Dehaven Irby has been a public critic of his former best friend, Jay-Z, for years. When he was released from prison, he sounded off in a series of YouTube videos about how Jay had abandoned him in 1998 when he was hit with federal drug conspiracy charges. Last year, Irby accused the first hip-hop artist to become a billionaire of working with the Feds. People should know that some hip-hop artists have beaten federal cases by becoming government informants, Irby said.
“As far as the affiliation with him (Jay-Z) dealing with government informants, that’s no secret at all. Do I think it’s crazy that nobody brings that subject up? Yeah, I believe that. Yeah, of course they affiliating with them people,” Irby said during an interview on the Hip Hop Uncensored Podcast. “The more I look at it and the more I understand it more and more, that’s why I’m not a part of that. It seems to be clearer and clearer each time.”
It would have been “impossible” for Jay-Z to avoid doing prison time if he wasn’t working with the feds, Irby said. “It’s just impossible for me to understand how they don’t have Jay and they got all these conversations with him. It just don’t make sense. It’ll never make sense to me.”
Irby added that Roc Nation’s willingness to hire Desiree Perez as chief operating officer in 2008 and promote her to CEO in 2019 – despite knowing she was a government informant in the 1990s – is further proof that the revered hip-hop company is in bed with the U.S. government.
“What else he gon’ do? When you working with them, what else you gon’ do? … She gon’ be around. That’s what’s just like suspicious to me. Homegirl got a strong position in there and it’s crazy that you know her background and you know what we stand for. So it’s just self-explanatory. You gotta be working with them,” Irby continued. “Far as I’m concerned, Roc Nation is run by the government.”
In 1994, after being busted for cocaine possession, Perez agreed to wear wires and helped the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) bust up drug rings in Puerto Rico and Columbia. She was pardoned by former President Donald Trump on his last day in office in January.
According to Dehaven Irby, snitching for the government doesn’t stop at Roc Nation. “You don’t think that right now there’s not a major rapper that’s a snitch, that’s an informant?” Irby asked. “You don’t think that in 2020, they don’t have a major rapper that’s an informant? Come on, man.”
Alfamega, a former MC for T.I.’s Grand Hustle label, was also revealed to be a government informant in 2009, according to The Smoking Gun. Court documents from 1995 show that Alfamega, whose real name is Cedric Zellars, “cooperated with the government in the investigation and prosecution of another individual thereby rendering substantial assistance to the government.” Records show Alfamega helped bring down a heroin ring in Atlanta and had 18 months shaved off his sentence after he was convicted on federal gun charges.
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According to reports, the U.S. spent $500 million dollars on snitches and informants in 2014. It is unclear what the amount of compensation is today, nor is the number of informants on the government’s payroll known. Irby said he has no doubt, however, that some of hip-hop’s most beloved MCs are on the list.
“You gotta look at some of these cases these niggas had. How niggas getting around certain federal charges. When you start to question all that, at the end of the day, nah, that sh*t, it’s not right,” Irby said. “I’ll call a spade a spade all day. At the end of the day, there’s no way possible you can sit and tell me on my case that they ain’t got no conversations with Jay heavy at all. It don’t make no sense. At some point, they got a hold of him and he’s been working ever since.”