South Central, CA–Donald Trump has been called every name in the book by Americans and mainstream media who despised him for his racist and sexist comments. In his last day in office, however, he will receive a head nod from many in the Black, Hip-Hop community for choosing to pardon some who were caught up in drug sentencing laws–including Death Row Records investor Michael ‘Harry O’ Harris.
Many are calling it a slight to incoming President Joe Biden, who has been criticized for authoring the crime bill that has stolen the lives of so many Black men with mandatory minimums and enhanced drug sentencing.
Harris was convicted in 1989 on conspiracy and murder charges, with an additional 19-years and 7 months for cocaine trafficking. After being paroled in 2011 by San Quentin Prison, Harris was taken into custody by U.S Marshalls upon his release. In 2020, he was denied parole after citing health issues as well as concerns of Covid 19.
In an interview with The Daily Mail in Aug. 2020, Harris was said to be set for release from prison to a halfway house in Texas. He is quoted saying:
“Over 30 years ago I was part of the problem. However, over the years I have repeatedly proven myself to be part of the solution. It’s about returning to society with my new found vision, talents and insights. Giving back to the communities where my help is so desperately needed.’
He further states that he wants to “take his ‘implanted wisdom’ back into the streets so he can share what he’s learned to help heal broken communities.” It appears however, that Harris has remained in prison and will now be a free man in 2021 thanks to Trump.
Harris is well-known as the person who gave Suge Knight the seed money to start Death Row records. He also helped produce the play “Checkmates,” where Denzel Washington got his early start.
With the help of his well-connected lawyer David Kenner serving as a go-between, Harry O would end up providing the seed money to Suge Knight that would later become Death-row records. A fact that is not widely discussed, is that Death Row was supposed to be a subsidiary of Harry O’s parent company, Godfather Records.
A huge party was held at Chaser’s marking the beginning of Death Row Records, Harry-O even received a shout out by David Kenner to cameras that documented one of the most historic nights in Hip-Hop. (Skip to 5:10).
Harris was ineligible for a sentence reduction due to sentencing laws, so a Judge was not able to consider Harris’s post-conviction achievements or any other sentencing factors in an appeal for his release. Rapper Snoop Dogg was among those who appealed to the Trump administration to include Harris in his list of pardons.
It is important to remember that before liberal media named Trump as the #1 racist in America, he was a celebrated icon of wealth and power in the Hip-Hop community–with rappers from Kendrick Lamar, to Raekwon and Lil Wayne mentioning him in their songs.
Trump could have freed our political prisoners like Mutulu Shakur, but it’s good that Harris is finally free from the belly of the beast.
Read More: Former cocaine kingpin who co-founded label Death Row Records with Suge Knight and signed music legends Dr. Dre, Tupac and Snoop Dogg is set to be released from prison after 31 years behind bars
Photos: The Daily Mail, Youtube