Who Is Kafani? Meet The Oakland Rappr Indicted For His Alleged Role In A Wire Scam

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Who Is Kafani? Meet The Oakland Rappr Indicted For His Alleged Role In A Wire Scam
Entertainment And News

Amir Rashad, better known by his stage name of Kafani, is perhaps best known to the hip hop world as one-half of the lyrical duo Babyface Assassins. What's more, thanks to his affiliation with Thizz Entertainment, he has a bit of a "co-sign" from the late Mac Dre — and credibility of that magnitude is all but a blessing in the world of rap music. 

But now, he's facing a set of legal problems unlike any hip hop has ever seen before. He's been arrested and charged for his alleged role in a wire fraud ring, and if convicted, is looking at serious jail time. 

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So who is Kafani and what's going on with these charges? Let's look at what we know about this whole situation. 

1. Who is Kafani? He has a pretty well-established rap career. 

As part of the so-called Bay Area movement for hip hop, Kafani has more than made a name for himself. Beginning with 2007's Money's My Motivation, Kafani has gone on to release four solo studio albums, four solo EPs, and three solo mixtapes. With Rayven Justice of The Justice Brothers, too, he's released an album called Both Side of the Tracks

2. He's been arrested on weapons charges.

Back in 2008, when he was first starting to gain traction in the hip hop world, Kafani was arrested on weapons and drug charges following a high-speed chase with the Oakland area police. While he was ultimately able to escape from those charges without any major damage to his career, it was an unfortunate sign of things to come for him. 

3. Kafani has been paralyzed from the waist down since 2013. 

The beef that Kafani had with fellow Bay Area rapper Philthy Rich went from the studio to the streets in 2013. On September 29th of that year, Kafani was on his way to shoot a music video for the "diss track" (a song designed to insult the receiver) called "Philthy You A Verse Lick." At 11:35 p.m. on that day, Kafani was shot five times by an unknown assailant. Though his attempted killers were never caught, he survived the shooting after he was taken to an Oakland area hospital. However, he remains paralyzed from the waist down since that day. 

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4. His cousin's son was fatally shot — and he was thought to be involved in it. 

In 2011, 1-year-old Hiram Lawrence was shot in the head and killed on Willow Avenue in Oakland, CA. Lawrence was one of eight people that were fatally killed in a shooting in that area on that day. However, because Lawrence was the son of Kafani's cousin, Kafani was immediately looked at as a prime suspect in the shooting — as well as the potential intended target. However, the rapper made clear that he wasn't in the area on the day of the shooting, and it was unclear why the child was amongst the eight who were shot and killed. Ultimately, it was determined that Lawrence, and the other victims, were the unfortunate casualties of a drive-by shooting.

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5. Kafani was arrested for allegedly running a multi-million dollar fake loan ring.

On February 25, 2020, Kafani, along with Susan Arreola-Martin, Christopher Pool, and Tyrone Jones, were arrested and charged with their alleged parts in a multi-million dollar fake loan ring. According to the complaint, all four of the defendants stole victims' identities, opened up bank accounts in their victims' names, and even went so far as to file for refinance loans in the victims' names using the victims' own homes as collateral. In one instance, a victim reported having $325,000 in a loan taken out in his name; in another, a victim's name was used to obtain a bar of gold valued at over $1 million. 

6. He denies his involvement.  

“You can’t believe what the news is talking about,” he said in an IGTV video you can see below.

“There’s a lot of false allegations in that news s**t. I’m just letting everybody know, you’re innocent until proven guilty. You feel me? But the end of the day, all that they was talking about, it take 12 to prove that. Whatever they talkin’ about, all that s**t is lies from my ex making up stories and sending emails to my P.O. and all that stupid s**t … sending tips to the FBI,” Kafani said.

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Bernadette Giacomazzo is an editor, writer, publicist, and photographer whose work has appeared in Teen Vogue, People, Us Weekly, The Source, XXL, HipHopDX, The Los Angeles Times, The New York Post, BET.com, and more.