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Wednesday, October 29, 2008

BMF rapper Bleu DaVinci sentenced

Barima "Bleu DaVinci" McKnight, the rapper who became the face of the Black Mafia Family, was sentenced in federal court today for handling cash and cocaine for the drug-ring-turned-hip-hop label.

McKnight and nine other co-defendants — most notably Sean "Diddy" Combs' cousin Darryl "Poppa" Taylor — were scheduled for sentencing today, though at least one of them will be sentenced tomorrow because proceedings ran long.

BMF's leaders, Demetrius "Big Meech" Flenory and Terry "Southwest T" Flenory, were indicted separately in Detroit, where they birthed their organization before moving to hubs in Atlanta and L.A. Last month, the Flenory brothers were sentenced to 30 years in prison.

McKnight received a five-year sentence — eight months less than the government's recommendation, due in part to the fact that he agreed to share information with authorities. That information was not useful, however, because the government already had built most of its case against BMF.

McKnight also was not willing to testify against other defendants.

"He would have liked to have cooperated if he could have," his attorney, David MacKusick, said. "But he didn't have any useful information."

McKnight released one album, The World is BMF's, on Big Meech's record label. Early in his career, he performed alongside such rappers as Young Jeezy, who also has been linked to BMF. Jeezy has not been charged with a crime in relation to the cocaine crew.

A tearful McKnight addressed the court at the end of the sentencing. He said he got involved in BMF the record label as a rapper — and took a detour into BMF the cocaine ring. He also said that Big Meech, who treated him like a little brother, tried to steer him away from the cocaine trade.

"Demetirus did not show me that part of his world when I first met him," McKnight said. "I got onto the wrong side of the track."

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