X-Raided Articles

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Apr 16, 2004
I was reading a thread on raided in the sactown forum and decided that it'd be a coo idea to get all of the articles about x-loc together in one place. theyre interesting to read for me anyway so fuck it here we go. ima copy and paste ones sentenced posted and maybe someone can post others if they got em

Anerae Brown is one of hip-hop's least-known, most unlikely prolific MCs. Since 1992, Brown--whose nom de rap is X-Raided (or, at times, Nefarious)--has released no fewer than five solo albums on tiny Bay Area indie stalwart Black Market Records, including the recent Vengeance Is Mine. X-Raided is a clever MC, one who updates traditional gangster tales with a healthy dose of reflection. Over the years, his flow has evolved from gruff and bumpy to downright intricate and sometimes tongue-twisting. And his imagery, once trite and unexceptional, is now lucid and well drawn.

One catch: Brown is behind bars and has been since 1992, when he was jailed for participating in the murder of Patricia Harris, the mother of a rival gang member. At the time, the 17-year-old Brown was banging with the Garden Block Crips, and the murder was part of a home invasion gone wrong. In court, the alleged triggerman was acquitted, while Brown and two other accomplices were found guilty.

Part of the state's case against Brown was his lyrics. Just prior to his arrest, Brown had released his first album as X-Raided, Psycho Active. Prosecutors found what they believed were lyrics referring to the alleged murder on the song "Still Shooting": "I'm killing mamas, daddys, and nephews/I'm killing sons, daughters/And sparing you." Interviewed at the time, Brown protested that the lyrics were taken out of context. Indeed, that section of the song refers to the aftermath of a domestic dispute, not a gang rivalry, but the prosecutor later told The Source that he introduced them to demonstrate "Mr. Brown's possible association with gangs and the spirit of gang mentality."

Violation of the First Amendment or not, the use of Brown's lyrics helped to convict him in 1996, resulting in a 31-year sentence. Yet just before the conviction was handed down, out came another X-Raided album, Xorcist. While awaiting the result of his trial, Brown had been busily penning songs. Sensing, no doubt, that his freedom was about to be snatched away from him, he worked the prison's pay phone system to his advantage, holding one phone playing the beat up to his ear and rapping into a second phone. The result is far from polished, but it was as true a document of life behind bars as any Lomax-documented prison toasting.

The X-Raided tale got only more bizarre last year, when his third album, The Unforgiven Vol. 1, was released. Not a fuzzy affair like its predecessor, this album featured stunningly clear vocals that baffled prison authorities, as did the declaration on the album's back cover: "All of the recordings contained on this CD were made between 12.1.98 and 2.15.99," dates Brown was clearly incarcerated. It was later discovered that a prison guard, Roy Castro, helped smuggle recording equipment to Brown, but that was only the beginning of the controversy. Soon after word of the album's completion made it back to prison inmates, a gang war erupted. Brown was attacked and had to be placed in protective custody. Meanwhile, Brown, now a convicted felon, could be sued under California's "Son of Sam" laws to prevent him from profiting from his notoriety. Nowhere on the album, however, nor on his subsequent ones, does Brown make any specific reference to the crime for which he is imprisoned. If anything, these latest records show a more reflective, more aware X-Raided. Granted, these albums aren't documents of prison self-discovery like Eldridge Cleaver's book Soul on Ice, but they're legitimate artistic expressions. On "Write What I See," from Brown's latest album (also drawn from those illicit recording sessions), he practically trips over his own tongue trying to spill his vision, eventually asking in defeat, "What the hell am I supposed to write?/How can I compose nice/When I'm sitting in this cell?"

The next track, "Hold On (What a Thug to Do)," takes Brown on a psychological roller coaster from naive, hopeful youth--"Fuck Good Times, I want some of that Cosby shit/Four-bedroom home, white trim with green/I'd be a doctor, regular American dream"--to the fall from grace--"I thought it would be easy/I was mistaken. . . . I went to the pen instead of college"--to penitence--"I made my bed, but it's too hard to be laying in it/Fighting the drama but for some reason I'm staying in it." It's all sealed on the haunting hook, in which Brown groans, Tupac-style, "On the inside I've been dead for years," and at song's end, where he pleads, "Mama, excuse my behavior, please/Feel like my soul's gone/Pray for your only son/Need you to be strong."

Certainly, not all of Vengeance Is Mine taps the pain well so profoundly, but give Brown credit for not sensationalizing his most unseemly predicament. Whether he'll be allowed to profit from his recordings is now in the hands of the California courts, which are also considering the constitutionality of the "Son of Sam" law itself. In the meantime, Brown claims to have over 100 songs recorded, waiting for release.
Apr 16, 2004
While ODB is baffling law enforcement officials in New York, its nothing compared to the ruckus caused here in Cali, by Anarae Brown who is better known as X-Raided. Yesterday his much anticipated fourth album 'Vengeance Is Mine' was released and has more then a few folks up in arms. He's definitely given new meaning to the word 'controversy'. For folks who don't know, X-raided is serving a 31 year sentence for the murder of a grandmother who lived near Sacramento. Back in '91 he and other gang members stormed the home of Patricia Harris which resulted in her in her being fatally shot. X-Raided till this day maintains that he was present but did not pull the trigger..

Now in '92 X-raided's first album 'Pyscho Active' was released while he was in jail. It was considered by many to be the 'hardest rap album' to ever come out. X-Raided came under fire for two reasons. First, there was talk that some of the songs actually referred back to the murder. Second, police maintained that the gun which he had pointed to his head on the album cover was the actual murder weapon.

There was a controversial follow up album in '95 called 'Xorcist'. Here X-raided caused a stir because the album was recorded while he was behind bars. Although its not that unusual to have that happen now, back then it was. Up to that point, only fellow Cali rapper Mac Dre and a number of inmates in Rahway Prison in New Jersey, known as the Lifers had recorded albums while behind bars. In the case of the Lifers, permission was granted by correction officials and a recording studio was actually built inside the prison. It was sanctioned because the subject matter focused around the Rahway inmates warning listeners about the harshness of jail life. Their goal was to get people to stay away from prison. The landmark album was a warning. In the case of Mac Dre, no permission was given as he wound up recording his album over the phone. It was the same situation with X-Raided as the 'Xorcist' was also recorded over the phone.

