J-Dee Of Da Lench Mob Describes Becoming An Author During His 20-Year Prison Stint

Exclusive: J-Dee details being voted out of Da Lench Mob and teaming up with Tray Deee of Tha Eastsidaz on a collection of short stories during his incarceration.

After making their much-heralded debut on, then, mentor Ice Cube’s break-out solo LP, AmeriKKKa's Most Wanted, Los Angeles, California, based rappers; J-Dee, Shorty and T-Bone, collectively known as Da Lench Mob, soon embarked on a musical journey of their very own. The controversial trio, who had strong ties with the Nation of Islam, later unleashed their gold certified, 1992, Street Knowledge debut, Guerillas In Tha Mist.

While recording what was to be their sophomore collection, Planet Of Da Apes, tragedy struck. In 1994, in a strange turn of events, group member J-Dee [nee’ Da Sean Cooper], was charged with the murder of Scott Charles. Although both were separate incidents, both Cooper and T-Bone were arrested and charged with murder in two separate incidents. While T-Bone would be acquitted in his case, Cooper is currently serving 29 years to life.

Cooper checked in from the California Men’s Colony in San Luis Obispo, California. In the almost 20 years since his conviction, media attention on what was then labeled “Gangsta Rap” has waned. But hot button issues at the core of J-Dee’s conviction—California’s controversial “three-strikes” law, the alarming number of incarcerated black men and the booming business of privately owned prisons to name a few—are still very relevant. J-Dee spoke on his role in the music, culture and how he has remained active over the past few decades.

J-Dee Maintains His Innocence & Appeals 1993 Murder Charge

HipHopDX: It’s been, what you call, almost two long decades since you were convicted and ultimately sentenced to life in prison for the crime of murder. What have the past 20 years been like for you?

J-Dee: The past two decades have been hard for me, but one thing I’ve learned to do is pray first, act second and push forward. I’ve lost so many loved ones, including my mother, over this 20 years...it’s a miracle I’m still sane. Being charged for a murder you didn’t do and wouldn’t snitch on is hard on a man who stuck to the G-Code for his entire adult life—especially when those you loved and respected, immensely, so easily turned their backs on you.

DX: What does your day-to-day life actually entail? And, how do you make the best of your time being incarcerated?

J-Dee: My day-to-day life entails my job as a clerk in the prison’s computer lab for vocational training. I work out an hour a day, attend self-help groups; such as NA/AA, school of the Bible and anger management. I’m an author now, so I dedicate four hours a day to writing urban novels. I play chess and handball and try to stay as busy as possible. I’ve secured a three-book deal with Ghettoheat Publishing in New York City, and I've been working with two very talented brothers; Anthony Barrow and Big Tray Deee, on a book of short stories that are out; titled: Los Angeles Tymez: Urban Tales. This has become my latest passion. My novel, Dirrrty, is scheduled to be released in November on Ghettoheat.

DX: I know that you have always maintained your innocence for the crime that you were accused of, so are you working with lawyers on an appeal? Is there anything going on with your case in terms of any new developments?

J-Dee: I’ve always maintained my innocence, and, yes, I’m currently working with the Innocence Project in San Diego, California. There are new witnesses and new evidence, not previously produced at trial that can exonerate me, if those in a position of power are willing to fight for truth and justice. There are two prosecution witnesses expressing their willingness to come forward and recant their testimony. A lot of time has passed, and sometimes humans like to make peace with their higher power before parting this life. Personally, I just want my freedom back. Lyrics to a song, and a 9-1-1 tape shouldn’t ever be enough to convict a man of murder—especially when 50-plus shell casings, from a dozen weapons, were recovered from the scene, ya’ dig? Something ain’t right.
 
DX: From a musical standpoint, have you managed to keep up with the current state of Rap music? And, that being said, are you happy with what you have both seen and heard from the art form in recent times?
 
