Afroman speaks out about being sued by officers who raided his dwelling : NPR

Afroman, pictured performing in 2018, made music movies that includes dwelling video footage of a police raid of his home final 12 months. Now among the officers are suing him, and he plans to countersue.

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Afroman, pictured performing in 2018, made music movies that includes dwelling video footage of a police raid of his home final 12 months. Now among the officers are suing him, and he plans to countersue.

Johnny Louis/Getty Pictures

After police in Ohio raided Afroman’s home final August, the rapper — identified for early aughts hits together with “As a result of I Received Excessive” and “Loopy Rap (Colt 45 and a couple of Zig-Zags)” — determined to make one thing out of it.

Regulation enforcement had searched his dwelling on suspicion of drug trafficking and kidnapping, however discovered no proof and filed no costs in opposition to him. He says they kicked down his door, broke his video surveillance system, stole cash from him and frightened his household.

Afroman, whose actual identify is Joseph Foreman, instructed NPR in a telephone interview that what he did subsequent was his “smartest, most peaceable resolution.”

“I requested myself, as a powerless Black man in America, what can I do to the cops that kicked my door in, tried to kill me in entrance of my children, stole my cash and disconnected my cameras?” he says. “And the one factor I may give you was make a humorous rap music about them and make some cash, use the cash to pay for the damages they did and transfer on.”

He launched an album with songs in regards to the raid and made music movies out of the surveillance footage. He created merchandise and social media posts calling out the officers who had been concerned.

Now, a few of them are suing him, his label, and a Texas-based music distribution firm for invasion of privateness.

4 deputies, two sergeants and one detective from the Adams County Sheriff’s Workplace are accusing the rapper of making the most of the unauthorized use of their likenesses, at their private {and professional} expense.

In a criticism filed in an Ohio pleas court docket final week, they are saying it has been harder and harmful to hold out their duties “due to feedback made and attitudes expressed towards them by members of the general public” who’ve seen the movies.

They are saying they’ve obtained demise threats, and likewise suffered “humiliation, ridicule, psychological misery, embarrassment and lack of popularity.”

The plaintiffs are searching for all of Afroman’s earnings from the usage of their personas — together with proceeds of songs, movies and dwell occasions, in addition to Afroman-branded merchandise reminiscent of beer, marijuana and t-shirts — in addition to a court docket injunction to take down the music movies and social media posts.

“Except Defendants are restrained, Plaintiffs will undergo irreparable harm to their reputations, their psychological well being, and their legally protected rights as Defendants proceed to willfully and maliciously violate these rights,” they wrote.

The plaintiff’s lawyer and the sheriff’s workplace haven’t but responded to NPR’s requests for remark.

Afroman says his speedy response to the lawsuit was “a drop of anger, disbelief and a bit nervousness, adopted by tons of laughter.”

“I used to be pondering, these huge unhealthy cops … are being beat up and bullied by these little corny rap songs I made about them,” Afroman says. “I am like, ‘Oh my god, are you letting me know that my raps are engaged on you?'”

He says he was already pursuing a defamation lawsuit in opposition to the police, and that they’ve made that course of simpler as a result of now his authorized group simply must countersue, which they plan to do quickly.

“I wish to sue them for stealing my cash, I wish to sue them for writing ‘kidnapping’ on a warrant and making me undergo financially in my business as a result of simply that accusation makes folks elevate an eyebrow about you,” he provides.

Police scoured the home with weapons drawn

Officers obtained a warrant to conduct a search of Afroman’s residence on August 21, 2022, in line with the criticism.

A copy of the warrant, obtained by Cincinnati FOX affiliate WXIX-TV, alleged that there have been medicine, drug paraphernalia, cash and weapons related to drug trafficking and kidnapping.

Afroman instructed NPR that he has no thought the place the kidnapping accusation got here from, and had nothing extra in his home than the ends of some blunts and unused pipes made for him by followers.

In his Wednesday put up, he accused a “racist decide” of signing a “fictitious false warrant.”

