Ash Joshi is not the typical attorney seen with rappers in the past. Admittedly, Mr. Joshi is of the Hip-Hop generation, and a fan at that. In an exclusive and most candid discussion with AllHipHop.com, the attorney discusses some of the legal matters concerning his client – the newly released Gucci Mane. Mr. Joshi offers insight into the case, and addresses the "snitch" accusations head-on. From his family to his legal staff, Gucci Mane has strong believers in his corner.
AllHipHop.com: How did you feel about the case against Gucci? I mean, it seemed like there was a reasonable that he would get off, as he did, but at the same token, it did also seem that the legal system could potentially use him as an example. Like how did you feel initially?
Ash Joshi: We were cognizant of that, that second factor. We were very cognizant of it. We felt the evidence was on our side. But we do know how the media feels about rappers in particular, but just young Black men in general. And we had to be cognizant of both things. Now thankfully, the District Attorney’s office in Dekalb County, thankfully for us, they were willing to look beyond the fact that he’s a young Black man and that he’s a rapper, focus on the evidence, which was always in our favor and make a decision based on the law and the evidence and not just, you know emotion or people say no, he’s a rapper, so he’s gotta be a bad guy.
AllHipHop.com: Right, right. What about the actual attackers? Have they been brought to justice at all?
Ash Joshi: They have not. I don’t know where that investigation is. I will tell you we have always stood by what Gucci did and frankly, we think those people are – or I shouldn’t say it. We would like to see if the District Attorney’s office sees fit, we’d like to see those people brought to justice, because that was unprovoked attack, it was a home invasion, they were willing to do a lot more had they been given the opportunity, and those are dangerous people.
AllHipHop.com: Do you feel this is a part of some sort of a rap war or is it beyond that? I mean there’s obviously a lot of speculation and even some comments made on record from the other side of things.
Ash Joshi: I think it’s beyond rap. And you know, I would tell you, I’ve been listening to rap music for 15 years, and people have been saying this kinda stuff for 15 – for every year that I’ve been listening to rap music, you know. But this to me, went beyond that. I mean, you know, back when I started listening to it was LL Cool J and Kool Moe Dee [just battling].
AllHipHop.com: Yeah, yeah. Do you think the District Attorney will pursue it or will you try to push for them to pursue it, the – you know, the actual attackers?
Ash Joshi: We’ve given them the information that we know we’ve tried to be cooperative and let them know that if they need our assistance, we’ll be there because again, we think these are dangerous people and we don’t think they should be out there running the streets. But at the same hand, we – we appreciate their position and the difficult choices they have to make and we will allow them to make their own decisions. We will not be in the press saying that they should or should not. That’s their decision to make and it’s a tough one, but if they need us, we would be there.
AllHipHop.com: Do you have any particular way of kinda helping Gucci avoid these pitfalls of going forward?
Ash Joshi: I’ve gotten to know him quite well over the last six months. I can’t tell you how many conversations we’ve had on that subject in particular. The easiest thing in working with Gucci is he’s an intelligent young man. So every time I’ve expressed my opinion on having the right people around him, having security around him, a certain number of security at all times and then maybe even a larger number of security when he’s in a very public venue. Can I add one thing about the – I read the article last night. I just happened to read the article where there was a reference to a snitch. I know it was [AllHipHop.com who published] the article. I read it in the Rumors section.
AllHipHop.com: Yeah, I had addressed that piece.
Ash Joshi: You know, I’m a criminal defense attorney so I deal with people who give up information to the police all the time and what they’re trying to do is lessen their own criminal matter. You know, they’re trying to knock years off their case. Or get out of trouble their in, by setting somebody else up. Or bringing people into a situation who didn’t have anything to do with that situation. You know, they’re – they’re putting people out there. That’s not what this was about. This was a man honestly saying these are the people who attacked me. We never went out of our way to say – and let me tell you , ten other people who – who were also committing crimes were. That to me would be a snitch. This was just somebody honestly saying these are the people who attacked me. And I did what I had to do. I did that for my life. I would just hate see somebody – I would hate to think of that as a character – to characterize that action as one of being a snitch. And I don’t think that’s fair to him.
AllHipHop.com: I guess there was a rumor that, you know, him getting the charges dropped had something to do with the BMF drug bust. I mean, just straight up that’s where that kinda originated from.
Ash Joshi: [Click here to listen to Ash Joshi] I figured. I mean, let me share with you, I mean because right, while he was in jail, what 15 of those guys got arrested in that one sweep, but I can tell you for a fact, we had nothing to do with that. The only way I think that factored in, okay, is that the District Attorney’s office realized in Dekalb County who the guys were, the character of the people who were – who are supposedly the ones who came after Gucci. Their own people were so tainted at that point that it would – you know, it would undermine their credibility assuming that these people were with BMF. I know that’s the rumor that the guys who went after Gucci were – we don’t – I don’t know that for a fact. I don’t think he does either. Sometimes when your people see you – your sentence was light or that you got off, the assumption is you gave up somebody to do that. And that was – I can tell you for a fact that was never the case, because number one, we didn’t have anybody to give up and number two – more importantly, that’s not his character. We never once said to the DA’s office, “hey guys we’ll give you this in return for that.”