J-Dee: Yes, I’ve kept up with the current state of music, and my feelings towards the Rap game are mixed at best. I am upset with the dismal sales of West Coast music and the shift in power when it comes to O.G.s who are music/media moguls and have the resources to create the next great class of West Coast legends. Having said that, I am a big fan of G. Malone, Maylay, Bad Lucc, Ras Kass, Game, YG, Big Wy, Yukmouth, C-Bo, Don Diego, Jayo Felony, Gangsta, CJ Mac, Mack 10, Tray Deee...and the holy trinity; WC, Snoop Lion, Ice Cube and Lord Dre—the Dr. But as a realist, I must give my utmost respects to [Young] Jeezy, Rick Ross, Ace Hood, Slick Pulla, T.I., 3 Stacks, Young Money, Bun B, Trick Daddy—and the hardest muthafucka that ever did this shit—Sir Brad Jordan a.k.a. Scarface! They’ve carried the torch like loyal comrades should. Their music is played every day in the C.D.C. [California Department of Corrections], and that tells me exactly what I need to know—unite or perish!

DX: From a personal angle, have you continued to hone your craft while behind bars? I’m sure because of who you are a lot of aspiring emcees have stepped to you, either wanting to give you props and/or to test you. Has this been the case at all?

J-Dee: As far as me continuing to hone my craft, the short answer is, hell muthafuckin’ yeah! Long gone are the days of “Buck Tha Devil.” I have enough heat to melt the polar ice caps! I'm currently working with Big Tray Deee of Tha Eastsidaz and a hot producer named Jerry “Dre” Dupree. We are creating a soundtrack to an urban novel with a 14-track project that will surely give Rap fans a glimpse into the direction the New West is moving in. My comrade, De-Capone, is by far a force to be reckoned with. There are a lot of beasts with skills languishing in these warehouses. Ninety-percent pay homage to my early accomplishments, and the other 10 percent simply try to crush a legend. I respect both groups. It’s the essence of true Hip Hop.
 
DX: How has not only Hip Hop, but, even more importantly, yourself, either changed and/or evolved over the course of past 20 years?

J-Dee: Hip Hop has changed drastically over the past two decades. Crossing over was once a sin, but now it’s necessary to succeed. Lyrics are not as thought provoking. Beats are recycled; biting is the ultimate compliment to an artist. It’s all business, and I respect it to a degree. I’ve evolved as well. Music was once my life, but now I’m the father of four gorgeous girls—a [husband to a] very beautiful strong soldier named Kristi—who is my wife and best friend. My priorities are in order, and it is now my job to make sure that my wife and I provide our children with structure, guidance, love and a sense of self worth and values. This is my life now, and I make no apologies for it. I love my wife and children, period. Every black man should.

J-Dee On Unreleased Tracks & Being Voted Out Of Da Lench Mob

DX: Unfortunately, you were unable to participate in the second Da Lench Mob LP, Planet Of Da Apes. Had you done any recording for it before what happened to you happened? Is there any unreleased J-Dee material floating around somewhere?

J-Dee: For the record, I was the first in the studio and last to leave when Planet Of Da Apes was being recorded. Sadly, I was arrested by the second month of recording. I wrote feverishly and recorded three solo tracks; “Lost In Tha System...Again,” “Back To Da Criminal Set” and “McDonalds Is Still My Spot.” Without pointing fingers, muthafuckas elected to remove my songs, so I couldn't receive my publishing. I was voted out of the group by Shorty, as the “rumor” goes, and replaced by Maulkie. It was hard to believe, but as they say, it us what it is. I have a modest amount of work floating around out there that has never been released. Jazzy D, Mako Capone—cats who have held me down—are sitting on it. I’ll release a double CD upon my return to the City of Angels and Demons, and after that I will go away for good.
 
DX: Also, have you had any access to record while in prison? I’ve heard some facilities have that type of technology that inmates can sometimes utilize...
 
J-Dee: As far as being in a prison studio working? The answer is no. The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation does not allow me to do shit! I’ve found creative ways to work, but none of which I care to speak on. Da Lench Mob was not CDCR friendly, and they let me know up front where they stood [and still] stand. I keep to myself and keep my circle small. The less they know...the less they know.
 
