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Jay-Z Gets Probation

Rapper given three years probation for 1999 stabbing

December 7, 2001 12:00 AM ET

Two years after Jay-Z was accused of assault, the rapper has been sentenced to three years probation. The charge stems from the December 1, 1999 stabbing of record producer Lance Rivera at Manhattan Kit Kat Club.

Jay-Z, whose real name is Shawn Carter, initially pleaded not guilty to the charges, which could have put him behind bars for fifteen years, if convicted. This past October, Jay-Z admitted to the stabbing and changed his plea to guilty, striking a deal to ensure the probation sentence.

According to the police report, Jay-Z stabbed Rivera twice with a five-inch knife after accusing him of making and selling counterfeit copies of one his recordings. Rivera, meanwhile, settled out of court with Jay-Z for between $500,000 and $1 million.

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Song Stories

“Bird on a Wire”

Leonard Cohen | 1969

While living on the Greek island of Hydra, Cohen was battling a lingering depression when his girlfriend handed him a guitar and suggested he play something. After spotting a bird on a telephone wire, Cohen wrote this prayer-like song of guilt. First recorded by Judy Collins, it would be performed numerous times by artists incuding Johnny Cash, Joe Cocker and Rita Coolidge. "I'm always knocked out when I hear my songs covered or used in some situation," Cohen told Rolling Stone. "I've never gotten over the fact that people out there like my music."

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