Last year X-Raided recorded his 3rd album behind bars called 'Unforgiven'. It set off all types of alarms. The first issue was the album cover. It pictured him on the cover without his standard prison garb. Prison officials wanted to know when the picture was taken and how it was allowed without him wearing standard attire.. The second alarm went off when folks listened to the album and discovered that X-Raided's lyrics were crystal clear. There was no echo or static noises which are usually associated with songs recorded behind bars. This raised a lot of suspicions. Prison officials wanted to know how he managed to pull this off. They weren't sure if Black Market records, X-Raided's label was using previously recorded material or were they employing new technology that could enhance his voice. Officials wanted to know if X-Raided left the facilities to record the album. Executives at Black Market were put under the gun by Cali prison officials as high ranking lawmakers were livid.

Around the same time while all this drama was swirling around, X-Raided started stirring up the pot within the music industry. He sent off a well publicized stinging letter that blasted The Source Magazine. He took them to task for giving his album a low rating. The album was well received and one of the most popular albums in Cali last year. In his letter X-Raided accused the Source of being hypocritical. He noted that the editors thought he had good rhyme skills and nice beats but were upset with his subject matter which dealt with gangsta life. X-Raided pointed out that The Source gave high marks to artists like Jay-Z and DMX who rap about street life. In DMX's case he had a song about raping a 15 year old. X-Raided questioned why DMX got 4 mics with such violent material. He also questioned the Source's objectivity due to the fact that Master P and his No Limit roster of artist who are known for 'gangsta' lyrics, spent thousand of dollars on advertisements and never got a low rating. He raised the question as to whether or not the Source was being paid off for their reviews.. To read a copy of that letter go here: http://www.daveyd.com/fnvjuly21.html . X-Raided's letter drew praises from all sorts of artists who were frustrated with The Source. They felt he clearly echoed their sentiments. X-Raided ended is letter by declaring war in 2000.

A year and a half later X-Raided is back in the news with the release of his 4th album 'Vengeance Is Mine'. Released yesterday [Nov 21 2000], this is his 3rd album recorded while behind bars. As was the case with 'Unforgiven' prison officials are again questioning how and where it was recorded. Some of the material is crystal clear while on other songs you can hear a faint echo in the back ground indicating it was recorded over phone lines. Thus far the mystery behind how he recorded his last album is pointing to a correctional officer who has been terminated. Officials are saying that X-Raided confessed to an officer sneaking in a miniature recording device for him to use. X-Raided's producers at the label have not commented on this.. The profits from the sale of the last album which is close to a quarter of a million dollars is being held up in court. Black Market is currently involved in a lawsuit with the state attorney general.

The people who are most upset is the family of the victim..They have maintained that the release of this latest album does nothing but bring back painful memories..In a recent interview with a local news station, Willie Harris the husband of Patricia Harris said he did not want to do anything in aiding X-raided or his label make money..One thing is for sure, 'Vengeance is Mine' is sure to sell well.
Apr 16, 2004

Sacramento -- The tale of the rapper and the prosecutor is a twisted one now, bent into strange shapes by scandal, celebrity and murder music, but once it was a story of straight lines and simple roles.

When they first met in 1994, the rapper, Anerae Brown, was one of four gang members on trial for a spasm of early-morning violence that had left a grandmother dead in her home. The button-down Pete Harned was the star of the Sacramento County district attorney's office and savvy enough to know that he would win convictions if he could put the 17-year-old rapper's lurid music on trial as well.

The judge allowed Harned to play Brown's music twice in court. The music, recorded under the stage name X-Raided, was brash, explicit and relentlessly violent. In one especially damning line, Brown declared he would be "kicking down doors" and "killin' mommas." Harned argued that this was practically a prediction of the slaying of Patricia Harris. The community activist had been shot through the heart in March 1992 when gang members stormed her home searching for rivals, and police said Brown was the ringleader. When the music was played in court, Harned was confident he read victory in the jury's horror.

The trial had been a complex one with a separate jury for each of the defendants, but finally, four years after the crime and his arrest, the verdict came back guilty for X-Raided. The rapper was shuttled off to prison and, presumably, a 31-year sentence of obscurity and heartache. Harned buckled his briefcase on a key career victory and embraced Harris' relatives. The epic length of the case had left the family fuming, and they viewed Harned as their lone crusader in the legal system.

There was no reason for Harned to think he would ever see X-Raided again. But four years later, a letter with a prison postmark reconnected them in a way that would stun the Harris family if they had known.

Today, the 28-year-old Brown sits in Corcoran State Prison and fills his hours and notebooks with rhymes of gang life. His music is no idle handiwork. Despite the efforts of his jailers and the California attorney general, Brown while behind bars has managed to covertly record and release nine albums, the most recent in July. The modest sales make him unknown to most music fans, but X-Raided is an underground hero to some and a celebrity of the prison yard. "The music," he says, "takes me over these walls."

Indeed, the inmate may enjoy more freedom than the man who prosecuted him.

Harned is no longer a prosecutor; he lost that beloved job amid scandal. He restarted his career as a defense attorney in a sad closet of an office located one right turn away from the offices of the Sacramento district attorney. He spends his days now defending accused killers and robbers, but two years ago he quietly began a side project in business law, specifically the music industry. In his moonlighting role, he has one client: X-Raided, the rapper and murderer. The attorney even has an X-Raided CD perched beside his law books."I just can't stand rap music and I don't have to listen to the stuff to work with it," the attorney said. "But I had to put it there. Isn't that something? I'm so proud of him."

For a man six years into a 31-year sentence, Anerae Veshaughn Brown gets around: Folsom, Salinas Valley, Mule Creek and, the latest state prison, Corcoran, north of Bakersfield. "They keep moving me because they say I cause trouble," he said in an interview just before his move last year to Corcoran. "I disagree. Trouble causes me."

Brown chuckled and squinted in the sun beating down on Mule Creek's outdoor visiting area. It's air-conditioned inside, but also as noisy as a middle school cafeteria, so prisoners looking for quiet conversation with their girlfriends and wives sweat outside in their starched denim. The couples hold hands and pace the fenced perimeter in slow procession.

