Jay Z diehards should recognize the name Calvin “Klein” Bacote. Hov famously rapped about the Brooklyn street legend on “Allure,” off his The Black Album LP. The lyric was memorable and mysterious at the same time.
“I never felt more alive/ Than riding shotgun in Klein’s green Five/ Until the cops pulled guns,” Hov spits, without divulging much more info. Now the man immortalized in the line has come forward to speak on it. And though MTV News cannot confirm the veracity of the former street figure’s version of events, Bacote claims to have saved Jay from a prison stint.
“That came from a case that he and I caught in ’89,” Bacote told VladTV in a video interview that was posted to the Internet over the weekend. “We were at a party; mayhem just broke out crazy.”
Bacote, who recently wrote the book “Neighborhoods Under Siege: Neighborhoods Under Siege: Memoirs Of A Brooklyn Don,” noted that the party was in Maryland, but didn’t detail exactly what happened besides an alleged fight in which he, Jay and their crew of about a dozen were significantly outnumbered. According to Bacote, when all was said and done, he and the then-unknown rapper were in hot water.
“Long story short, Jay and I wound up being the ones who got caught,” Klein alleges. “We actually got locked up, charged with [attempted] murder, [attempted] murder to maim, battery assault, possession of a deadly weapon.”
Bacote went on to claim that he persuaded the victim to drop the charges on either himself or Jay — but not both. According to Bacote, who already had prior convictions, Jay offered to stand trial in his place. “Jay was like, ‘Yo, Klein, you been through a lot, I don’t really have no record, I could take the weight of the case,’” he said.
Despite Hov’s offer, Klein opted to take the heat because of Jay’s rap potential, he claims: “I kinda thought of the man’s career. I didn’t want him to miss that opportunity.”
Seven years after the incident, Jay would release his classic debut album, Reasonable Doubt, in 1996, while Klein was still serving time. Bacote explained in the VLAD interview he was under federal investigation at the time and strategically disassociated himself from the rapper. “One thing that I never wanted to do while I was in there was have a phone conversation with Jay,” he claimed. “I didn’t want to even have any type of association with him in no kinda way to kinda put him in a bad situations or any type of harm or anything of that nature.”