Arioose ‘Blessed’ to be Forgiven by Robbery Victim of Criminal Past

By Lora Neng
September 24, 2012

Five years after Arioose robbed another Haitian at gunpoint, their re-encounter brought a rare and peaceful resolution to a story that could have gone a very different direction. In May 2007, the yet-to-be-made rapper and another masked juvenile robbed Fan-Fan’s convenience store in Elizabeth, New Jersey. After his arrest, Arioose was defended by Karam Nahas, whose clients with a continued record of criminal activity would usually be tried as adults to face a potential sentence of up to 20 years. But when Nahas was given Arioose’s demo CD recorded while in prison with the explanation that the young adult wanted to be a professional music artist, Nahas decided to help Arioose to reform his career.

According to HipHopNews24-7, the criminal lawyer helped Arioose set up recording studio sessions and connect with music engineers Drop and Manny Mercado, who worked with labels such as Universal and Def Jam. Their photographer decided to do a promotional shoot outside the very store whose robbery leading to a subsequent arrest changed Arioose’s life, and there he crossed paths again with Fan-Fan. The two recognized each other instantly. While Fan-Fan’s store had since closed, the man shook hands with Arioose at hearing his accomplishments since the incident and formally forgave the reborn man.

Arioose said, “I was blessed to have the opportunity to confront Fan-Fan outside of the courtroom, man to man, and understand who he was as a person. To shake his hand and understand that I now have his support was a way for me to put closure to my past and move forward with a fresh slate.”

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