By: The Game
Wars are fought on many fronts in what I call “the war against the war on black and brown people.” I watched emotionally with most of America when Diamond Reynolds live streamed on Facebook the shooting of her fiance Philando Castile, shouting: “please officer, don’t tell me that you did this to him…”
We watched him take his last breath, while her 4 year old daughter sat watching in the back seat. It did something to me, it really did. I envisioned what it must have been like when Mamie Till, the mother of Emmitt Till, made the decision to allow her sons casket to be open for the world to see the ugliness that engulfed him. America needed to see what evil was, and look it dead in the face. “I want them to see what they did to my baby,” Mrs. Till said to the world 100 years ago.
I know the part I need to play and will play in the fight for social justice and reform of the Criminal Justice system. The fight will be long and hard but I wish my erstwhile manager was here to join me in this struggle.
Unbeknownst to most Jimmy Rosemond was in the front line of many social issues we struggle with now.
Being from Compton I know about these issues first hand, however, I remember when Sean Bell was murdered on the eve of his wedding -after being shot at 50 times by police in Queens, New York- leaving his bachelor party with friends; Jimmy brought me to meet Mr. Bell’s fiance Nicole Paultre-Bell along with Al Sharpton during one of their protests. She was in shock that a California rapper travelled 3000 miles to support while other New York rappers remained silent.
The officers (in that case)were later acquitted.
When Hurricane Katrina rocked Louisiana the nation watched in awe of blacks pleading for relief and rescue. Jimmy called me and asked me to use my voice to expose the inequality for the stranded community. Kanye West clearly beat me to the task and said, “George Bush doesn’t care about black people.” This was more effective than any Congressman or Senator speaking out.
Rappers and Rap music have always been a voice of the people in the urban communities. But we sometimes fail to give accolades to those that are encouraging us to do the right thing by speaking out.
Jimmy Rosemond was one of those managers.
It wasn’t a shock to learn that Jimmy and others were summoned by Russell Simmons when it was time to march on New York’s City Hall to demand they change the unfair Rockefeller drug law that gave Black and brown drug offenders life sentences. That law was eventually repealed. Even before the earthquake in Haiti, Jimmy would partake in charitable efforts in his homeland, but when the earthquake did hit Haiti he was frontline along side Wyclef Jean helping and paired up with Mona Scott and other Haitian entertainers to join B.E.T to create a telethon for its relief.
After his trip to Mecca, visit to Goree Island in Senegal and Ghana’s slave castles to the “Door of no return,” Jimmy Rosemond seem to become more political. He was asked to have his artist help to register people to vote in the election that would eventually put Barack Obama in office. He would be among the many people in the music industry to be invited to the inauguration. He kept saying that he never thought he would see a black President in his lifetime. It was the same kind of way my parents would say it. He even jumped in the Haitian political arena by bringing Busta Rhymes to Haiti to drive registration to elect Michel Martelly.
Its hard to write about Jimmy Rosmeond after all we’ve been through together.
Undoubtedly Jimmy helped me in the beginning of my career. He laid it all on the line and I reciprocated that with loyalty.
I can see how he could be misunderstood because of his checkered background, or how a fool hearted, overzealous and credulous prosecutor named Todd Kaminsky, who thought every lyric of a rap song was the truth, would chase a myth called Jimmy Henchman. To make a name Todd Kaminsky would break every ethical rule to make a headline. Caught in the foul stench of urban gossip, he did what most do that admire hip hop but could never grasp the true essence of it.
A rap groupie to say the least, a cultural vampire that preyed on Jimmy’s blood to say the most.
Most people believed that Jimmy was behind my well documented rap battles but he was the calm behind the storm; he was older and a savant, while I wanted to conquer the rap world.
The derelict rumors concerned Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine when I announced he would be managing me. During Jimmy Rosemond’s first meeting with the duo he famously said to them, “If you can find one person I gave a bad contract to I will walk away from Game.” A bold and profound statement coming from a guy that was rumored to be a menace with artist and executives alike.
He would further impress them by negotiating with Sean “Diddy” Combs to give me a 10 story wall on Sunset Blvd. A monumental image stood of me on one of the most prominent and prestigious sections in Hollywood, even before the release of my album. He didn’t stop there, he booked me on tours, movies and even got lucrative branding deals, which was no easy task to get for a gangsta rapper. Jimmy had the right balance and tact that it took to manage a guy like me.
When Jimmy was arrested for drugs in 2011, I was as shocked as everyone else. There was a lot of rumors out there of who was or wasn’t involved and I didn’t want my judgment to be corrupted so I waited for the smoke to clear.
Jimmy had enemies and loads of envious people who hated his success, but lack the imagination and drive to achieve their own.
One in particular was Tony Martin, who Jimmy took as his understudy and treated him like a surrogate son because no one would deal with him. Tony was a homely and gruesome looking kid a pathetic liar that would handle a lot of Czar Entertainment artist. Undoubtedly he was skimming money from Jimmy.
While Jimmy was on the run trying to see what he was wanted for Tony lured him out of hiding to be arrested.
Tony and John Dash, an accountant, would later testify that Jimmy never collected cash while on tour with any of Czar Entertainment acts. A big lie. Every artist picked up cash on the road while on tour for after parties. Tony’s coup d’ etat didn’t work out as he planned though cause none of Czar acts dealt with him after.
Then there’s Henry “Black” Butler, a wannabe gang banger, who was arrested with his wife, Leah Daniels, with drugs and machine guns, then would later testify that he worked for Jimmy. These are the kind of guys that was used to convict Jimmy and for sure I never saw Jimmy doing anything illegal, we were usually on tour making money.
But no one in America should get a life sentence on the word of others, hearsay or for invisible, “phantom” drugs; Jimmy was never recorded on wiretaps or caught with drugs, there was no physical evidence. Jimmy was no Kingpin as portrayed by Todd Kaminsky, that was used in Jimmy’s conviction to run for State Senator in New York.
If the police can get away with killing black men in broad day with video to prove it what makes you think we aren’t targeted by the Criminal Justice system to justify their thirst or some prosecutor who wants to become a politician like Rudy Giuliani?
I’ve always been skeptical of the Criminal Justice system that can indict a black man for crossing a street illegally but cant indict police that are caught on video choking a man to death or shooting a 13 year old child in a park with a toy gun. I am concerned as a father of 2 black boys.
After watching Netflix’s “Making A Murder,” I understand why actor Michael K. Williams executive produced “Unjust Justice: The Jimmy Rosemond Tapes,” a docuseries directed by Don Sikorski. This docuseries will expose what happened to Jimmy Rosemond and all the ills of the Criminal Justice system – everything you thought you knew and what you should know.
Mamie Till chose not to close her son’s casket, not to allow the atrocity that had been committed to be covered up and buried and Diamond Reynolds did the same. It’s time to unveil the vileness of the Criminal Justice system that target black men. Death comes in different forms, it can be quick or slow. If you are wrongly convicted and have a life sentence, that’s the slow way. We forget about those that are in jail hidden away in the worse conditions.
I wonder if Jimmy Rosemond was home where would he be in this fight for social justice or his thoughts on Black Lives Matter and the shootings. I’m sure he would have some slogans for the rally cry of the movement followed up with action. Hopefully Jimmy will get a proper day in court and be vindicated.