Grade A Certified

Dolla: “Dying In Vain” (by J. Tinsley)

Posted by Mr. Put On on May 25, 2010

Chris Rock once joked if you ever wanted to get away with murder, “put a demo tape in their back pocket.” Look no further to the unsolved murders of Jam Master Jay, Biggie and Tupac. Maybe it’s the decree of the streets to not “talk to cops,” but it also deals with the fact murders in Hip-Hop just don’t mean anything. From the outside looking in, rappers “promote” violence. So when it actually happens to them, it is “justified” in a sense.

The latest example is in the trial of of Dolla, who was murdered around this time last year. His trial, which began earlier this month, reached a verdict acquitting the suspected shooter, Aubrey Perry. According to Perry, he shot Dolla (real name Roderick Anthony Burton II), after his life was allegedly threatened. Perry presented the story that Burton and a group of men had jumped him nearly two weeks earlier in an Atlanta nightclub. Perry shot Burton in a Los Angeles parking garage after witnessing the rapper reach behind his back for what he believed to be a weapon. Dolla was shot four times and was found to have no firearm in his possession.

Tupac once said that while he was on trial for sexual assault, the direction of the case changed. It wasn’t about if he committed the crime. Rather it was about “loud, rap music, tattoo having thugs.” Same situation with Dolla. His murder wasn’t on trial. His music was.

Price described Burton as a violent gang member and played both the video and the song — “Is You Holdin’?” — during closing arguments this week. He said they showed that Berry was justified in fearing for his life when he shot Burton.

“His music is horrendous, offensive,” Price said Friday as he waited for his client to leave court. “I don’t think he engendered any sympathy.”

Deputy Dist. Atty. Bobby Grace said he was disappointed by the verdict but felt prosecutors presented a compelling case. He said he was unsure whether the rap lyrics swayed the jury.

“You’d hate to think that was the tipping point,” he said outside court.

Don’t get it twisted, Dolla wasn’t a saint in the least bit. He made his mistakes and his image wasn’t the greatest in the world. Yet and still, it ranks as another W for the justice system and another L for Hip-Hop. The fact Perry flew from Atlanta to Los Angeles and as luck fate would have it, he and Dolla both end up in the same parking garage and one ends up dead. What’s premeditated in the eyes of some is self-defense in the eyes of 12.

The most disheartening thing about this entire situation?

After hearing the jury’s verdict, Dolla’s mother, Dayne Robinson, sobbed, “Oh please, somebody help me,” according to the AP.

That.

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