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War on Drugs Hits Local Hip Hop Mogul

By Julene McCoy in Arts & Entertainment on Jun 4, 2007 9:41PM

Like baseball and steroids, drug-dealing and hip hop always seem to be mentioned in the same breath. This time Lupe Fiasco’s business partner at 1st and 15th, the record label he started in 2000, has been sentenced to 44 years on drug charges. There have been no charges filed against Lupe who partnered with Charles Patton for his first album, Food & Liquor. Assistant State’s Attorney Patrick Coughlin stated that it was rare to have a recording executive caught up in such a major drug investigation. That 44 year sentence is pretty rare, too.

2007_06_1stand15th.jpgSix kilos of heroin were found in a storage facility that opened with a key found in the Pattons’ home during a raid in 2003. There have been no allegations that the recording company, nor Lupe Fiasco, has any connection to Patton’s moonlight gig as a drug dealer. Although, it was alleged that money from drug dealing helped finance record deals and, in the same Sun Times article, that profits from records were used to buy heroin.

Lupe testified at the trial that references to splitting up “whole yellow” and “whole red” heard in recorded telephone conversations did not refer to prepping heroin, but to prepping music tracks. Of course, we are thinking that “kick” and “push” might have different meanings now.