By LR Liburd
The St. Kitts-Nevis Observer
American rapper Curtis James Jackson, popularly known by his stage name 50 Cent, was this afternoon (Jun. 26) fined EC$3,000 for using indecent language during his performance last night at the 20th Annual St. Kitts Music Festival held at Warner Park in Basseterre.
Also fined EC$3,000 was Bajar Walter, who is said to be 50 Cent’s bodyguard. Like 50 Cent, he was charged for use of indecent language and an additional one for allegedly obstructing an officer while in the process of executing his duties.
The men were ordered to pay the fines forthwith, which they did, and they both regained possession of their travel documents.
Represented by Attorneys-at-Law Chesley Hamilton, Ogrenville Browne and Merissa Hobson, both men appeared before Her Worship Josephine Mallalieu-Webbe in the District ‘A’ Magistrate Court shortly after noon.
They pleaded guilty to the charges of making use of indecent language and the obstruction charge against Walter was withdrawn.
The case had concluded at approximately 1:15 p.m. And while a small curious crowd had gathered at the Independence Square, most with cameras in hand, awaiting the men’s exit from the northern door of the Sir Lee Llewellyn Moore Judicial and Legal Services Complex where a decoy vehicle was positioned, 50 Cent and Walter came through the main entrance and were hastily whisked away to the airport.
It was learnt that 50 Cent is scheduled to appear at the upcoming BET Awards.
Questioned on the unusual Sunday opening of the court for a trial, Hamilton told The Observer that it would have cost the Government more money if the matter was tried tomorrow as scheduled, because the American rapper has a number of engagements to fulfil.
He opined that due to his contract and the conditions under which he is a signatory, it was a wise move by the Government to have 50 Cent’s case tried today, knowing that his flight was scheduled for this afternoon and his engagements may have amounted to some US$250 which might have seen a court action brought against the Administration.
The Observer learned that the American rapper, who is internationally known for his profanity-laced lyrics, had used more than a dozen expletives during his performance last night. It is understood that following his performance, he was arrested and taken to the Basseterre Police Station.
Following the two men’s arrest, a relatively large crowd had gathered outside the Basseterre Police Station sometime after 3:00 a.m.
Lawyer Hamilton was also seen at the police station and this media house was told that a male executive of a very large business entity in St. Kitts and Nevis and a female had secured bail for the two men at the tune of EC$5,000 each.
This is not the first time that an American rapper was arrested, charged and fined for using indecent language while performing at the St. Kitts Music Festival.
In June 2003 DMX was charged for use of indecent language; however, in 2014, headline act Rick Ross committed the same offence but no charges were preferred against him.
Commenting on the issue, one individual said: “It is known that a common ingredient in many American rap lyrics is shameless profanity. The people who are responsible for selecting artistes for Music Festival know this and yet they bring these filthy mouth persons to perform here. If you take a guard dog to a canine show, don’t you expect it to bark?”