Identical twin rappers Kane & Abel will plead not guilty when they appear in court for formal arraignment on drug trafficking charges Tuesday (May 11), according to their attorney, Richard Westling.
The 22-year-old brothers spent Monday afternoon (May 10) in U.S. District Court in New Orleans, after being named last week in a federal indictment linking them to a notorious drug kingpin. They are accused of conspiracy to possess cocaine with intention to distribute.
Kane & Abel (born David and Daniel Garcia, respectively) each were planning to post $75,000 bond early Monday evening. The rappers' pending not-guilty plea was confirmed by Westling, who claims the charges are unfounded.
"Considering the situation, I think they're confident this is all going to work out," Westling said. "It's a very draining experience for anybody to be charged in this kind of case by the federal government with all its power."
The indictments stemmed from an ongoing investigation into an organization led by Richard Pena, a convicted murderer and alleged drug kingpin. Pena pleaded guilty in January to avoid a death sentence and is serving life in prison, according to Scott Ando, a spokesperson for the federal Drug Enforcement Administration.
The DEA has been pursuing Pena's distributors and clients since his organization was shut down in 1997. More than 20 people have been convicted in the case, including three New Orleans police officers, Ando said.
Westling said Kane & Abel knew Pena, who ran Sheska Records, but they didn't know he was a drug dealer at the time.
"Pena held himself out as a music person, and they met him ... at a rap convention here in New Orleans," Westling said. "My understanding is that he kind of sought them out to be close to people who were making it in the business. They had a friendship and they dealt with music issues together, but at the time, Danny and David were college students at Xavier University here, just getting their career off the ground."
The lawyer said Kane & Abel, whose two albums were released by the No Limit label, "have done very well in the music business [and] have no motive to be involved. They have plenty of income from legitimate sources."
Kane & Abel's second album, Am I My Bother's Keeper, debuted at #1 on the Billboard R&B chart in July 1998. It features appearances by several fellow No Limit rappers, including label head Master P, Snoop Dogg, Silkk the Shocker, Mystikal, C-Murder and Mr. Serv-On.
Opening with "Time After Time," a song based on Cyndi Lauper's pop hit of the same name, the album is mixture of seductive beats and melodies enhanced by piano and guitar. It also features sexually explicit lyrics, such as those on
"Out Of Town B's" (RealAudio excerpt).
Kane & Abel were raised in the Bronx, N.Y., and were shuttled among foster homes. By 15 they were living with a family in New Orleans and had taken to rapping as an outlet for their frustrations. Their upbringing "drives the emotion in our music," Kane said in July. "It gives us more of an emotional twist."
This month the twins published "Eyes of a Killer/Behind Enemy Lines," a book containing two novellas they wrote. "Eyes of a Killer" tells the story of a teen caught up in the New Orleans drug underworld.