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Jay-Z Cops Plea

Rapper pleads guilty to assault charge in 1999 stabbing

October 17, 2001 12:00 AM ET

Rapper Jay-Z (a.k.a. Shawn Carter) pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor assault charge yesterday for stabbing record producer Lance "Un" Rivera nearly two years ago.

Carter was hit with two charges of first-degree assault after he was accused of stabbing Rivera at a party for fellow rapper Q-Tip in December, 1999 at New York City's Kit Kat Club. He initially pleaded not guilty, which could have landed him a fifteen-year prison sentence, if convicted. Because of the altered plea, prosecutors agreed to seek a sentence of three years probation. Carter will be formally sentenced on December 6th.

In an unrelated court date, Carter was cleared on October 16th of weapons possession charges stemming from an April 13th incident in which a firearm was found in a car carrying Carter and some friends. Chauffeur Hamza Hewitt pleaded guilty to third-degree weapons possession charges and received a one-year prison sentence.

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Song Stories

“Nightshift”

The Commodores | 1984

The year after soul legends Marvin Gaye and Jackie Wilson died, songwriter Dennis Lambert asked members of the Commodores to give him a tape of ideas. "And the one from Walter Orange has this wonderful bass line," said co-writer Franne Golde. "Plus the lyric, 'Marvin, he was a friend of mine' ... Within 10 minutes, we had decided it should be something like a modern R&B version of 'Rock 'n' Roll Heaven,' and I just said, 'Nightshift.'" This tribute to the recently deceased musicians was the band's only hit without Lionel Richie, who had left for a solo career.

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