DX: During your time away, have you been able to keep in touch or have you heard from any of your former musical cohorts; Ice Cube, Shorty, T-Bone, etc.? If so, when’s the last time any of y’all spoke or visited with one another?
 
J-Dee: Over the years, not one member of Da Mob has visited with me. However, this doesn’t upset me anymore because I’ll be up for parole in 2015. I get to turn a page so to speak. When it comes to Ice Cube, he and I are cool as a fan. We just don’t speak on it. He has been supportive and a great source of help over the past few years. Ice Cube literally showed me how to feed my family legally. How could you be mad at a man who does this? Ice Cube is a businessman, and I respect his reluctance to affiliate himself with a man in my position. Do I wish for him to help me get free, of course. I loved that nigga like he was my brother. We’ve been homeboys since 1986, and I wouldn’t be known as J-Dee from Da Lench Mob if it wasn’t for him putting me in a position to record with him.

T-Bone, personally, has never liked me. He experienced the same thing in regards to being falsely accused of murder, but he was acquitted after being given $77,000 for an attorney, and $1.5 million for bail. This was provided to him in exchange for him breaking up the group. At least this is what I was told. As for Shorty, well he’s my brother from another. We’re going to argue, fight, talk shit, etc. The politics of this game made him choose a side, and people were being thrown under the bus by each other. Shorty should’ve advocated for me a lot better. He knows who killed the man I’m in here for. He knows I didn’t snitch on that man, because I wasn’t cut from that cloth. He knows that if it wasn’t for me, he would’ve never been a part of Da Lench Mob. He could’ve done so much more to help prove my innocence. He’s been in prison before, [so] he knows how hard this shit can be. Nevertheless, I still got love for the brother. He could advocate now if he wanted to.
 
DX: Is there anything I left out or just plain forgot to mention?

J-Dee: Before I close, let me just say that I am a soldier from the minefields of Los Angeles. I will survive, because I live by the code of karma now. I don't gangbang or do dope like 90% of the industry. I’m a hungry writer/novelist, and Ghettoheat Publishing is my new home. Anthony Barrow and Big Tray Deee are brothers who have given me a chance to showcase a piece of my work in Los Angeles Tymez. Hickson, the CEO of Ghettoheat, has put me in a position to grow in this new arena, and I respect him so damn much for taking a chance on me. Be on the lookout for my hot new single “Gettin’ It In” and “Da Streetz Gon’ Cry” featuring Big 3D. This nightmare is almost over, y’all! Praise Yahweh for givin’ me a gift I couldn’t destroy even if I wanted to.
 
DX: Lastly, how can your fans keep up with J-Dee? Is there a Facebook or Twitter? And, where should they send letters?

J-Dee: Finally, to all of my fans, who I consider as family, you can always reach me on Twitter at: @DaRealJDee, @JDeeCooper.com, via Facebook, at KreoleCooper and via e-mail at KreoleCooper@yahoo.com. Any letters should be sent to J.D. Cooper #J-52728 RM. 3237 P.O. Box 8101 S.L.O., CA 93409.

 

RELATED: Lench Mob Producers Talk Ice Cube, New Projects

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72 Comments

  • Iwaz therehedidntdoit

    Party was on Thoreau. JD didn't kill that man..

  • Anonymous

    Hey dog, dis mousie 190 ecc, angie 116 van ness old boy friend, hallaat yo boy , from banniniighigh

  • LeShawn Hopkins

    LMAO fuck is y'all niccaz talking bout? He's NOT innocent?!?! Real niggaz in L.A. know who did it, some trick ass Piru by the name of Ramar McMorris did the killing. Now if y'all wanna keep with that hating ass fuck shit, then keep on. We all know who's wrong and who's right.

  • Meondra Smith

    Im from the ATL but stay on the west coast and my big brother Jazzy D speaks very highly of JD from the lynch mob I've heard nothing but very wonderful things about this man..I look forward to meeting him upon his release. Jazzy from Jazzy Management is my mentor and has educated a great deal of West Coast artist and managers and we all follow JD's career and his incarceration. he's going to be very successful as a free man business wise and as an individual

  • ken scott

    Its funny how ppl make sure their anonymous and talk shit, and the ones that aren't, they feel no1 will get to them either! I wish it was a society that makes it legal to hold ppl to the shit they say out their mouths!

