Former rapper and Bad Boy artist Loon was released from a federal prison in Florida on Wednesday, July 29, after spending roughly eight years there for trafficking heroin.
He filed for an instant compassionate release in June due to COVID-19, which, according to court documents, was granted by U.S. District Judge Terrence Boyle. Those documents outline that Loon, 45, has latent tuberculosis and “multiple bouts each of acute laryngopharyngitis, acute bronchitis and bronchopneumonia.” Such conditions, based on guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, could be exacerbated by a positive COVID-19 diagnosis.
Judge Boyle also said that Loon was no longer a danger to society and changed his sentence to time served. Loon originally was set for an August 2021 release.
The New York Post reports that over a dozen artists signed a 34-page letter, trying to persuade President Donald Trump to release the ex-rapper. Artists including Mary J. Blige, Faith Evans, Snoop Dogg, Benzino and Mutah “Napoleon” Beale, of the Tupac Shakur-affiliated group Outlawz, all signed the letter.
Loon was arrested for trafficking heroin in 2012 in Belgium. He was then extradited to the United States, where he pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute one kilogram or more of heroin.
Loon was born in the Harlem section of New York City as Chauncey Hawkins and converted to Islam in 2008, changing his name to Amir Junaid Muhadith.
His musical claim to fame is being a featured artist on Sean “Diddy” Combs’ 2002 single “I Need a Girl Part 1,” which also includes Usher. Loon is also on “I Need a Girl Part 2,” featuring Ginuwine, Mario Winans and Tammy Ruggeri.
Loon’s debut album, self-titled, came in 2003 and it’s his only release on Bad Boy. He then dropped his sophomore LP “No Friends” three years later on the independent label Cleopatra Records.
He dropped two more albums after that, 2006’s “Wizard of Harlem” and “Bad Boy,” a joint LP with fellow Harlem rapper and former Bad Boy artist G. Dep.
Dep is currently serving a prison sentence of 15 years to life after confessing to a 1993 murder a decade ago.
As for Loon, he reportedly walked away from the music industry in 2008. He now plans to start a production company to release either movies or television shows with music producer and former Snoop Dogg associate Weldon Angelos.
Angelos wrote the letter that was signed by all the artists.