EDITORIAL – The homecoming story of Amir “Loon” Muhadith from prison wouldn’t be complete without a prerequisite interview with The Breakfast Club.
On Monday (August 10), the former Bad Boy artist spoke to the morning show’s co-hosts Charlamagne Tha God, Angela Yee and DJ Envy via Zoom for a lengthy interview after nearly a decade behind bars.
They discussed the web that tied Loon to his fellow Harlem natives Ma$e and Diddy which propelled his music career, Loon finding religion, and his turbulent post-rap life as an ex-convict who was released early from his 14-year bid on July 29.
Loon had much to dissect in this interview, but here are the biggest takeaways from the discussion with Diddy’s former ghostwriter.
Loon Debunks “Bad Boy Curse,” Left Label Because Diddy Was An Artist & CEO
Since the death of The Notorious B.I.G. in 1997, many Hip Hop fans and media members have theorized that Bad Boy artists who leave the label are been subjected to a “Bad Boy curse.”
The curse pertains to the imprisonment of some of their formerly promising and successful artists after departing from the label. This includes G. Dep serving jail time for a confessed murder, the late Craig Mack who joined a reputed Christian cult in South Carolina before his death in 2018, and Shyne’s 10-year prison sentence for his role in a nightclub shooting that Diddy was exonerated from in 1999.
When asked by Charlamagne about the “curse,” Loon claimed it was a mere fallacy. He also explained that Diddy is an artist and businessman, which hindered himself to fully explore his own artistry under the Bad Boy founder’s wing.
“I believe in being in the presence of a person like Puff, Puff is a mogul,” Loon said. “Puff has a huge impact on Hip Hop and Hip Hop history. To come from up underneath that is almost like Mission: Impossible.
Loon further detailed, “It’s very difficult for a person to give you your own identity from somebody who actually is an artist themself. That’s where people kind of misconstrue the conflict or the issues that come out of Bad Boy because their CEO is an artist.
“It’s different from you see the success of other individuals because their CEO is not an artist. That means the investment in an artist may be a little bit more intense (as) opposed to someone who has to ratio some off and keeps them from their self because he’s an artist.”
Plus, Loon says many of the artists who enter business with Diddy don’t do their homework, and he has no beef with his former boss.
“Sometimes when people look at relationships, or relationships that people have, we assume that because one person may implement or one person might be adamant about exercising that relationship a certain way and the other guy might not have the same methodology,” Loon said.
“So, he becomes the sucker and the other dude who’s more adamant, he becomes the good guy. I never read things like that. I never ran around with animosity in my heart for Puff. In most cases, when people used to kind of shoot shots, I would defend him.”
Loon Says He Had ‘Harlem World’ Album Title Before Ma$e
Several years before he reached fame from his featured verse on Diddy’s on “I Need A Girl” in 2002, Loon revealed he was signed by longtime Hot 97 personality Fatman Scoop to Tommy Boy Records in the mid-90s.
As Loon and Scoop were gearing up to record his first album, Loon claims that he planned to title it Harlem World before Ma$e released his own debut solo LP of the same title on Bad Boy in 1997.
“I was originally signed to Tommy Boy,” Loon said. “[Fatman Scoop] signed me, and then he left, and then [Tommy Boy] just fell out of sync of what we was doing because Fatman was the guy from the street that knew what we was doing at the time and the name of the album was Harlem World.”
Loon added, “Then Mase came out in ’97 and incorporated the same title and the same movement and he became the originator of the Harlem World movement.”
Artists can have the same ideas without talking. Especially if they’re from the same neighborhood that has a locally popular and geocentric Hip Hop nickname.
Ma$e Planned A Harlem World Supergroup With Loon, Big L, Cam’ron & Himself
In continuing his explanation of Ma$e using the Harlem World album title, the “Feels So Good” mastermind extended an olive branch to Loon to join him in a Harlem rap supergroup when his career was in limbo.
“Because those things were understood internally, I think he felt compelled to come back and say, ‘Hey yo, Loon, I want to do the Harlem World group.’ Now, the Harlem World group was supposed to consist of me, Big L, Cam’ron, Herb McGruff and Ma$e.”
Loon said that was his earliest brush with Bad Boy but the group never came to fruition as planned.
“That’s what definitely compelled me to want to sign on,” Loon said. “But because of the relationship that Ma$e had with Herb and L at the time, it wasn’t where it should’ve been. We had to go with the alternative, which was Baby Stase, my man Blinky Blink, Meeno and Huddy Combs. So, that was supposed to be the segue from the Harlem World project that Ma$e put out.”
The Harlem World group also had rapper Cardan and was signed to So So Def Records, and released their only collaborative album The Movement in 1999.
However, Loon stated he was signed to Arista, the former parent company of Bad Boy founded by music industry goliath Clive Davis, shortly before The Movement’s release.
Davis gave Loon the go-ahead to pursue the Harlem World project with Ma$e and returned to Arista thereafter. When Davis was ousted by BMG in 2000 and was financed by the company to launch J Records that same year, that transaction enabled Loon to sign with Bad Boy.
Loon Stopped Rapping After Converting to Islam in 2008
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Four years after he left Bad Boy to start his own imprint Boss Up Entertainment, Loon converted to Islam and left the music industry for good in 2008.
He not only left the music business but music in his life altogether.
In latching onto the edicts of Islam, Loon grew his beard and said he hasn’t listened to music on radio airwaves in 12 years, in adherence to “haram” or the religion’s forbidden law.
“The thing is, first and foremost, music is not permissible in Islam,” Loon said. “Even though you have a lot of Muslims out there who have deficiencies in their faith where they may incorporate certain things in their daily practice that contradicts their religion. When I found Islam, I never straddled. Anything I ever did, I was 10 toes in because that’s the kind of person I am.”
Loon Says “Ghost Dope” Led To His 14-Year Prison Bid
Loon pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute one (1) kilogram or more of heroin in 2012. But what got him the harsh sentence was not being caught with the product.
In fact, there was no product for the prosecution to present in court, known as “ghost dope,” and his two prior criminal charges where held against him in the case.
“My case was based on hearsay and ghost dope, dope that don’t even exist. So even if you were to file an evidentiary hearing, they would not be able to present the dope,” Loon said. “So, me having two prior convictions and being a public figure, it’s easy for a prosecutor to frame that up for a jury to appear.
“I was in Wilmington, North Carolina. Most of the people are retired down there. It’s like the (1980s TV sitcom) Golden Girls down there, so how you gonna convince these people that the evidence that they stacked upon you is not accurate?”
Loon maintains that he had a “very minimal role in a conspiracy not knowing that the conspiracy was from a mere introduction” with others involved in the drug ring.