As New Orleans rappers Kane & Abel ready a fall tour with Mystikal to support their fourth album, Most Wanted, they also plan to finalize a plea bargain in a federal drug case that made the identical twins targets of a criminal investigation.
In 1999 Kane & Abel (born David and Daniel Garcia, respectively) became entangled in a federal probe into the activities of convicted New Orleans drug kingpin Richard Pena. Investigators alleged that Kane & Abel distributed cocaine for Pena, a convicted murderer who is serving a life sentence. During the investigation, the rappers were asked to testify against No Limit Records CEO Master P (born Percy Miller), but the rappers refused. Master P was never charged in the case.
In June, Kane & Abel agreed to a plea bargain that if it's approved by U.S. District Judge Sarah Vance in December would allow the brothers to plead guilty to drug possession with intent to distribute. Under the agreement, they would serve six months in a prison boot camp and the rest of the 24-month sentence in a halfway house or home detention.
The brothers would have to participate in a public service campaign that would include putting anti-drug inserts in future CDs produced by their label for five years, filming a 15-second television public service announcement and preaching anti-drug messages at Louisiana schools, according to the proposed agreement.
In a court document, the brothers stated that they received 10 kilograms of cocaine from Pena from November 1996 to April 1997. The admission is conditional on the judge's approval of the punishment proposed to in the plea agreement, Westling said.
The lawyer called the plea agreement a "business decision" for the 24-year-old Garcia brothers.
"My concern has always been what the government could have shown a jury and what they could prove," Westling said.
"If [the government] could persuade the jury to believe their version, [Kane & Abel] could have spent life in prison," he said. Other clients who faced similar charges have faced 10-year-plus sentences, depending on their criminal records, he said.
"The agreement reflects our position that this is in the best interest of justice," said U.S. Attorney Eddie Jordan Jr. "We understand that the form of punishment is unusual ... [but] we believe that the way that it has been crafted, we will be able to reach a number of young people."
Kane & Abel said they were advised by their lawyer not to comment on the case.
The rappers, who rose to fame as Master P's No Limit soldiers, also will be on tour this fall with former No Limit labelmate Mystikal to support their fourth album, Most Wanted.
Kane & Abel released The 7 Sins (1996) and Am I My Brother's Keeper(1998) while part of No Limit Records. They made guest appearances on other No Limit artists' projects, such as C-Murder's "Soldiers" (Life or Death, 1998).
The brothers formed the label Most Wanted Empire in 1999, which produced Rise to Power, a 21-cut LP that was recorded in three weeks because the brothers feared they would be jailed before they could complete the album, they said and distributed by Elektra. This year, the fledgling label inked a multimillion dollar distribution deal with Distribution North America.
Most Wanted features the rump-shaking rap song "Shake It Like a Dog" (RealAudio excerpt). That first single shows the album's emphasis on street-friendly beats, the rappers said this week.
"Coming out independently, we knew that we had to make an album that was real true to our fanbase and that was real," Abel said, adding that the duo has sold more than 1.5 million records throughout the years with virtually no radio or video play.
"It's more of a rugged, uptempo, intense [sound], and that is what we wanted," he said.
Most Wanted is due Sept. 26. The tour extends from September to October. Venues will be announced later, Most Wanted Empire spokesperson Vickie Charles said.
Kane & Abel tour dates:
Sept. 4; Shreveport, La.
Sept. 5; Baton Rouge, La.
Sept. 67; New Orleans, La.
Sept. 89; Houston, Texas
Sept. 1011; Dallas, Texas
Sept. 12; Little Rock, Ark.
Sept. 13; Memphis, Tenn.
Sept. 1415; St. Louis, Mo.
Sept. 16, 18; Chicago, Ill.
Sept. 19; Milwaukee, Wis.
Sept. 20; Detroit, Mich.
Sept. 2122; Cleveland, Ohio
Sept. 23; Dayton, Ohio
Sept. 24; Cincinnati, Ohio
Sept. 25; Indianapolis, Ind.
Sept. 26; Louisville, Ky.
Sept. 27; Nashville, Tenn.
Sept. 2829; Atlanta, Ga.
Sept. 30; Birmingham, Ala.
Oct. 1; Jackson, Miss.
Oct. 2; Mobile, Ala.
Oct. 3; Pensacola, Fla.
Click HERE to download Kane & Abel's "Shake It Like A Dog" from sonicnet.com's free downloads page.