Brown has rounded features and a certain shyness. He seems far removed from the scowling young man who insisted on testifying at his own trial and defiantly said, yes, he was a violent gang member and, yes, he was proud of it. (Said Harned, with a smile: "He was speaking honestly, at least, but I don't think it was necessarily a wise course of action.") He hopes his music will fund his freedom. "Money speeds up everything. I want my albums to make enough to pay Johnnie Cochran or an affiliate of his to help me. I just need to get my music out there. I'll be the biggest story in hip-hop."

Asked about his latest work, X-Raided knitted his eyes, bobbed his head to a beat no one else could hear and began rhyming:

Might survive with black eyes and torn clothes

Or meet my end in the pen, servin' a sentence for sins committed

If I lose my soul I'll send my men to get it

Never break the law again, player, but I intend to bend it

Behind him, some of the Mule Creek couples paused in curiosity, and one inmate with an iron cross tattoo sneered. If the rapper noticed, he gave no sign. Brown's total of 10 albums have combined to sell 309,000 copies in the U.S., according to SoundScan, which is more than many artists but less than, say, Eminem sells in an average week. He is not rich, but his music has earned him more than $100,000 while behind bars.

He was only 16 when he finished his first recording, an underground project with Sacramento rapper Brotha Lynch Hung, and he was signed within a year to an independent label in Northern California. His first solo work, "Psycho Active" in 1992, created a buzz in south Sacramento that a gifted new rapper was claiming the Crips as his gang affiliation.

The cover of "Psycho Active" shows Brown's face with a .38-caliber handgun pressed to his temple. The follow-up album a year later was made inside the Sacramento County jail and recorded over phone lines as Brown awaited trial for the Harris murder. That audacity inspired a frenzy of local media coverage and outrage.

The Harris murder had already been big news in Sacramento, which still fancied itself immune to big-city street crime. Harris, 42, was gunned down in March 1992 in what appeared to be a botched attempt by gang members to shoot her two sons. To many, the crime signaled the importation of Los Angeles gang woes to the state capital.

"We hadn't had that many gang shootings and there was a lot of concern about retaliation," Harned said. "This was a big deal. They had metal detectors set up in the courthouse and sheriff's snipers on the roof. Gang killings are garden-variety nowadays, but not then."

A slaying, then arrests

It had all started with boys shouting in the night outside the Harris home in Meadowview, a neighborhood in south Sacramento. A drowsy Harris padded to the door. The voices out front identified themselves as police officers -- a sly strategy to confuse their quarry, two of the Harris sons, reputed members of the Meadowview Bloods.
Apr 16, 2004

The hinges buckled, the door was kicked in and the boys tumbled into the darkened home. In the chaos, a gunshot caught Harris in the heart. The arrests came within days. Five suspects, 15 to 17, all members of the Crips. X-Raided was joined by Skooby, Scrappy, Little Bread and Baby Snake -- their nicknames were probably meant to make them sound streetwise but had the opposite effect. Police said the attack was a reprisal for the deaths of two members of the 29th Street Crips. The youngest among the Crips war party would testify that the raid was engineered by X-Raided, their leader and charismatic neighborhood celebrity.

"Mastermind, that's what they said I was," Brown said. "They took turns during the trial. Either I was an idiot or I was a mastermind."

To Det. Aldert Robinson, a 25-year veteran of the Sacramento police force, what X-Raided really was that fateful night was a poseur in over his head. He said wearily, "There were a lot of kids up here trying to act like they knew what they were doing."

In the early 1990s, L.A.-area gang members were migrating north, many of them youngsters dispatched by families hoping to give them a fresh start. Instead, the newcomers often were the kingfish teaching their old ways to eager novices. X-Raided was one of those novices.

"Brown was an up-and-coming rapper trying to make some music," Robinson said. "During those days, that's when gangsta rap was really starting to take off, and a lot of these guys decided that maybe you had to be involved in what you were rapping about to give yourself some legitimacy. Walk the walk."

Brown's mother, Shirley "Jaz" Brown, says her son was a bright youngster always jotting in his notebooks. He was schooled at home, where R&B was always around and his dad was not. Rap became his passion, and as his reputation grew, his mother sensed something was going wrong. She wanted him to join her for a much-needed vacation in March 1992, but then let him stay in Sacramento because he had a party celebrating a new single.

Jaz Brown was having a bad dream at her aunt's home in Waco, Texas, when the phone rang. The caller wouldn't identify himself, but he demanded to know who Jaz was and whom she knew in Sacramento. Later, she learned the call had come from the home of Patricia Harris while the woman's blood was still on the floor.

Detectives later explained that they found a Texas phone number on a scrap left at the crime scene. It would be a key link to X-Raided. "In the dream I had that night, there were all these people running, and they were telling me to come on, to hurry, there was danger," Jaz Brown says. "But I kept dropping everything and falling. There was nothing I could do."

Before the murder, Jaz Brown was a clerk at the Sacramento County Courthouse, but she quit when X-Raided became a famous defendant in the corridors. By June 2000, Jaz Brown had a new title, CEO of Madman Records, the new label for X-Raided and other rappers. She ran the business from a tidy Sacramento apartment, but its true command center was her son's cell.

The rapper himself was merely a "consultant," and with good reason. A year earlier, Atty. Gen. Bill Lockyer's office had sued X-Raided under the Son of Sam law in an attempt to seize his music profits and set them aside for the family of his victim. "This album," Lockyer said, "is a simple attempt by a criminal with marginal talent to cash in on a murderous past."

But the Son of Sam case against X-Raided stalled and the California Supreme Court later struck down the law. Still, in 2000, the rapper was not about to take chances with his money. He also brought in some professional help to set up the business. The man for the job, he decided, was an old rival.

"Yeah, the prosecutor.... It's twisted, I know that, it sounds twisted," X-Raided said. "But I like it twisted. Everything is strange. But that may be the strangest thing of all."

Recording at prison

The only truly bankable asset for Madman Records was a stack of digitally recorded discs, the master recordings of more than 150 X-Raided songs. The storehouse includes enough unreleased material for three or more albums. On a typical one is the voice of the rapper, sitting in his cell: "All right now, I'm about to give you the hook. First I'll give you one verse on how the hook is said and then I'll give you the second and you can put them on top. So it's the first and the overdub. Here we go...."

The recordings were made at Salinas Valley State Prison. The rapper was unhappy with the sound quality of his first album as an inmate, the one recorded over the phone, and his second, done on cassette tape, was not much better. But at Salinas Valley in 1998, X-Raided finally found his voice.

