Rap-A-Lot Records founder J. Prince has been working tirelessly to free Larry Hoover Sr. from prison. Hoover co-founded the ruthless Chicago street gang, the Gangster Disciples, in the late 1960s and was ultimately arrested for the 1973 murder of William Young. As a result, he was sentenced to 200 years in prison.
Then in 1997, after a 17-year investigation of conspiracy, extortion, money laundering, and running a continuing criminal enterprise by leading the gang from state prison, he received another life sentence. He’s been behind the bars of the United States Penitentiary Administrative Maximum Security Facility in Florence, Colorado ever since.
On Wednesday (July 6), federal court reporter for The Chicago Sun-Times, Jon Seidel, tweeted Hoover had “renewed his bid for a sentencing break” with help from R. Kelly and Bill Cosby attorney Jennifer Bonjean.
As part of Larry Hoover’s most recent bid for freedom, the 71-year-old wrote two letters directed to the judge and the public, again renouncing his affiliation with the Gangster Disciples. As he explained in part, he’s “no longer the Larry Hoover people sometimes talk about, or he who is written about in the papers, or the crime figure described by the government.”
He also scoffed at being revered as a symbol in the streets, acknowledging he knows “anecdotally that some misguided people” continue to elevate him like some kind of deity.
“I wish this were not so,” he wrote. “Regardless, these people are apart from me and do what they do with zero encouragement or direction from me […] To be clear, if I had any ability to influence them, I’d ask that they’d forget me and forsake the gang life forever.
“I have long since renounced my association with any and all criminal organizations and their membership. I am no longer a member, leader, or even an elder statesman of the Gangster Disciples. I want nothing to do with it now and forever.”
Hoover has appeared on the phone from prison on multiple tracks of Geto Boys’ 1996 album The Resurrection, which was recorded at Prince’s studio. Prince was also instrumental in putting the Free Larry Hoover Benefit Concert together featuring former foes Kanye West and Drake. The show took place last December at The Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles — but according to his son Larry Hoover, Jr., Hoover wasn’t exactly happy about it.
“Yeah, he’s aware of it and he has to be concerned because he doesn’t know how it may affect him,” Hoover Jr. told The Drea O Show at the time. “He’s concerned that it may affect him negatively because it’s showing his influence, but his influence is positive. Him being an influential person, it just won’t disappear. I didn’t think it would happen, but it was possible, but not probable.”
Bonjean and fellow attorney Justin Moore wrote in a new motion “the Larry Hoover who graces the cover of the government’s opposition papers … died long ago, notwithstanding the government’s unfounded claim that he harbors a desire to reclaim his title as the king of the Gangster Disciples, an enterprise that bears little resemblance to the organization he built in the 1970s.”