Kidd Creole, Furious Five rapper, sentenced to 16 years for manslaughter
Kidd Creole, a member of foundational hip-hop group Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, has been sentenced to 16 years in prison for manslaughter, after stabbing a homeless man in New York City.
The rapper, real name Nathaniel Glover, 62, was convicted of the crime last month. Prosecutors said that Glover killed John Jolly, 55, with a steak knife after the two engaged in conversation; Glover’s defence was that he felt intimidated by Jolly, who, it is alleged, asked Glover “what’s up?” in a threatening manner.
Glover’s lawyer had said that Jolly’s homelessness was a factor in Glover feeling threatened, but judge Michele S Rodney said the killing was not “somehow justified because the person is homeless … A life is a life is a life.”
Glover told Rodney he had expected to be exonerated of the crime, and complained that he had been portrayed as someone “who has no remorse or humanity”.
The one-time rapper had been on the way to his job at a copy shop when he attacked Jolly. Glover’s music career had long been dormant by the time of the killing, but he made a significant contribution to early hip-hop history as a member of the Furious Five.
As Kidd Creole – not to be confused with the funk-pop star Kid Creole – he formed the group the Three MCs with his brother Melvin Glover, AKA Melle Mel, and Keef Cowboy, with Grandmaster Flash on production. Two more MCs, Scorpio and Rahiem, joined and the group was renamed Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five.
They were among the first hip-hop groups to cross over from the Bronx-born scene into the US charts, and while Kidd Creole doesn’t feature on the classic Melle Mel-delivered The Message, he contributed to numerous other tracks, and also appears on albums credited solely to Grandmaster Flash after a 1984 schism in the group. The original lineup reformed for a final album in 1987, but permanently disbanded soon afterwards.