The rapper says a guard approached him and struck up a friendship that created a pipeline. "He was adamant that he wanted to help me," Brown said. "He was like a little kid, all excited." The guard delivered a digital recorder and the rapper went to work.

The guard smuggled the discs to Brown's label at the time, Black Market Records, and, with studio work, the finished product was ready. "But the guard, he made a mistake," X-Raided said. "I gave him a letter to hand someone on the outside. He left it with his paycheck sitting in a control booth where someone else saw it. That crossed everybody up."

The state Department of Corrections confirms that a guard was fired for smuggling contraband to Brown. Richard Subia, public information officer for Mule Creek State Prison, said that since then, prisoner No. K17737 has been monitored at every facility to prevent a repeat of the embarrassing Salinas Valley episode. "We have an eye toward that now," Subia said. "That was an isolated incident."

Still, the rapper describes himself as a restless artist, waking in the night to scribble rhymes. He is evasive on plans to record more music, but the grin that accompanies his "no comment" speaks volumes. He ends the conversation playfully: "Maybe you should talk to my attorney about that."

Delays in complex case

Pete Harned is a Nat King Cole fan. To him, rap is a torrent of ugly words delivered in a foreign language. But when he was tapped for the Harris murder case, he steeled himself and listened to every X-Raided song. A track called "Tha Murder" is the one that caught his ear.

In "Tha Murder," X-Raided raps that he will stop at nothing to hunt down his rivals, and that he will smash through doors and kill their relatives. The song was so eerily on point that the judge agreed to let jurors hear it twice during the trial.

"It's Sacramento, so you've got mostly a white-ish, middle-class jury and they were clearly offended by it," Harned said. "Your average middle-aged postal worker from Citrus Heights doesn't hear that every day. I don't think they convicted him because he wrote such a song, but it was a very effective piece of the puzzle."
Apr 16, 2004

The Harris murder seemed like it might never be resolved in court. Each defendant had a court-appointed defender already dealing with a mountain of work, and the original prosecutor had transferred to his agency's juvenile division after working on the case for two years. His replacement was Harned, who was determined to give the Harris family some resolution.

The youngest of the five arrested suspects had pleaded guilty to ensure he would be tried as a juvenile, and he agreed to testify against his cohorts, who would all be tried as adults. Each defendant had a separate jury. Christopher McKinnie and Roosevelt Jermaine Coleman were accused as accomplices, Brown and the remaining suspect, Samuel Maurice Proctor, were tried as the triggermen.

In the end, three were found guilty on murder and murder conspiracy charges, and given life sentences. Proctor was acquitted. The Harris family was distressed to see anyone go free but happy to see the case end, finally. Four years had passed between the arrests and the final verdict.

X-Raided now says he did not testify about what really happened the night of the Harris murder because he adhered to the gang code of silence. "I could have testified and gone home," the rapper said. "But I kept it real." He says he was present at the attack but did not pull the trigger.

For Harned, closing the case built on a successful law-and-order career that began with a high school job as a clerk typist at the state Department of Justice. By the time he graduated from Cal State Sacramento, he was working in the state agency's Bureau of Organized Crime. In December 1985, he had a law degree following night classes at Lincoln Law School, and a post in the district attorney's office of his hometown.

By 1996, he was one of the prosecutors who handled capital cases for the agency's homicide team and also prosecuted sex crime cases. He was a top gun, a genial workaholic known to friends and rivals alike as a candid but friendly voice; a judicial appointment was seen in the future. Then, on a summer morning in 1996, his computer crashed and his life's work went with it.

The repairman who pried open Harned's home computer reported to police that he found a CD-ROM inside with images of child pornography. The scandal quickly bloomed, and Harned was fired and charged criminally, a golden boy turned pariah. "My untimely demise," he says with a practiced casualness. "I've never been bitter. I've been unhappy about the way it turned out. I loved the office, I loved the people there."

Harned explains it like this: He ordered a CD-ROM from the Netherlands with hundreds of erotic images of young men. Among those images were models under 18, but Harned insists he was oblivious to that. Harned had never made it a secret that he was gay, but neither had he made it a visible part of his work life. Now he found himself explaining his private life and, more pressing, defending himself from criminal charges that might land him in prison for 10 years.

As he had so many times before, Harned won in the courtroom. A judge ruled that the detective who secured a search warrant for Harned's home had misrepresented the disc's content, both in the amount he viewed and in the nature of its explicit content. The charges were dismissed.

Harned retained his license to practice law, but the episode cost him more than a few friends. One day in 2000, though, Harned found a surprising new one in the morning mail. "I got a letter from Anerae Brown. He said he saw on TV news what had happened. He wanted to tell me to stay strong and that he knew I would be OK. I could not have been more stunned."

The rapper explains that he respected the prosecutor's strength and appreciated that during the murder trail, Harned's attacks were damaging but never seemed personal. The correspondence between the unlikely pair continued, and then, when Brown left Black Market Records to start Madman, he asked Harned to handle the paperwork.

"My answer was no for a variety of reasons," Harned said. "It seemed more than a little strange. It is not an area in which I'm professionally trained. I've always worked in criminal law. But what bothered me most was my previous relationship with him. I explained to him very clearly that this would look very unusual to a lot of people and raise a lot of eyebrows."

Brown answered that Harned was the only attorney he trusted. That was enough for the disgraced prosecutor. "I cannot afford, morally, to judge my clients. I can't decide if they are morally bankrupt or evil or good or bad. I am not a moral arbiter. I am a lawyer. If I took only good decent people who did no wrong, these doors would be shuttered, I guarantee you."

Still, Harned, now 43, admits that the faces of the Harris family flashed through his mind. When told that the family will be finding out very soon, the attorney looked like he was waiting for a jury to return a verdict. "If you speak to them," he tells his visitor, "can you let me know what they say?"

Agonizing memories

Patricia Harris has been reduced to a name in archived court documents, but the closer you get to her home, the more powerful her memory lives. The people remember her, said Betty Scroggins, a volunteer at Meadowview Community Center where Harris was a fixture. "There was a lot of pain at her loss," she said. "As for the one who did it, and the thing he does, well, I'd rather not comment on that."

