The Kidd Creole, a founding member of Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, was sentenced Wednesday to 16 years in prison for fatally stabbing a man in New York City in 2017, the district attorney said.
The rapper, 62, whose real name is Nathaniel Glover, was convicted last month of first-degree manslaughter in the killing of John Jolly on the night of Aug. 1, 2017.
Glover stabbed Jolly, 55, twice with a steak knife after the two exchanged words and there was an argument on East 43rd Street in midtown Manhattan, officials said.
“Mr. Jolly’s death was devastating to his family and those who knew him,” Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg said in a statement. “Every life we lose to violent crime ripples throughout our entire city, and we will continue to ensure everyone in our borough can live their lives with the sense of safety and security they deserve.”
Glover’s attorney, Scottie Celestin, argued that Glover acted in self-defense. He had been charged with murder, but the jury convicted him of manslaughter on April 6.
Prosecutors argued that Glover stabbed Jolly after he became angry because he thought Jolly was gay and was hitting on him. Glover has denied that, saying that he is not an intolerant person and that he feared for his safety.
The New York Times reported that Manhattan state Supreme Court Justice Michele Rodney, who sentenced Glover, appeared to take issue with arguments Celestin made during the trial. Celestin said Glover had felt threatened in part because Jolly was homeless, the newspaper reported.
“A life is a life is a life,” Rodney said, adding that the killing was not “somehow justified because the person is homeless.”
Celestin said the conviction will be appealed.
“He was retreating, and the victim followed behind him,” Celestin said. “I am confident this will be reversed on appeal.”
Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five were hip-hop pioneers known for the highly influential and acclaimed “The Message,” as well as other songs.
The group, including Glover, was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2007. It was the first rap group to be inducted in its history.
Phil Helsel is a reporter for NBC News.
The Associated Press