  • Jules

    I usually don't respond to articles or their replies, but I felt compelled to do after reading this one. Although J-Dee feels strongly about honoring some "code," that concept of loyalty is grossly misinterpreted. For the record, snitches are those who are complicit in a crime or crimes with accomplices, who are caught and then implicate their co-conspirators. A witness is a person who saw someone commit a crime that of which they are not a part, nor from which do they gain. PERIOD. Why would J-Dee or any person rather spend one day incarcerated when he could easily divuldge the information that he has, which could easily exonerate himself? More so, why is he ok with someone else coming forward as a witness? Isn't that still considered snitching, according to the street code? Street code? Really? You want to honor the same streets with your freedom so when you're released, you can come home and be labeled as a "real G" on the same streets that never gave you anything? If I were Ice Cube, I would have cut ties with such idiocy too. Ugh.

  • tm323

    Maybe your mad because he didn't marry yo ass.....

  • Anonymous

    nigga you got a wife you can tell her ass to send me my $100 back. all that sht you wrote about her in your letters & you went back to that. you stupid! don't call me no more I'm cool on your snake ass!

  • Anonymous

    lol!! I bet you these comments is better than the book.

  • Anonymous

    A 20 YEAR PRISON STINT? THATS ALL HE GOT IS 20 YEARS? HE SHOULD BE DOING LIFE IN PRISON FOR TAKING ANOTHER LIFE. HES GUILTY, ITS A CRYING SHAME THAT THE PUBLIC PEOPLE ARE SO CONCERNED ABOUT HIM BEING A MUSIC ICON; THEY DONT CARE ABOUT THE MURDERED VICTIM. MAY JD AND HIS LIEN GIRLFRIEND HAVE A MISSRABLE LIFE WHEN HE PAROLE, BECAUSE GOD DONT LIKE UGLY. R.I.P SCOTT CHARLES, YOU ARE TRULY AND DEARLY MISSED BY ALL OF YOUR TRUE FRIENDS & FAMILY. LOVE YOU ALWAYS.

    • RandY G

      To the lame ass who said JDee committed this tragic crime you if you weren't there you don't know ... He's doing time for a dead man. Check your character

  • Anonymous

    jd can't rap he's wack!

  • Anonymous

    Exactly what is this book about? I hope not any killings with him being about to parole in 2015 for a 187; thats last thing he needs to be doing is writing a book about gun violence robbing and killing. If this book even match his criminal case, thats a parole violation rap artist or not.

  • OC

    Excellent article from an Oldskool Hip Hop Icon. Stay strong Jdee, the Creator as a master plan for you!

  • Anonymous

    Just like Chris Rock said, niggas love to glorify ignorance.

  • Anonymous

    FREE JD!!!!!!! If he went back to that Dike on a Bike; He must have been very desperate and needed a place to parole to 2015, because shes not clean at all... In case yawl readers didnt know his wife is stuck on females, she a fat bisexual. She left JD hanging in prison, now its awful strange that she pops back up for book purposes; gold-digger!

    • tm323

      Black people always talking and dont know shit. Your just another ignorant bitter black female who is so quick judge. I think your another jealous female mad because it's her in the picture and not you. Let them live their lives as they see fit.

  • Anonymous

    Ignorance isJust Plain Ignorance!