The front door of the Harris home shows no sign of the violence that took place a decade ago, but the man who opens it is not far removed from that painful night. William C. Harris was married for 25 years, but he was not home the night his wife was taken away.

"The first two or three years it was an illness," he said. "My mind would get bad."

Moving slow, he walks through his home mapping out the madness of that 1992 night. "She came all the way to here, that's when they shot her," he said pointing to a spot near the living room. Then he points again, to a spot beneath a framed copy of the Lord's Prayer. "They found the splashes of blood on the wall, there."

As the grim tour ends, William Harris points down the hall that is off-limits to visitors. "They found her in the bedroom. She crawled all the way back. That's what bothered me. She wanted help. She was dying, in a panic. She wanted help. And there was no help. I wasn't here. I was lost in my guilt."

William Harris is willing to talk, but he's not sure what to say. He offers snapshots, real and remembered, of his lost wife. He was a young saxophone player from Stockton working in R&B clubs and she was the sister of a singer. She was 17 when they married. Through the years, she worked with the PTA, had five kids and, at the time of her death, 11 grandchildren.

The widower rarely leaves home. He has a hard time sleeping in their bedroom. The kids are gone now, moved out, and he says he is of little good to them. "I taught them life is a minefield," he says, "and it's stacked against you."

He spends his hours toiling on a community newsletter. The content is political and feisty, a transcript of a talk show in his head. One issue has a blurry photo of man with a gun pressed to his head -- it's the cover of X-Raided's first album. The adjacent essay is about black-on-black crime. There is no identification of the man in the picture, no mention of his role in the essayist's life. The hazy image is, like the crime, inseparable from the life of William Harris, but defies explanation or even acknowledgment.

When X-Raided was on trial, Harris accused him of killing purely to promote a rap career. Later, when the albums recorded in prison were released, the widower lashed out publicly at the injustice of it all. Now, though, his rage is seeping away.

Harris did not know Harned was working for X-Raided. When told, he paused for a long moment and then shook his head. "I don't know what to say about that. Harned did all right by us. But I don't understand that. There's a lot I don't understand anymore." He seems to want to say more, but instead he shrugs and guides the visitor back past the crime scene and out the door.

Later, Harned accepted that vague verdict. Then he changed the subject to the future. X-Raided wants to set up a new label, Gangway Records, and minimize the role of Madman and Jaz Brown (instead of minding the money, a frustrated X-Raided said, she mothered the acts, lining up personal finance or anger management classes for them). Harned's role, if any, is uncertain. Last week, he said that if Gangway gets off the ground, he might consider an in-house job as an executive.

"I've never been one to rule things out," he said.

And what of X-Raided's dream of cashing in with his rap and hiring a hotshot defense attorney for an appeal -- did Harned's new friendship with his onetime quarry persuade him that the rapper might have been wrongly convicted? "We've never really discussed it, but no," Harned said, suddenly sounding like a prosecutor back in a world with sure footing and straight lines. "He did it. He's guilty. It was a good case."
Apr 16, 2004
A letter by Raided to the Source

I feel that we should have gotten 3 or 3 1/2 mics. If the writer of the review felt we deserved 3 1/2, the editors should have given us 3 1/2. The review says the lyrics were "tight" and "clear" (thanks to the Verbal Technician) and that I am a strong "lyricist" What they said about it about being all about "killing, money, and women"... These are the same people who gave Jay-Z 4 1/2 mics for "Hard Knock Life" which is all about "mo money, mo cash, mo hoes" Obviosly they have never listened to DMX, who is as violent as X Raided ever was. DMX got 4 mics for an album that has lyrics such as "if you got a daughter older than 15 I' ma rape her/take her right there in front of you" and "my dick is bloody cause I fucked a corpse" That's 4 mic material? These are the same people who gave Rass Kas 3 mics and Xibit 3 1/2 mics for their 1998 albums... These are the same people who gave Silk the Shocker and C Murder 4 mics each on their 1999 albums . These are the same people who gave Biggie 5 mics but didn't even bother to acknowledge 2 Pacs Makaveli album (which is an undeniable classic).

On the X Raided album there are Gangsta tracks, songs about women, battle raps, and political tracks. It is not and never intended to be a commercial album (which is what the source expects everyone to create) This is a street album, created by a WEST coast street cat. Aint no baggy jeans, backpacks, Queensbridge accents, puff daddy remix, Jay-Z cameo or 212 area code. That alone cost me a mic and a half. So, basically the source aint feeling me and I aint feeling them. The Roots got 4 mics for an album that should have got 5 and Juvenile got 4 for an album that should have got 3. There is now way Juvenile and The Roots could be considered equals! But, unless you spend a million dollars in advertising in the Source they will screw your review. Ask Master P. No Limit spends millions yearly in the Source, and as a result no artist on No Limit has ever been given less than 3 1/2 mics.

I declare war in 2000
X Raided
Apr 16, 2004
Inmate's CD sales rile victim's family
By Chris Macias
Bee Pop Music Writer
(Published Nov. 22, 2000)

