Former Bad Boy rapper Loon was released from prison on Thursday (July 30) after serving nearly a decade for drug-related offenses.
Although the now 45-year-old was originally sentenced to 14 years behind bars, U.S. District Judge Terrence Boyle granted Loon his freedom on July 26, over a year before his scheduled release of August 2021. The judge explained COVID-19 was an “extraordinary and compelling reason” for the early release and was confident he posed no threat to society.
Now, Loon is getting back to “regular” life — at least as regular as it can be during these unprecedented times. On Friday (July 31), Loon’s first post-prison photo hit the internet. It shows the ex-rapper posing in front of a Rolls Royce surrounded by Akon’s music executive brother Bu Thaim and two other friends.
The caption reads, “Yeah we are back like we never left. Still Brothers still solid. Met @__bu through @loon.tv and we have been together ever since . #Brothers Alhamdulillah.”
Snoop Dogg, Mary J. Blige, Faith Evans and Stevie J, Damon Dash, Freeway, former Source magazine co-owner Benzino, Napoleon of 2Pac’s Outlawz collective, “Suga Suga” rapper Baby Bash, Steve Lobel and more all signed a letter pleading for Loon’s release.
But former producer Weldon Angelos proved to be the most instrumental. In 2004, Angelos was sentenced to 55 years in prison for selling $300 worth of marijuana and possessing a firearm as a juvenile.
Alicia Keys, brothers David and Charles Koch, United States Senator Mike Lee of Utah and Cory Booker of New Jersey fought for his freedom and he was released in 2016. Angelos then wanted to get into his own advocacy and ultimately got to Loon.
In 2008, Loon changed his name to Amir Junaid Muhadith after converting to Islam, putting his days as Loon behind him. As a condition of his release, he will be monitored for four years.