  • Anonymous

    INSTITUTIONALIED PEOPLE FEEDING FEAR AND PROMOTING TERROR THROUGH IGNORANCE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The best way to reduce gun accidents is for everyone, including you jail house rappers trying to push money, while youre in prison sitting on your ignorant ass; you need to learn the basics of gun safety. Ignorance and carelessness are what cause gun accidents, and in the case of you killing someones child in real life, & now youre doing 20 years to life in prison for it; its a shame that youre using the lench mob group to still promote ignorance and violence, in a non fiction book.. I know this book; its primarily going to be plain ignorance. Thus, keeping our children ignorant and ghetto is hardly a solution. I dont understand why they are posting this link with a video of him still in prison rapping about how hes still gang banging; its obvious that youre still about murdering innocent people, gangbanging and that street life. who cares We rally against ignorance in every other area and aspect of our world, because we know education and knowledge is right and best. So why we should promote ignorance here is beyond me yet look, thats what happens. Ignorance isJust Plain Ignorance! Dr. Claude Anderson On Black Business Ignorance http://www.fumua.com/2012/10/24/dr-claude-anderson-on-black-business-ignorance/.html

  • Anonymous

    KEEP YA HEAD UP!

  • Anonymous

    Why they didnt put her stupid ass on trial with JD. Midas well say she helped kill that innocent boy, she needs to be in prison for lien to the court and helping JD cover it up. Everybody knows he did it. And god knows he did it. How this stupid bitch suppose to help you get out of prison when youre still in there? That hoe cant help you do nothing but spend all that money, your down fall will be her. So how do you feel about paroling to a bitch that took half of your life away from you. and your children?

  • Anonymous

    All of u anonymous people need to reveal yourself..!!

  • Anonymous

    Hell No; oh my goodness, and the thought of me almost putting myself in this mess, with a man in prison ... He needs somebodys home to parole to; he just asked me about 8 months ago can he parole to me. Im so happy I didnt do that; I dont care about your wife, or what you have new in store. I need my $80.00 back nigga. My Ching Ching..!! JD is a big liar & bragger; you be that stupid bitch problem, because youre not gone to be mines. THANK YOU JESUS!!

    • tm323

      You trippin over $80.00.....get yo bread up!!! Get yo brain up too, clearly you fell for the okie dok...it's called prison talk, they say anything to get what they want. Most likely, he sent your 80 bcks to his wife.

  • Anonymous

    WOW, ALL THE CRAZY COMMENTS, WHAT'S WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE?

    • Anonymous

      the styles of j dee man u anonymous people look out u best to duck when jdee is free wicked stomp rap freeeeeee jdeeeeee. man i hate snoop...cube was good but hes new stuff is for white mtv teens.....thank god for onyx and raw breed

  • Anonymous

    He brutally shot and killed that young man Its a crying shame this guilty man has been on the computer for almost 20 years crying and begging for some money and sympathy from the public. I dont feel sorry for you; I feel bad for the diseased man and his family they miss him, and can never see him again. I dont feel any mercy for murderers; God has something in store for you.

  • Anonymous

    KOTD - #TAKEOVER Preview www.kotdtv.com http://youtu.be/1gPGFaqjOjg

  • Anonymous

    Do his wife knows he has a cell phone & he begs for phone sex?

  • Anonymous

    THIS WEBSITE IS CRAP

  • Anonymous

    You not go stop to u get it I got u dashaun dont have no money to be givin u homie that come out kid shit go play sum other bitch homeboy dont call her no more on me u say u have a wife homeboy she need to be taking care of you like she suppose to. Dont sweat my woman for no more money homeboy. Fuck your needs. AND NIGGA U KNO WHO I AM..!!

  • Anonymous

    You not go stop to u get it I got u dashaun dont have no money to be givin u homie that come out kid shit go play sum other bitch homeboy dont call her no more on me u say u have a wife homeboy she need to be taking are of you like she suppose to. Dont sweat my woman for no more money homeboy.Fuck your needs fake ass nigga.

  • Anonymous

    I seen the interview you did in prison. Nigga you still on all that gang banging sht. And standing next to a bitch that have you locked up where you are today. What happened to the structure you say you have accomplished over the years? nigga you going out backwards homie You dont need a bitch, you need GOD.

  • Anonymous

    Keep your head up JD.. WoW! I heard she does look like a dude, they look alike.

  • Anonymous

    http://youtu.be/A5vdB1NbayI

  • Anonymous

    That nigga standing by that shiest bitch; shes the reason why hes in prison doing 20 years to life, just in case anybody never knew who she was, STUPID ASS NIGGA..!!

  • Anonymous

    THAT BOOK IS GARBAGE..!!

