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 rappers 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, Fortes 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, Fortes lawyer Aarti Tandon told The New York Post.
Fortes former college roommate and longtime friend Talib Kweli is set to celebrate the former Refugee All-Stars release tonight at BB Kings in New York City.
The event will feature performances from LAs Blu and Exile, and a headline, live band performance by Kwelis 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.