John Forte Plans Youth Outreach, Friend Kweli Celebrates His Release

AllHipHop Staff

Grammy winning producer and rapper John Forte was released today (December 22) after serving seven years in prison on a drug smuggling conviction.

The rapper gained his freedom after singer Carly Simon, Utah Senator Orrin Hatch and others assisted in getting the rapper’s conviction commuted via a pardon from President George Bush.

Forte learned of his sentence being overturned on November 24 by a fellow inmate who watched the news on CNN.

The Brooklyn rapper began his promising career in 1996 by writing two songs on the Grammy-winning, nine-times platinum Fugees’ classic The Score.

Now 33-years-old and with a new lease on life, Forte’s lawyer explains that the rapper/producer wants to deter young people from following the path that landed him a mandatory minimum sentence of 14 years in federal prison.

“He wants to help young kids understand they have options and help deter them from making some of the mistakes he made,” Forte’s lawyer Aarti Tandon told The New York Post.

Forte’s former college roommate and longtime friend Talib Kweli is set to celebrate the former Refugee All-Star’s release tonight at BB Kings in New York City.

The event will feature performances from LA’s Blu and Exile, and a headline, live band performance by Kweli’s newly formed Idle Warship, a supergroup project featuring Kweli and soul /alternative singers Res and Graph Nobel. Doors open at 7PM, with DJ duties to be

handled by K Salaam and DJ Eque.