It’s been over three years since we last heard from former Bad Boy rapper Loon, when he was handed a 14-year prison sentence for alleged drug charges.
But, the former rapper, now known as Amir Junaid Muhadith, tells his story in latest issue of Playboy.
Muhadith is now an inmate at the Butner Federal Correctional Complex in Durham, NC. These days, he spends his days doing calisthenics, cardio and weight lifting to stay in shape.
In a piece for Playboy, he explains how he got caught up in the drug trafficking case that landed him in prison, the mystery regarding his biological father, his drug-dealing days in Harlem as a youth, and his rise and fall in the music biz.
Below is an excerpt. Read the full piece at Playboy.com.
Muhadith’s trip here began in December 2008 when he quit the music industry, converted to Islam and renamed himself Amir Junaid Muhadith. In 2010 he moved to Egypt, where he subsisted as a television host and nascent voice on the religious-lecture circuit. Then, in November 2011, he was arrested in Brussels Airport on felony drug charges. The indictment stated that Muhadith “knowingly and intentionally conspired…with others, known and unknown, to possess with intent to distribute” heroin in North Carolina between 2006 and 2008. He pleaded guilty upon his extradition to the United States. According to Muhadith, he had two felonies already under his belt and risked getting 25 years to life if he went to trial. He couldn’t take that chance. He was sentenced to 14 years in prison.
Muhadith calls it “guilt by association. Everything was hearsay. There was no tangible evidence.” To hear him tell it: One night at Hot Beats Recording Studio in Atlanta, a rapper he was advising asked Muhadith to introduce him to a heroin supplier. Muhadith complied, which he says was the end of his involvement but enough to place him under the umbrella of conspiracy once federal charges were brought against the other artist.
Muhadith says there are discrepancies in the case, including one that should have gotten it thrown out: The indictment states that he was involved in this conspiracy from 2006 to 2008. But, he says, he didn’t meet the individual until 2008. Why did he even make the introduction? “That, um, was just me being stupid, really,” he says wistfully. “It was just a brief introduction. It cost me 168 months.”
Muhadith, who sprinkles his speech with Arabic and verses from the Koran, remains upbeat despite his long sentence. “The thing that makes this easy for me is my religion,” he says. “As long as I accord to what Islam teaches, it doesn’t matter where I’m at.”
He is, in other words, firmly in the present—though at times he’s like an old guy at a bar, reminiscing about his heyday. “I’m actually grateful that those things happened,” he says, “because all those events led me to where I am now.”