Afroman was out of city on the day of the raid. However his ex-wife and youngsters, then 10 and 12, dwell close by and came to visit once they noticed the police presence. She recorded components of the raid on her telephone, whereas different scenes had been captured by safety video cameras round the home.

No costs got here from the search, however that wasn’t the tip of the story.

Afroman says he needed to restore his door, an exterior gate and his safety system wiring, which value him practically $20,000.

He additionally accuses police of stealing from him. The officers had confiscated greater than $5,000 in money in the course of the raid, which Afroman says had been earnings from performances.

It was ultimately returned to him, however with $400 lacking. Simply final month, an investigation concluded that deputies had miscounted the unique quantity — a declare that Afroman continues to dispute.

“They turned thieves and stole my cash,” he wrote on Instagram. “After they stole my cash they turned criminals. After they turned criminals they misplaced their proper of privateness.”

“Lemon Pound Cake” got here as a type of revenge

Afroman launched an album known as Lemon Pound Cake only a month later. Two of its songs reference the raid and embrace dwelling footage of their music movies.

A type of songs is the title observe, impressed by a second in the course of the raid through which an officer, strolling by way of the kitchen along with his gun drawn, broke his focus to look down at a cake dish on the counter.

It tells the story to the tune of The Drifters’ “Below the Boardwalk.”

“Mama’s lemon pound cake, it tastes so good, it made the sheriff wish to put down his gun and lower him a slice,” Afroman sings at one level, earlier than evaluating the officer to Household Man‘s Peter Griffin.


Afroman’s on-line merchandise retailer peddles sweatshirts (presently offered out) and t-shirts exhibiting Griffin and a big lemon cake, surrounded by black-and-white pictures of the officer from the video, with the names Afroman and “Officer Pound Cake.”

The video for an additional quantity, known as “Will You Assist Me Restore My Door,” is a montage of clips from the raid.

It exhibits officers standing exterior of his home and kicking down his door, in addition to combing by way of his closet, turning over his CD assortment and flipping by way of a wad of money.

“Did you discover what you was in search of?” he sings. “Will you assist me restore my gate and door?”

Afroman additionally created dozens of movies and pictures of the officers’ personas and posted them on social media websites together with YouTube, Fb, Snapchat, Instagram and TikTok.

The lawsuit factors to a number of of these posts, lots of which have since been deleted. Based mostly on descriptions within the criticism, lots of them promote the Lemon Pound Cake album and merchandise.

Additionally they disparage the decide and officers concerned within the search: evaluating an officer to Quasimodo (the Hunchback of Notre-Dame) and the decide to the cartoon character Droopy, accusing the cops of theft and referring to them as “KKKops” from “Adams KKKounty.”

He says he did not got down to make a hateful album; he simply wished to snort about it. That is introduced him a way of victory, he provides.

“Me laughing at them, making songs about them, is extra highly effective than their authority,” he says. “It is extra highly effective than their assault rifles, it is extra highly effective than what they received as a result of I received these huge unhealthy robust guys crying and whining about my songs, on my web page, in my world.”

Afroman is doubling down

Afroman says the response from followers and venues has been constructive.

“My largest worry was all of this being a giant deal to me however to not my followers — my followers being like, ‘So what, you bought raided dude, shut up and sing ‘As a result of I Received Excessive,”” he says.

Actually, he says it is solely led to extra publicity and alternatives. Afroman says he is getting calls from folks he hasn’t heard from in years — or no less than since just a few months in the past when the raid occurred.

“These guys are as soon as once more making me a much bigger star,” he says of the police. “I do not wish to pay these guys nothing, however worst case situation if I needed to pay them, off the publicity and fame they gave me it may be honest simply to shuffle them just a few cash.”

He is pondering of engaged on one other album, with a reputation like Lemon Pound Cake Half 2. Most albums have 7-10 songs, he says, so he would write one about every officer “and see how good I may humiliate them.”

Afroman says by making merchandise and cracking jokes, he turned a foul factor into a great factor. And he hopes others can apply that lesson in their very own lives.

“I simply need folks to do the perfect they will,” he provides. “I wish to see folks have a look at me and say what a sport, what a great peaceable constructive transfer to make beneath such unhealthy circumstances.”


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