New York, NY

Kidd Creole of Grandmaster Flash & the Furious 5 is on trial for second-degree murder. As reported by Deadline, the 62-year-old rap legend (real name Nathaniel Glover) has been charged with stabbing a homeless man named John Jolly to death with a steak knife. The trial kicked off on Friday (March 25) and Creole has claimed self-defense, with Jolly’s lawyer saying he allegedly stabbed his client because he thought he was gay and flirting with him.

The incident took place on August 1, 2017, when Creole was reportedly heading into midtown Manhattan around midnight to go work his maintenance job. Jolly allegedly approached him and asked “whats up,” which led to a confrontation.

“Ladies and gentlemen, this is New York City. It’s 12 o’clock at night. Who’s saying ‘What’s up?’ to you with good intentions?” Scottie Celestin, Creole’s lawyer, told the jury. “His fear for his life was reasonable.” According to Celestin, Jolly died from the sedative benzodiazepine he received at the hospital, not from the stab wounds.

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Jolly’s legal counsel Mark Dahl, Assistant District Attorney, bit back at Celestin’s claim, saying Creole had confessed to police he didn’t stab Jolly in self-defense, and that he stabbed him because he thought he was gay.

“The defendant confessed to pulling out a kitchen knife and repeatedly thrusting it into the body of a stranger on the street, killing him,” Dahl said. “Was there anything that would prevent him from simply running away from Mr. Jolly? No.”

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Grandmaster Flash & the Furious 5 emerged in the late 1970s as one of the first rap groups to ever exist. Birthed in the Bronx, they are best known for their 1982 rap song “The Message” and became the first rap act to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2007.

Revisit “The Message” below.