What began as a last-minute stop in Dubai for a Future performance in Abu Dhabi ultimately turned into a 56-day jail stint for the Atlanta rapper’s deejay, DJ Esco.
On January 13, Esco returned to America.
He shared the story of his ordeal in the United Arab Emirates with The Fader Magazine.
According to Esco, it all began when he was in Amsterdam, as part of Future’s European tour. The deejay was also there to celebrate his own birthday, when the “Honest” rapper was tapped for a performance at the 2014 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
Esco says that he purchased marijuana, while in Amsterdam, and accidentally left it in his luggage.
“We’re at the end of the Europe tour, and it’s my birthday, and we’re in Amsterdam, so we’re gonna celebrate! I got the weed,” Esco recalls. “But I’m not trying to walk around with all this weed, you feel me? I was not intentionally trying to bring weed to Abu Dhabi. And if I would have known the rules and laws they got over there, I would have quadruple checked my bag and made sure there wasn’t a piece of weed. I swear I would have.”
After being accosted by a police officer for filming in the Abu Dhabi airport, Esco explained that the officer then demanded that he check all of the group’s luggage (20 to 30 bags). Upon checking the luggage, he says the officer came across about 15 grams of marijuana.
“The officer gets down to the last two bags, and that’s when he finds a bag with some weed in it,” the deejay said. “It was a good little amount, probably 15 grams or something like that. At this point I’m thinking, first of all, What the fuck? I didn’t know the weed was there. And second, I didn’t know what the hell they was gonna do. Cause once they seen some weed they went crazy. You would have thought I had a bomb and there was ten seconds left and the world is about to end if they didn’t get every officer up there. But I’m not scared yet, because I’m still thinking that worst case scenario, they’re just gonna send me back on the plane.”
Esco wasn’t placed back on a plane.
Instead, he was taken to a police station and then placed into a jail cell. From there, he encountered few people who spoke English and experienced little help once he was able to have a one-on-one with representatives from the United States embassy.
According to Esco, his break came when he developed a friendship with a warden at the jail who assisted with getting in touch with his prosecutor.
“I cuss out both people from the U.S. Embassy, and then I walked back devastated ’cause that’s when it hit me—I’m not getting out of here…To make a long story short, the warden blessed me,” he said. “He took a liking to me, taught me some things about Islam and we ended up growing our own relationship. He’s the one who ended up helping me when my lawyer told me it might be six months, a year, or four years. I was sitting there in a daze after my lawyer left, thinking bout what I’m gonna do for the next year or whatever in here, and the warden came in and he was like, ‘It’s not in my job description and I really don’t care about your case, but I’ve come to like you as a person. I’m not suppose to do this, but I’m going to call your prosecutor.’ I couldn’t even get the U.S. Embassy to call the prosecutor!”
Following his release from jail, Esco uploaded a video to Instagram, and also spoke briefly on his experience in a caption for the video.
56 SLEEPLESS NIGHTS IN AN ARAB PRISON! 1 AMERICAN. The ONLY AMERICAN. The furthest prisoner from home like an #ALIEN from a whole other planet I became “THE ESCO TERRESTRIAL”. No Visitors, No Sun, No Moon, No Outdoors, No English, No Music, No TV, No Books, No Pen, No Paper, No Recreation, No Hot Food, No Hot Water, No Toilet, No Spoon, No Trial, No Judge, NO PROBLEM!!! With all that said Special thanks to Captain Saeed “the warden” I thank him and his staff for being OPEN MINDED in a Closed Minded Country (Dubai). He’s the biggest reason I’m #FREE today. Gotta thank my Brother from another @FUTURE for taking care of my lawyer. You kept my spirit up in there I couldn’t have made it without your support bro #MADLUV. Big shout out to my lawyer for a job well done and EVERYONE who sent prayers, calls, mentions, likes, tweets, reposts it means the world to me! THANK YOU.. or as they say in Arabic…SHUKRAN. #BeastMode Sent from my iPad