Mad Rapper Preps Album, Legal Defense

Hip-hop's Deric Angelettie readies solo debut with guests Puff Daddy, Busta Rhymes while facing court date for alleged assault.

NEW YORK -- Hip-hop producer Deric "D-dot" Angelettie, who's

preparing to release a guest-star-studded solo debut album as his

alter-ego, the Mad Rapper, also is facing a big day in court.

Angelettie is scheduled to appear Tuesday (Feb. 16) in Manhattan Criminal Court to answer felony and misdemeanor charges stemming from allegations that he attacked the editor of Blaze, a hip-hop magazine.

The as-yet-untitled Mad Rapper LP -- set to be released in June on Angelettie's own Crazy Cat Records label -- is slated to include some of the biggest names in today's hip-hop scene, including rappers Puff Daddy, Mase, Busta Rhymes, Scarface, Eminem and Jermaine Dupri, Crazy Cat employee Son God said.

A single will be released in May, according to Son God, head of Crazy Cat's street promotion department. (He declined to give his real name.)

Angelettie, of Englewood, N.J., is accused of beating Jesse Washington, editor of the hip-hop magazine Blaze, with a chair last Nov. 16. Washington claimed that Angelettie, along with three other men, beat him because Blaze revealed Angelettie to be the Mad Rapper and printed his picture.

As the Mad Rapper, Angelettie, 30, had anonymously laid down vocals on

several songs released on rap superstar Puff Daddy's Bad Boy Records,

where Angelettie worked as a producer under the name D-dot. Among the

tracks featuring the Mad Rapper's vocals is the "Mad Rapper Intro"

(RealAudio excerpt) on the Bad Boy's Greatest Hits, Volume One album.

After voluntarily surrendering to police Nov. 19, Angelettie entered a

plea of not guilty at his Nov. 19 arraignment on assault and weapons

charges stemming from the alleged beating. He then was released without bail, and the case was adjourned until Tuesday.

Anthony Hubbard, 30, who was charged with participating in the beating,

entered a plea of not guilty to identical charges on the same day and

also was released without bail.

A spokesperson for the Manhattan District Attorney said in November

the men each would face up to 16 years in prison if convicted of both charges.

Two unidentified men accused of participating in the beating remain at large, according to Officer Cheryl Cox of the New York City Police Department's Office of Public Information. "Prospects of additional arrests are slim," she said today (Feb. 12), quoting from a police file on the case.

Representatives of the Manhattan District Attorney's office could not be reached for further comment on the case at press time.

Representatives of Manhattan Criminal Court also could not be reached for comment.

Ian Niles, reportedly Angelettie's lawyer, could not be located for comment on his client's defense, and an employee of Blaze said Washington would be out of the magazine's offices for the next few days.

Some hip-hop observers, including Washington, previously have stated that Angelettie's alleged anger at being exposed as the Mad Rapper made little sense, because the rapper's identity was widely known in the industry.

But Son God said that, while Angelettie was known to be the Mad Rapper within the company, most people outside the label had been unaware of his identity.

Son God declined to directly discuss the charges against Angelettie, but said the producer/rapper was "very cool-headed" and called him "fun to be around [and] polite."

"He's all about business," Son God said of Angelettie.

Son God, who's been a Crazy Cat employee for about a year, said that he liked the tracks he's heard from the Mad Rapper's uncompleted album. "So far, I'd give it four-and-a-half stars," he said, laughing. He added that one track from the album, "You're All Alone," featuring guest rapper Picasso, was already in circulation "on the streets."

The label will promote the upcoming album with "T-shirts, jackets, posters ... whatever it takes to get the Mad Rapper's name out there," Son God said.