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Guilty Until Proven Innocent





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As He Said ...


As Jay-Z prepares for his upcoming trial on assault charges, the Roc-a-Fella rapper plans to shoot a courtroom-themed video for his new single, "Guilty Until Proven Innocent," in early March.

Jay-Z and director Paul Hunter will shoot the clip in Los Angeles following the Soul Train Music Awards, which will be taped on February 28 at the Shrine Auditorium.

A publicist for Jay-Z said the video shoot was being scheduled in conjunction with the awards so singer/producer R. Kelly, who sings the chorus hook on "Guilty Until Proven Innocent," could participate in the video.

Kelly, who doesn't like to travel outside his home base of Chicago, will be in L.A. to attend the awards show, where he has been nominated in the three categories, including R&B/Soul or Rap Album of the Year for his Coincidentally, Jay-Z's The Dynasty, Roc La Familia will also be vying for that award.

According to Jay-Z's reps, the video will be shot in and around some of the more famous courthouse locations in Los Angeles, although the spokesperson was quick to note that Jay-Z wouldn't appear in all of the scenes and that the clip would not specifically address the pending assault charges.

Jay-Z was arrested in December 1999 and charged with felony assault for allegedly stabbing a music executive during a record release party at Manhattan's Kit Kat Club for Q-Tip's Amplified.

Jay-Z touches on the case in the first two verses of "Guilty Until Proven Innocent": "I know stress, drama, n----z upsettin' my mama/ Arrested, put in the lineup, tryin' to put dents in my armor/ But I'm a survivor, plus I'm liver than most/ Out on bail, fifty thou', still ridin' with toast."

The rapper also chides members of the media for jumping on the story, noting that "Press try to throw dirt on my name, disturbin' my game/ Seemed happy when they heard he was arraigned, glad he's indicted/ Got big money, big lawyers to fight it."

R. Kelly takes up Jay-Z's defense on the chorus, singing "You can't touch me, no you can't touch me/ Jigga, Kelly, not guilty/ Try to charge me, but I'm not guilty."

Jay-Z will be represented in the assault case by Murray Richman, the lawyer currently defending Jamal "Shyne" Barrow in his trial on charges of attempted murder, assault, reckless endangerment and weapons possession.

Jay-Z's trial was originally supposed to start in a Manhattan court this month, but Richman said he will ask for a two-month delay during a pretrial hearing on February 21.

—David Basham

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