a caribbean spot near the Flatiron district, near to the XXL offices….reminds me of that spot. Or like Wells in Harlem or something.