A murder rap, jail cells and a lawsuit by California's attorney general
have not stopped Anerae Brown's recording career.
Brown, known in the hip-hop community as X-Raided -- and inmate No. K17737
to the California Department of Corrections -- is serving a 31-year
sentence for his role in the 1992 slaying of Patricia Harris, a Meadowview
grandmother and community activist. Yet on Tuesday, Black Market Records
released Brown's latest CD, "Vengeance Is Mine."
Brown has released four albums in the past five years, during which he's
been behind bars. The prison recording sessions began in 1995, when
recordings of Brown rapping over the phone from Sacramento County Jail were
used on his album "The Xorcist."
Some local record stores, including Tower Records outlets and The Beat,
have refused to stock "Vengeance Is Mine" because of the rapper's history.
"We're just trying to be sensitive to the local community," said Rob
Fauble, owner of The Beat. "We've had requests for it, but it's something
we could do without and they can get it somewhere else."
"I don't like it," said William Harris, the dead woman's husband. "It's
kind of like a Jeffery Dahmer thing. Some people, they'll buy anything
gruesome. But what really bothers me is how can he get this stuff out while
he's in prison? He shouldn't be able to do that from jail, period."
In 1996, Brown was convicted of first-degree murder for the Harris slaying.
She was fatally shot when Brown and a group of teenagers stormed her home.
Witnesses testified that the intended targets were Harris' two sons.
Christopher McKinnie, who kicked in the door of the Harris home, and
getaway driver Roosevelt Jermaine Coleman were also convicted of
first-degree murder. Samuel Maurice Proctor, who was also charged in the
case, was acquitted.
The vocal tracks for "Vengeance Is Mine" were definitely recorded in
prison. But the question remains, where.
A source, who asked not to be identified, told The Bee that Brown recorded
the vocal tracks for "Vengeance Is Mine" during the past few months. Its
nimble-tongued vocals sound like they were recorded in a professional
studio, not inside Mule Creek State Prison in Amador County, where Brown
has been incarcerated since December 1999.
Brown was interviewed by officials at Mule Creek on Monday and, according
to the officials, denied that the vocal tracks on "Vengeance Is Mine" are new.
"Anerae told our investigators that he had recorded over 125 tracks while
in Salinas Valley State Prison," said Richard Subia, public information
officer for Mule Creek State Prison. "He said that all of the songs (on
'Vengeance Is Mine') came from those sessions. We have no evidence to
suggest otherwise."
The clarity of "Vengeance Is Mine" is similar to Brown's previous effort,
"The Unforgiven: Vol. 1," which was recorded at Salinas Valley State
Prison. There, Brown and his cellmate taped vocals on a digital recording
device, likely a mini-disc recorder. The recordings were smuggled out of
prison, with the album's producers later adding instrumentation and drum
tracks to the vocals. The album was released in May 1999.
Brown's illicit recording sessions prompted an investigation at Salinas
Valley State Prison. According to the Department of Corrections, Roy
Castro, a correctional officer at the time, was fired after it was
determined he had smuggled recording equipment into the prison for Brown.
An undelivered letter from Brown intended for Black Market CEO Cedric
Singleton was also found in Castro's possession.
Singleton was interviewed by the Department of Corrections during the
investigation, but denied knowing Castro outside of cyberspace.
"Some guy was contacting me over the Internet, which the Department of
Corrections told me later was him," said Singleton. "We were conversing
(via America Online instant messages). There was no solicitation."
According to SoundScan, a New York company that tallies record sales in the
United States, "The Unforgiven: Vol. 1" sold 60,000 copies. Singleton told
The Bee in 1999 that Brown received a royalty of $1 per record, though
after paying fees to the CD's producers and other costs, Brown would earn
closer to 60 cents for each copy sold.
"I don't want him to make one penny from anything he does," said Inez
Bogan, Harris' sister. "He doesn't deserve it. My sister is not entitled to
anything. She's never going to come back, but he's here to keep on rapping?
I don't think so."
The Harris family sought help from state Sen. Deborah Ortiz, D-Sacramento,
who in turn brought the matter to state Attorney General Bill Lockyer.
"The Unforgiven: Vol. 1" had been in stores less than a week when Lockyer
filed a "Son of Sam" lawsuit against Brown. California's Son of Sam laws
bar prisoners from making money because of their notoriety, and instead
funnel those profits to the victim's families or into the state's Victims
Restitution Fund.
The litigation against Brown was moving forward until the state Supreme
Court agreed to hear Keenan vs. Superior Court, a case that challenges the
constitutionality of California's Son of Sam statutes. The lawsuit against
Brown is on hold pending the court's decision.
Regardless, Singleton believes that Son of Sam laws don't apply to Brown's
recordings because his work, including "Vengeance Is Mine," doesn't speak
of his crimes.
"I don't have any reservations about releasing this album," Singleton said.
"This album has nothing to do with the Harrises. It has to do with Anerae
continuing to pursue his art form. There's nothing done out of spite or
disrespect to the Harrises. As president of my company, I've never used the
crime as a way to try and promote something."
Black Market is pressing 100,000 copies of "Vengeance Is Mine." Singleton
wouldn't comment on Brown's royalty, but did say he believes Brown should
receive payment for his new album.
"He worked for it," said Singleton, "and whether he's in prison or not, he
still has family and responsibilities."
However, there's talk that "Vengeance Is Mine" may be Brown's swan song.
"I think this will be his last record," added Singleton. "I believe he's
tired of the problems that come with him recording."
In the meantime, the Harris family is mobilizing and may again seek advice
from lawmakers.
"I wouldn't want them to benefit at all from my wife's death," said Harris.
"Anything Anerae gets out of it, I don't think he should get it. I'm
frustrated with his ability to make those recordings in the first place,
and in the second place to get them out to Black Market."
Apr 16, 2004
Killer Enjoying Killer CD Career

A murderer of a grandmother is pursuing a popular, financially rewarding career as a rapper, issuing CD recordings from prison, where he's serving 31 years.
It is estimated that Anerae Brown – doing business as X-Raided in the world of hip-hop, or inmate No. K17737, as he is known to the California Department of Corrections – could be making up to $100,000 on the four albums he has cut in the past five years he's been behind bars.

According to the Sacramento Bee:

Brown was convicted of the first-degree murder of Patricia Harris, a grandmother and community activist, when he and a group of teen-agers stormed her home in 1992.

He has been confined in Mule Creek State Prison in Amador County since December 1999.

His latest work of art, a CD recording titled "Vengeance Is Mine," was released Tuesday by Black Market Records, which is cranking out 100,000 copies. An earlier recording, "The Unforgiven: Vol. 1," sold 60,000 copies.

Brown's royalties, believed to be around 60 cents per copy, could possibly gain at least $96,000.

The victim's widower, William Harris, said "I don't like it. Some people, they'll buy anything gruesome.

"But what really bothers me is how can he get this stuff out while he's in prison? He shouldn't be able to do that from jail, period."

Inez Bogan, the victim's sister, said, "I don't want him to make one penny from anything he does. He doesn't deserve it.

"My sister is not entitled to anything. She's never going to come back, but he's here to keep on rapping? I don't think so."

California has a statute that prohibits a criminal's profiting on notoriety derived from his crimes.

Attorney General Bill Lockyer filed suit under that stature, seeking to funnel any of Brown's earnings back to the victim's family or into the state's Victims Restitution Fund.

It is Brown's position that none of the words in his recording refer to the murder he is convicted of committing, so therefore the statute doesn't apply to him.

