Jay-Z’s new album dropped last week and critic Chris Richards notes in today’s Washington Post review of “Magna Carta … Holy Grail” that Hova goes local with a reference in one track.
On a track called “Tom Ford” (as in the clothing designer), the rapper namechecks notorious D.C. gangster Wayne “Silk” Perry. It’s a reference to the hitman who terrorized the city two decades ago and earned a reputation as “the Michael Jordan of the murder game” from Don Diva magazine.
Here’s Jay-Z’s take:
Hands down got the best flow, sound I’m so special
Sound boy burial, this my Wayne Perry flow
Y’all know nothing about Wayne Perry though
District of Columbia, guns on y’all Tumblrs
So let’s prove Jay-Z wrong and learn about Perry.
Born on L Street in Southwest D.C. in 1962, Perry robbed a bank at age 16 while also attending Woodrow Wilson High School. He got kicked out and headed to Randall High School. He would later brag to Don Diva that he’d beaten the baseball coach with a bat at practice, bringing an abrupt end to his time in D.C. Public Schools.
In 1989, he joined forces with a D.C. drug lord by the name of Alberto ‘Alpo’ Martinez, whom he would serve as a merciless hitman. In the years that immediately followed, Perry and Martinez unleashed hell on the streets of Southwest D.C. while pushing cocaine for the Martinez Organization, a drug ring hammering D.C., Maryland, Virginia and New York.
As 1992 came to a close, law enforcement nabbed Perry on a charge of selling an illegal substance. Then they added a murder charge, for the killing of Garrett “Gary” Terrell the year before.
The feds nailed Perry and two co-defendants with a 27-count indictment, including eight homicides in which Perry was specifically named. Despite announcing their intention to seek the death penalty in a 1993 trial, Perry avoided becoming D.C.’s first death penalty case since 1971. Before the case went to trial, he cut a plea, copping to five murders and receiving five consecutive life sentences and an additional five years of probation, for good measure.
His admitted victims were Domenico Benson, Yolanda Burley, Evelyn Carter, Alveta Hopkins and Terrell.
He’s currently in prison in Colorado and has changed his name to Nkosi Shaka Zulu El. Guess that new name was too much of a mouthful for Jay-Z.