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Loon, a former Bad Boy Records artist, was one a buzzing fixture on the Hip-Hop scene around the turn of the century. Long removed from his rap glory, the Harlem rapper now known as Amir Junaid Muhadith is currently serving time and prison and is the focus of a new profile by Playboy magazine.

Born Chauncey Hawkins, Loon’s life was a troubled one. His parents, William “Hamburger” Hughley and Carol Hawkins, ran Harlem’s 116th Street heroin trade and the family had close ties to kingpin Nicky Barnes. Eventually, Muhadith’s mother succumbed to a crack habit and her son turned to dealing drugs in Harlem just as she did.

Muhadith shared in the interview that his mother’s addiction led to her stealing from her son, which got him in hot water with local dealers he owed money to. The pair made a pact that if she stopped using drugs then he’d stop selling them, which sparked his budding rap career.

Other highlights from the piece include how Muhadith’s involvement in ghostwriting for Sean “P. Ddddy” Combs’ The Saga Continues… album gave him the incentive to keep creating after the Mase-helmed Harlem World project failed to blow up in the way many thought it would. There is also deeper insight on Muhadith’s arrest in 2011 in Brussels, long after he denounced Hip-Hop and became an Islamic scholar and lecturer.

The entire piece, The Rise and Fall of Loon: How Loon, Once Puff Daddy’s Right-Hand Hit Maker, Became a Muslim—and Then a Convict,” can be found by following this link.

Playboy September 2016 The Rise and Fall of Loon Opening Pages 96 97 LO

Photo: Playboy