The suit against him is on hold while the constitutionality of the statute is being considered by the state Supreme Court in another case.
Apr 16, 2004
The one thing you can't accuse incarcerated Sacramento-based rapper Anerae Brown (a.k.a. X-Raided) of is being a studio gangster. Soon after he released his first album, Psycho Active, for independent Black Market Records (which sold upwards of 50,000 units), Brown, who'd been gangbanging with a Crip-affiliated set since age 15, ran afoul of the law. On March 15, 1992, the then 17-year-old Brown and three other men drove up to a rival gang members house. Identifying themselves as police, the men kicked down the door and forced their way in. Two shots were fired. The bullets missed their intended target, who wasn’t present at the time. But one shot hit the rivals mother, killing her. Brown, who claims he didn’t fire that fatal shot, was later tried (as an adult) and convicted of murder, along with two of his accomplices, while the alleged shooter, Samuel Maurice Proctor, ended up being acquitted. For his part in the crime, Brown was sentenced to 31 years in Soledad Prison.
Just another case about the wrong path? Well, yes and no. The Brown case may very well be indicative of a larger pattern of law enforcement officials’ method of criminally prosecuting popular rap artists. In the past five years, there have been at least four such cases (including Brown’s) in California where rap lyrics were used as evidence in criminal trials. In 1993, Andre “Mac Dre” Hicks was convicted of bank robbery after his song “Punk Police” was used to implicate him in the infamous “Romper Room” robberies, where several credit unions, banks, and Chuckie Cheese restaurants were robbed. In 1996, lyrics from Calvin “Snoop Dogg” Broadus’s Doggystyle album were admitted as evidence in his trial for the murder of Phillip Woldemariam (for which he was aquitted). In 1998, Shawn “C-Bo” Thomas was arrested after law enforcement officials determined his songs “Deadly Game” and “Desperado Outlaws” violated the conditions of his parole, which specifically prohibited him from making music which “promoted gang lifestyle, criminal behavior, or violence against law enforcement.”
In Brown;s case, Deputy District Attorney Pete Harned, during his closing argument to the jury, referred to Brown as “the gangster rapper, the ringleader.” Early, Brown’s raps, taken from the song “Fuckin Wit a Psycho”, entered into the court record. The lyrics foreshadowed the events of that fateful night: “Kicking down doors, waving gats…I’m killing mama, daddies and nephews/ I’m killing sons, daughters and sparing you”. Harned told THE SOURCE the introduction of X-raided’s lyrics as evidence was necessary “to show Mr. Browns possible association with gangs and the spirit of gang mentality” (under California law, persons convicted of gang-related crimes are subject to mandatory maximum sentencing guidelines). Ironically, Harned says the use of X-Raided’s raps in court was “quite moving”.
Harned, who claims the use of X-Raided’s music, lyrics, and album cover (which depicted the rapper holding the same caliber weapon used in the killing) were “a very small part of the evidence”, doesn’t feel such usage constituted a violation of Browns First Amendment Rights. “In a trial, you can certainly argue that this is just music, this is just an expression”, he says. “But in fact this is what [Brown] did do, and frankly the jury has to reveal to the judge whether it was a plan of intent or indicative of his state of mind.” Yet even Harned finds it somewhat intriguing that the X-raided, Mac Dre, C-Bo, and Snoop Dog cases all took place in California, which incidentally, spends more money on correctional facilities than on educational facilities. “At the time, I had never heard of it being done. But since then, I’ve seen it come up in three or four national cases,” he states.
In an exclusive interview from Soledad, Brown contended that not only were his lyrics taken out of context, but he was convicted in the media before the case ever got to a jury. While awaiting trial, a process that dragged on for four years, his controversial second album “Xorcist” recorded over the phone from jail, was removed from store shelves at Tower Records following a protest by the victims family. This event and details of the trial, were widely reported by the Sacramento Bee. “I felt like the world was after me, because at first the judge was not going to allow the evidence to be used, but the district attorney, he found ways to get stuff into the trial,” Brown says now, adding that he has matured and no longer considers himself a gang banger.
Brown, who ironically wrote C-Bo’s rhymes for “Deadly Game”, feels that rap artists are being unfairly targeted. “Look at DMX, as soon as he dropped his album, all it took was for that female to accuse him of rape. No evidence, no nothing, and the authorities went full steam ahead with that. Snoop’s acquittal was just a matter of money and having the proper attorney.” At press time, Browns court-appointed attorney could not be reached for comment.
Anerae Brown is no angel. That much is clear. He maintains he is not guilty of murder, though he doesn’t deny participating in the incident. But under the law, every defendant, gangsta rapper or nor, is supposed to be presumed innocent until proven guilty. With media bias and public opinion strongly weighted against him, the question of whether Brown received the fair trial he is entitled to or whether rap lyrics are viable as evidence in a trial hangs in the air like gunsmoke.
Apr 16, 2004
November l6, 1993 The last time I saw X-Raided was when he came into Enharmonik to do the CD master for his CD on Black Market Records,Psychoactive. Three days later, he was arrested for the murder of Patricia Harris, in what the media portrayed as a Gangland slaying gone wrong. A case of mistaken identity. Patricia Harris was the mother of four.

That was almost two years ago and today I'm a little nervous going to visit X-raided at the county jail down at fifth and I streets. Besides being arrested a few times when I was a kid for draining swimming pools and skimboarding, I haven't been near the jail in 10 years. Actually, when I was arrested for draining pools, I was about the same age as X-raided was when he was arrested. Seventeen.

I first met X-Raided when he came into the studio to work on his album. He wasn't signed to a label yet, and Kevin Mann (now known as the Brotha' Lynch) was producing the record. I knew X by his real name, Anerae Brown Although he seemed like he might be the kind of kid who could get into trouble, he was never any trouble around the studio. All the engineers including myself got along well with him and liked him. We generally felt that X was an OK guy, and he treated us with respect and went about his work at the studio. Over the course of that year I had some: interesting conversations; with him, including one where he was discussing how he couldn't walk into Florin Mall without being hassled by the security guards. I remember another time, when I had to ask him to put a gun away that he was using for a sound effect, and he did, and he didn't give me any grief about it.

