Joseph Yacteen, arrested in August 2005 after a crime spree that included three attempted car-jackings and a shooting, pleaded guilty to attempted first-degree murder in Denver District Court on July 18. And how did he plead guilty? With "extreme indifference," son! But Yacteen's I-just-don't-give-a-fuck-swagger should come as no surprise to those who know the real man behind the plea. Just ask singer/songwriter Mark Cohn, the man he shot.
Fresh from a performance at the Denver Botanic Gardens on August 7, 2005, Cohn was shot in downtown Denver when he ran afoul of a Yacteen car-jacking attempt. Or maybe the singer was targeted because he was a snitching-ass bitch. That type of behavior has been know to irk Denver hip-hop/rap/Christian artist Lebanon Joe, aka Joseph Yacteen.
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Don't believe us? Check out his myspace profile . In a track called "Lebanon Bombs," Yacteen asserts that he's been known to "kill those who turn stool pigeons." He also raps, "Put that bitch on all fours/After I bust, the bitch is all yours" -- but fortunately for Cohn, the evening never veered in that direction.
"It was kind of interesting in the studio," says Curious Emcee, a local jungle luminary who produced that Yacteen track. "I had heard Joe free-flow a lot, and he was on point, but he never did anything in the studio. I was working with some cat on a track I produced, and Lebanon came in, took his shirt off and free-flowed for like 45 minutes. He had a gun in his hand that he was waving the whole time; it was nuts. From that, I was able to record some tidbits, do some magic on it, and the song was done."
The track, which is actually called "Give It to Me Baby" -- not "Dead Man Walking in Memphis" -- found its way onto Curious's second album, My Team, and Lebanon Joe was so pleased that he discussed hiring Curious to produce a full-length album. But the two never got the chance to collaborate again, because a few weeks later, Yacteen was nabbed for shooting Cohn. And now it appears that date may be tabled indefinitely, as Yacteen is due for sentencing October 2. But hey, a little prison time never hurt a rap career, right?
And as Magic Cyclops, one of Lebanon Joe's twelve myspace friends, says, "If I heard that 'Walking in Memphis' song one more time, hell, I would have shot Marc Cohn, too!" --Adam Cayton-Holland