On Friday, August 14, 2009 Platinum-selling recording artist/bestselling author Corey "C-Murder" Miller was sentenced to life without parole after being found guilty of murder earlier in the week. This is the second time that Miller, who maintains his innocence, has been convicted of this crime; however, over the past few years he has begun a dialogue through his work that is not going to be stopped in his absence. Part of the movement to keep Miller's positive influence on the world alive will be led by Cyrus Webb, President of Shadow Play Entertainment/Conversations Book Club and the host of Conversations LIVE! Radio.
"Cee has managed to do something that few in Hip Hop have accomplished," says Webb,35. "He made it cool to read and to believe that no matter what you have done in your life, it's never too late for you to make a difference."
One year after Platinum-selling recording artist Corey "C-Murder" Miller was convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison Webb began writing about the rapper's life. What was supposed to originally be a series of articles for his online magazine about the person he knew C-Murder to be has grown to a point where he has decided to turn it into a book.
"I think it's really unfortunate what has happened to Cee since the trial and conviction," he says. Webb originally met the rapper in 2006 and was able to work with him on a literacy project, even starting a book club together in New Orleans. In 2008 the two hosted a weekly radio show called TRU Conversations and participated in online chats with young people to encourage them to do their best and discuss the choices they made. Cee and Webb last corresponded in early 2009. (Listen to Webb's radio interview with Miller here: Here is a radio interview done to mark the event. )
"There is so much more to him than what has been written about on blogs, turned into jokes about his name and even what it is alleged that he did," says Webb. "He admits he was no saint, but everyone deserves to have their story told. That is what I want to do: give a fair portrait of the man so many only knew through his music and his name." In March 2010 Cyrus started talking with people who had either interviewed or knew Cee, fans impacted by his music and even those impacted by his work in the community to help young people.
"In April 2009 Cee held a press conference addressing the issue of senseless violence," says Webb. "In a statement read at the event, he said this: 'I stand before you today a new man that's ready, willing, able to do everything in my power to bring an end to these senseless murders. Get it right, this movement is not about Corey Miller, or anything other person. It's about our kids, our future, and our safety.' "That is why I feel like it would be a great disservice to New Orleans and the world to not let things like this be known," says Webb.
The book will cover Cee's life growing up in New Orleans, the events that would shape his music, the rise of No Limit Records, the controversies that caused headlines, his relationship with his family, the music he produced that changed lives and his new venture into publishing. Webb saw firsthand the impact Cee made not only on publishing with his debut novel DEATH AROUND THE CORNER (published by Kensington Publishing), but the way he was able to bring new people to books.
"The man sold tens of thousands of copies of his book just through Myspace," says Webb. He was so impressed with what C-Murder did with his book that in 2007 he wrote the judge on his case and asked that he be allowed to visit Mississippi to promote it. Though Cee was on house arrest, the request was granted and over 200 books were sold in just the two-day visit, making headlines nationwide. In 2008 Webb was also brought on as the tour coordinator for rapper Jacki-O when her book GROWN & GANGSTA was published by TRU Publishing, becoming its first release.
No release date has been set, however the tentative title is 'C-MURDER: A TRU Soldier's Journey.' Webb hopes to wrap up the writing of the book in November 2010 and is now reaching out to C-Murder's family to see if they want to be a part of the project. This includes famous brothers Master P and Silkk the Shocker who were a part of the No Limit clique. "It would be nice to have their support and blessing on the project," says Webb, "but it is an unauthorized biography. Regardless of whether I am able to speak with them or not, the project will go forth. I feel as though I owe that to Cee and his fans."
Cyrus Webb has been involved in the arts since 1999 and has worked in promoting literacy and the importance of education. Webb began hosting the radio show Conversations LIVE in July 2003 and has interviewed some of the biggest names in entertainment as well as rising stars. His co-ed book club Conversations Book Club began in November 2006 and has been nationally recognized for its commitment to promoting reading and conversations about important issues. As President of the PR firm Shadow Play Entertainment, Webb also represents over a dozen authors and public figures including actor/author/recording artist Tray Chaney (Poot from HBO's The Wire), Bigg Marv (cousin of M. C. Hammer and co-star of A&E's HAMMERTIME), recording artist/author Jacki-O and actress/producer/author Cherie Johnson (Punky Brewster/Family Matters).
Those who want to be interviewed for the project can contact Cyrus Webb to do so. To stay updated on the project, visit www.cyruswebb.com. Cyrus Webb can be reached at email@example.com or 601.896.5616.