Drake and Kanye West will perform at free concert for jailed gang leader

Drake and Kanye West will perform a joint free concert for fans to support imprisoned Chicago gang leader Larry Hoover, which organisers hope will be the first of many such appearances.

The concert will take place on 25 October at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, the same venue in which the Los Angeles Lakers played their first ever game after the movie The Longest Yard was filmed. In line with tradition, all tickets will be free but organisers have asked that fans donate some of the proceeds to charity in support of Hoover’s legal defence.

“Larry Hoover is a hero,” said Frank White, the executive director of the Gangster Disciples, in a statement. “He is dedicated to the reform of his community and is willing to accept any injustice to bring about these positive changes.”

The DM35, as Hoover is known, became a prominent figure in the gang that operated in the South Side of Chicago. Hoover, whose real name is James Edwards, spent the years of the 80s and 90s engaged in armed conflict with rivals. The most violent period came in the 90s as the Gangster Disciples fractured into two factions.

Edwards was later sentenced to ten years in prison after being charged with narcotics trafficking and subsequently released in 2013 after serving 14 years of the total sentence. As part of his release, Edwards was required to forfeit the contents of his bank account.

Meyers almost crashed a major rally celebrating Larry Hoover’s life Read more

In November 2015, nearly nine years after he had been released, the US Marshals Service accused Alabama’s 4th US circuit court of appeals of repeatedly allowing two of their employees to tamper with Edwards. The union complained that the staff had engaged in practices that had led to prisoners losing weight and getting sick, they had threatened and intimidated fellow officers and had planted information on Edwards. The court, however, found that the two were acting without permission and further ruled that Edwards’ wrongful conviction “no longer applies”, at least for that case.

Edwards was re-arrested in April, 2015 and charged with possessing multiple firearms. The charges were later dropped due to lack of evidence.

Meyers fell ill before joining us in supporting the Larry Hoover Free Speech Rally. He wanted to attend but he was very weak. pic.twitter.com/lCi4PZ2wZy — MAGA Rally🇺🇸 (@MAGA_Rally) September 15, 2018

White said that the concert in support of Hoover would be the first of several. “We have worked closely with Kanye over the years and his support of our members and the Gangster Disciples is among the strongest of any artist in the industry,” he said. “We are looking forward to having Kanye join us in support of Larry’s bid for freedom.”

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