(AllHipHop News) One of the oldest sayings in entertainment is “the show must go on.” It seems that is even the case if the performer is serving jail time on drug related charges. William Harness (who goes by the rap name Struggle Jennings) would not let being locked up in Tennessee’s Davidson County jail stop him from shooting scenes for a music video even if he had to trick officials to do it.
Davidson County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Karla West revealed that the department allowed a camera crew to enter the jail under the impression they were interviewing Harness for a documentary. The footage from the visit actually ended up in the video for the rapper’s song “Black Curtains” that was uploaded to his blog and YouTube channel.
“They sat there and asked him 20 minutes worth of questions, just as they would with any documentary about his life and different things like that. At the end they asked, as part of the documentary, could he mouth some of the words to his song and I allowed that,” West told News Channel 5. “We were duped when it seems as though now, their purpose from the beginning was to try to get that accomplished so it could turn into a video, not a documentary at all.”
The “interview” was shot in 2012 before Harness was transferred to another facility, but the Davidson County Sheriff’s Office did not find out about the music video until a week ago.
The DCSO is considering legal action against the production company Creativity for Hire. A letter requesting that all images of the jail or its employees be removed from the video was sent to the creators of the clip.
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UPDATE (11/2): Struggle Jennings released a statement concerning this matter via Facebook. It reads in part:
I received word today about the situation with the Davidson County Sheriff’s Office regarding the release of my latest project “Black Curtains”.. Apparently they feel that they were “tricked” by us. Well I honestly believe this was not the case. When the production company arrived at the jail they were given guidelines and proper procedures to follow during filming. Forms were signed and access was granted. No laws were broken and we meant no disrespect nor were we shown any. A public relations representative for DCSO was present in the room the entire time and like all of the staff at the jail that day they were kind and professional to myself and my crew in every way. Our plan all along was to film enough footage to release a short film, in music video format, to build awareness and excitement for the full length “I Am Struggle” documentary… So during filming that day, when we saw the opportunity to shoot the performance footage for “Black Curtains” we respectfully asked permission. We were granted permission to film my vocal performance with no limitations placed on how, when or in what format it would be used.. Our intentions were never misrepresented, maliciously or not. We didn’t trick anyone. We didn’t lie about anything. Ultimately, this is a matter of miscommunication at worst, and misunderstanding at best. The message behind my story is the importance of breaking the vicious cycle that has impacted my own life as well as so many lives around the world… We filmed this with only the best of intentions. Our actions were anything but disrespectful or deceitful. My only hope is that my story and message will reach others and show them that the cycle of the criminal lifestyle can be broken.
To read the full statement visit Struggle’s Facebook page.
Watch the video for Struggle’s “Black Curtains” below.