10 Biggest News Stories of 2009: #10 - Alfamega the Informant

In 2008, Alfamega gained more prominence as the close friend of superstar T.I. and supposed “street muscle” for his Grand Hustle label. But in 2009, Alfamega’s rap career was stalled after documents leaked confirming his past as a federal informant.

The documents were first published by thesmokinggun.com in May. The information detailed that in September 1995, Alfamega (Cedric Zellars) was convicted of selling guns to an undercover federal agent, and sentenced to 110 months in prison.

The DEA report then verifies that Zellars contacted authorities to become a witness in the trial of Atlanta drug trafficker Ali Baager. The rapper confirms that he is agreeing to “cooperate with the government,” and reiterated during cross examination that he was the one that reached out to the DEA.

“I had people calling, and I was writing,” Zellars explained. “I been asked for information. They picked some of the guys up, but it didn’t do nothing to help me. I just gave it [information] because they asked me.”

After testifying on 4 separate occasions, Alfamega was able to receive 18 months shaved off his sentence. T.I., who was facing federal charges as the result of his bodyguard’s testimony against him, acted swiftly in severing all personal and business ties with Alfamega live on Atlanta’s 107.9, effectively shelving his debut I Am Alfamega.

"Even though all our artists and employees are asked by us to be honest and open about their past history, at no time did Alfa disclose to me or Grand Hustle what has now appeared in the media," T.I. read on air. "He essentially deceived us by failing to fully disclose the truth about his past, and there is no place in our organization for dishonest and misleading behavior. As I have always said, you must take responsibility for your own actions. We at Grand Hustle can not support or condone the blaming of others for our own mistakes. I hope and pray to God, bless his savings plans, but I don't foresee me or my company playing a role in his personal or professional business."

Adding to Alfamega’s woes in 2009 was his arrest on felony gun charges and attempted escape. The rapper tried to flee a routine traffic stop after authorities located a loaded .40 caliber semi-automatic weapon in his SUV. Zellars was pepper sprayed, hit with a police baton, and broke his ankle after jumping 25-30 feet off a garage wall. The injury was enough to be mentioned in the police report that the rapper’s bone was protruding, resulting in a specialized cast. After being released on bail, Alfamega launched a PR campaign to clear his name and rejoin Grand Hustle.

His manager Decks gave an exclusive interview with AllHipHop.com. While not directly addressing the informant accusation, he requested compassion and understanding from the fans.

“I just feel like people should have more compassion for what Alfa is going through as a human being first and foremost. At this point, Alfa has been a victim of police brutality and social injustice,” explained Decks to AllHipHop.com. “Music is an expression of life and I think that he’ll get his just due as far expelling the feelings that he’s having right now through music. But right now, it’s something that he has to endure, unfortunately. And it’s involving a lot of pain. So you can imagine being in excruciating pain on a day to day basis: the last thing on your mind, or anybody else’s, would be music. I think Alfa, at the end of the day when all the facts come out, he’s gonna be on his feet. Alfa’s a fighter. That I know about him.”

In July, Alfamega attempted reconciliation on his own, first through an “Open Letter to T.I.”

“I’m coming at you as a man who is disappointed that he was publicly exiled by a friend. You’ve often said that you’re a man of your words but hommie; you are not being true to your words,” Alfmega wrote. “Instead, you’re tryin to play me like I’m a pawn in your own personal game of chess…At one time, a lot of dudes were questioning how you got that year and a day so the word in the streets was that you were a snitch. I went off in those same streets for you.”

T.I. did not respond, leading to Alfamega becoming more confrontational on the mixtape track “Round 1,” which the rapper later denied was a T.I. diss.

“Committing treason/Get more than a 100 lashes,” Alfamega rapped. “Drop your ass like Jay did Dame Dash’s/Let me cool down before I below a head gasket/Slappin’ this b**h, put a n***a in a casket/One phone cool do a n***omething tragic/Make your wife a widow and your son a bastard.”

To date, T.I. has not addressed Alfamega’s open letter or spoken with his former protégé. Earlier this week, the Atlanta star was released to a halfway house after being imprisoned for seven months on a federal weapons conviction. Alfamega remains without a label home following his Grand Hustle dismissal. His proposed debut I Am Alfamega has been shelved indefinitely.