  • Anonymous

    Hes in prison because he shot that man in cold blood, over a bitch. And he knows he did it, the witnesses and the courts know he did it. I wonder would that truth be put in his book. So what if thats all ice cube gave him was $1000 for legal fees. He lucky he got that.

  • Anonymous

    just like crack is wack, hes wack..!!

  • Anonymous

    If you readers dont like him, then why are you here?

  • Anonymous

    Free JD so he can get dat ass beat..!!

  • Anonymous

    Fuck him & his man looking bitch..!! Ice cube dont owe him shit..!! Fuck that nigga..!! Hes guilty..!! ---- Quit promoting this wack bitch ass nigga book deal..!! he not gone get no money for it.

  • Anonymous

    GOD BLESS YOU DASEAN, I LOVE THE PHOTO?? PEACE AND LOVE HOLLA!!!! @760-STEPH.

  • jdobypr

    This is a well written story and Todd Davis should be congratulated for reaching out to J-Dee and getting this interview. The man has something to say and is showing his growth as a human being. For those that are judging this man for taking a bid and not telling, you should be ashamed of yourselves. Everyone has some sort of code of ethic they live by...it is difficult to say whether any of us would have the intestinal fortitude to stand our ground in this situation and keep our mouths shut. Lil Kim is one of the few other rappers who stood by this code but for some reason, folks make her a hero and want to vilify J-Dee. WTF???!!! Bottom line, this is a great article and interview with some good content. Much different from many "media" outlets today who simply offer up fresh garbage or recycled trash.

  • Anonymous

    J Dee is more gangsta then ice cube ever was. Cube was and is a coward with no street credibility

    • Knuckz

      What exactly does street cred have to do with music? SMH....this is why the new generation is so lost. Like Chris Rock said, niggas love to glorify ignorance.

  • killz

    to do time for someone else is respectable? NEVER! it's dumb to me. to hell with a g-code

  • Anonymous

    It`s funny how people are trying to say that people with great music are irrelevant.. Do your research. Pay homage!

  • emperor

    Guerrillas in tha Mist! Very good album and classic lead song. Second album not nearly as good as the first. If your innocent i hope you get out of prison early J-Dee!

  • Anonymous

    Fuck this wack nigga and his light skinned bitch. I never heard of no goddamn Lench Mob, who are these niggas??? Well, maybe it's because they're IRRELEVANT.

  • IROC

    This is a real OG not many in the game, no disrespect to no artist but JD is a hardcore str up gangsta rapper,Keep ya head til you touch down on these streets big homie!

  • Anonymou

    Who of the three was T-Bone? The one who just screamed on their records?

  • Jacc

    This nigga's the purest definition of BEING LEFT FOR DEAD.

  • Anonymous

    I remember years ago 'Shorty' of DLM came out with a solo album called "Short Stories". He had a track dissing Ice Cube, saying he was a sellout, broke the group up, and didn't help J-DEE when he got arrested, only gave him $1000 for legal bills. Not 2 many people heard it though...

    • Knuckz

      I heard that on you tube. it made me mad that Cube did that. However, we now know who the culprit is and it came from JD himself. I am glad that I saw this article because for years people made it look like Cube turned his back on JD, but JD put that talk to rest with this interview.

  • M

    I wish I could meet this guy in person, just so I could laugh in his face for keeping it 'g-code'. what a retard stay in prison.

  • lee

    This level of 'g' will die with his generation. Yall youngstas fell too dam far from the tree. (Either over the top ignorantly violent or gay, that's today's generation)

    • Anonymous

      yo Lee, and what if J is guilty and using "G" code as cover? I don't know the details of his case but let's see... And if J is innocent than he's a damn fool for taking a 20 year bid like that!!!!

  • Anonymous

    Damn....great read, stay strong Black Man...

  • Anonymous

    Could his ego be any bigger? Legend? You are far from a legend, J-Dee

  • Anonymous

    Damn. That's the realest shit ever up on this usually terrible site... If you're innocent, stay up J-Dee and if you're not, at least you're using the time as well as possible.