I checked out OK with the guard, and he sent me up to the 8th floor. While the jail is pretty big, the public or visitor area is no more than a small hallway which connects to a small visiting room, about 20 by 6, with steel benches, thick glass, and two way telephones to talk. After a few minutes, X came up the stairs and we started talking on the phones. He seemed glad to see me, and once we started talking, all my nervousness dissapeared It was like we were back in the studio shooting the shit while Lynch tweaked a sample or some thing. But it wasn't I would be able to get up and leave, while X wasn't going anywhere soon. Nonetheless, it was good to see him, and I think we both enjoyed the conversation.

After a few minutes, I told X that I wanted to do an interview for Heckler and he agreed. I wanted to find out how he felt about how things turned out, and how he was holding up in jail I was curious about aLL the hype the local media like the TV stations; the Bee and the SN & R. had made about the line "I'm killin' mamas, daddys and nephews, " from X's CD. They claimed that the DA was going to prosecute a premeditated murder charge because of the lyric. "Bullshit," said X. "That shit didn't come up once in court. They didn't even mention my tape once."

As X put it, "If you're with three nobodies and you're a somebody, and something goes down, who do you think they're going to blame? If Ice Cube and three nobodies are in a shooting, who do you think's going to.take the rap?" While X still has his rough side, he's grown up and matured quite a bit over the last two years. He was on the 8th floor instead of the 6th, because he had gotten in a fight a couple of weeks ago with another inmate. But X realizes his mistakes too. One of the first things he said to me in a slightly embarrassed tone was "I guess I fucked up, huh?"

I asked X if he regretted how things turned out and he replied "Hell yes, If I had it to do a11 over again, I'd do it a lot different. My advice to young rappers starting out is pay attention to the music and the rhymes, 'cause that's the most important thing." X's debut, Psychoactive is still available in record stores and is a strong and confident debut. It's a hard edged record, and X's slow, laid back and almost non chalant delivery makes it even more chilling. Re-writ ing the present based on suppositions on how things might be different if other things in the past hadn't happened has little profit if any, but you can't help but wonder where X would be now if he hadn't ended up in jail. His second album would have almost certainly been even stronger than the first, and would have probably done real well.

X however, has grown up and learned a lot in the meantime. While he realizes that he fucked up and is having to pay for it he's optimistic about the future and plans to use his time in jail constructively and make plans for his release. X is 19 now and hopes to get out by the time he's 25. X's final sentencing is in early December and he's looking forward to being transferred to either Folsom or Solano prison. He wants to get his AA degree while he's in prison and he plans on getting a job inside prison too. He said he wants any kind of job where he uses his body and stays in shape. He's been playing a lot of basketball too. He's excited about the possibility of transferring to Solano where they have a l6-track studio, but would also like to be in Folsom where he can be closer to family and friends.

X is proud of Brother Lynch's success and thinks that Lynch's brother, Triple 6 is going to bust out soon too. He feels protective towards Lynch, and wants to see him do well and not make the same mistakes he made. X is obviously eager to get out of prison, so he can get back to rappin himself. In the meantime, he is encouraged by the support and love he gets from his family and friends and also wanted to thank Cedric Singleton and Black Market Records for the help and continued support. X raided has made some big mistakes in his life and he realizes it. It's hard for me to make excuses for what he did or didn't do, so I won't. It's not my place. I do however like him as a person.

The last time I saw X in my studio he was a young kid. The next time I see him, he'll be a man. I wish him well over the next 6 or so years, and I hope he accomplishes his goals. for himself while he's in prison. And even more importantly, when he gets out I hope he grows into the young man he never got a chance to be, but that I think he could've been. Peace and good luck Anerae.
Apr 16, 2004
Rapper X-Raided, who is serving a 31 year prison term for murder, is saving the proceeds from his albums in an attempt to hire attorney Johnny Cochran.

X-Raided, born Anerae Brown, was convicted of shooting community activist Patricia Harris, 42, in March of 1992, after he and fellow gang members allegedly stormed her house seeking rivals. X-Raided was one of the first rappers in the world to have his lyrics used against him in court.

X-Raided has recorded 10 albums behind bars over telephone lines. The combined sales of his albums have sold over 300,000 copies and hopes that his earnings can help hire Johnny Cochran.

"Money speeds up everything," X-Raided told the Los Angeles Times. "I want my albums to make enough to pay Johnnie Cochran or an affiliate of his to help me. I just need to get my music out there. I'll be the biggest story in hip-hop."

X-Raided's mother is the CEO of his Madman Records, while X-Raided takes the title of consultant. This was done due to the California Attorney General's office atempting to sue X-Raided. Under the Son Of Sam law, the Attorney General wanted to seize the profits made by his recordings and set them aside for the victim's family.

X-Raided's releases have drawn controversy over the years and the rapper has often been accused of commiting murder to promote his career. X-Raided maintains that he was there when Harris was murdered, but that he was not the triggerman.

"I felt like the world was after me, because at first the judge was not going to allow the evidence to be used, but the district attorney, he found ways to get stuff into the trial," he told the Sacramento Bee after his trial
Apr 16, 2004
X-Raided's Letter from Lockdown: Which Man is Really "Free"?
by Anerae Brown (a.k.a. X-Raided)

Written: May 22 / Received: June 5—

Salutations, my friend.

Indeed, I've also noticed the delay with which my letters exit the prison and get to you and others I write. Lately I've even taken to writing the date of which I place my letters in the "mailbox" on the envelopes below my address. I keep from being angered and frustrated by remembering to see the irony of it all: These people, having reduced all of us (inmates) to a level, in their minds of sub-human, often fail to realize the impact of their ineffective execution of their "jobs." (On the inmates, that is.) It has been my experience that my life is viewed, via my mail, like some sort of "reality entertainment." Some idiotic (prison) officers, not realizing that I view it as a childish disrespect (unintentional, but disrespect nonetheless), will actually comment on the subject of one of my letters, photographs, or a phone call they monitored: "So, Brown, what do you think about..." they'll ask, as if I don't understand the question's genesis. Regardless, I get a laugh out of it when I realize that certain aspects of my life are more interesting and exciting then these "free" men. It's pathetic. Really.

Rapper Anarae "X-Raided" Brown is an old friend of Billy Jam's and has been communicating with him since he was first incarerated a decade ago. Brown, who is currently in lockdown until July, is imprisoned in Corcorcan State Prison, California, where he has another twenty years of time to serve on his sentence. This short excerpt from his most recent letter to Billy is the first in a new series on this site.