Rootabang blew up after 2nd sex case, signed with Jay Z and then went to prison

CLEVELAND, OH – Emcee and rap artist “Rootabang” could almost be “Djay” in the film “Hustle & Flow” as the character portrayed by another Clevelander, actor Terrence Howard.  Rootabang’s out in Cleveland’s streets hustling for long money and creates a song called “Money Long.”  Djay’s was “It’s Hard Out Here for a Pimp.”

Rootabang was charged with rape and pled guilty to gross sexual imposition in his March 2015 forcible encounter with Paris Thomas.

Djay’s song becomes popular while he’s in jail for beating the shit out of another rapper, Skinny Black.  Rootabang’s song becomes popular while he’s in between a jail term for a March 2015 rape and an August 2015 federal indictment for ripping off a casino with 16 others.  He didn’t learn to keep his dick in his pants from his 2011 rape and kidnapping indictment and convention; and that 6 month jail sentence.

While free and in between jail sentences in 2017 Rootabang seemed to be headed away from the street life.    He invested his long money into marketing himself as an emcee and rapper and wrote “Money Long.”  The song and Cleveland-focused video was amazingly-successful and generated over 1 million views on YouTube that made him popular.   His “storybook-like” success, locally, opened the door for him to sign with Jay Z’s Roc Nation in May 2018.   His fans were cheering him on as it seemed as life was about to turn-around.

Jay Z (shown here on CNN) has been signing recording artists with criminal records for all types of violent offenses and been sending them into black schools across the nation as “role models.” Roc Nation signed Tavio Manteze Jack, Jr. to a contract after his second rape conviction; and after he was already under indictment by federal authorities along with 16 others for stealing from the Horseshoe Casino. Right before “Rootabang” was sent to federal prison the sex offender performed at Shaw High School. None of the district’s faculty thought to check his criminal record to see he wasn’t allowed in the school.

On his Instagram page Rootabang is seen celebrating the Roc Nation contract with his friends.  The conversation is light, excited and funny.  One of the men talks about his GED.  Rootabang observes that his “whole name” is on the Roc Nation contract with Jay Z’s label.   He jokes that, “My whole name ain’t been on nothing but an indictment and some child support papers. 

A friend comments that it’s “amazing” and says “nobody has ever done this.”  The “this” is the young artist’s stunning “come up” in between state and federal trials and two jail addresses.

There’s a moment in the Instagram celebration where Rootabang is silent and appears to be thinking about his good fortune in that May 31, 2018 moment knowing he’d be headed to federal prison in July.

As a “tier 1” sex offender, Tavio Manteze Jack, Jr. can’t live within 1000 feet of the schools Jay Z’s Roc Nation sends him to visit to promote his music. By sending the two-time rapist into schools Jay Z’s label has exposed its signed recording artist to another set of legal problems.
Right after he joined Preme Dibiasi in signing with Roc Nation, Rootabang started his 11 month federal sentence for trying to cash stolen checks at the Horseshoe Casino with 16 other people in 2015.  He’s scheduled to be released in June 2019.
After his June federal prison release the recording artist will have to answer to Ohio for why he didn’t register his new address with the state as a sex offender for his 2015 rape conviction.  He’s been charged with “escape.”   
Tavio Manteze Jack, Jr’s 2015 mug shot
Rootabang caught that case in March 2015 after he thought two women in the same house meant a sex buffet for him when only woman wanted to participate.  

The trio met at the Sweetheart’s bar on E. 36th and Superior for a hip hop show.  They had two shots of Hennessy with Rootabang and he joined them at their home where he and Kenyatta or “Miracle” wanted to enjoy each other’s company.  Paris simply wanted to sleep off the alcohol she’d consumed.  Kenyatta Hines was okay with sharing her body with Rootabang.  Her sister, Paris Thomas, was not.

While Paris slept the now two-time rapist decided she’d be his second victim.  When she awoke and realized what he’d done to her body without her consent, Paris complained to police. 

That conviction made him a “tier 1” sex offender who couldn’t live within 1000 feet of the schools he visited on behalf of Jay Z’s Roc Nation to promote his songs to children.  It’s another reality of his life that creates a new set of legal problems for Rootabang that Jay Z’s label may have exposed him to on his federal prison release in June. 

That exposure by Roc Nation, may even turn out to be a silver lining for the hard-luck but lucky rapper.  Jay Z’s vast team of lawyers should have known to check the criminal records and probation requirements of Roc Nation’s roster of artists before sending them on tours that resulted in their violating laws and the terms of their probation.

Eric Jonathan Brewer

Cleveland's most influential journalist and East Cleveland's most successful mayor is an East Saint Louis, Illinois native whose father led the city's petition drive in 1969 to elect the first black mayor in 1971. Eric is an old-school investigative reporter whose 40-year body of editorial work has been demonstrably effective. No local journalist is feared or respected more.

Trained in newspaper publishing by the legendary Call & Post Publisher William Otis Walker in 1978 when it was the nation's 5th largest Black-owned publication, Eric has published and edited 13 local, regional and statewide publications across Ohio. Adding to his publishing and reporting resume is Eric's career in government. Eric served as the city's highest paid part-time Special Assistant to ex-Cleveland Mayor Michael R. White. He served as Chief of Staff to ex-East Cleveland Mayor Emmanuel Onunwor; and Chief of Communications to the late George James in his capacity as the Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority's first Black executive director. Eric was appointed to serve as a member of the state's Financial Planning & Supervision Commission to guide the East Cleveland school district out of fiscal emergency and $20 million deficit. Former U.S. HUD Secretary Alphonso Jackson told Eric in his D.C. office he was the only mayor in the nation simultaneously-managing a municipal block grant program. Eric wrote the city's $2.2 million Neighborhood Stabilization Program grant application. A HUD Inspector General audit of his management of the block grant program resulted in "zero" audit findings.

As a newspaper publisher, Eric has used his insider's detailed knowledge of government and his publications to lead the FBI and state prosecutors to investigations that resulted in criminal prosecutions of well-known elected officials in Ohio; and have helped realign Cleveland's political landscape with the defeat of candidates and issues he's exposed. Eric's stories led to the indictments of the late Governor George Voinovich's brother, Paul Voinovich of the V Group, and four associates. He asked the FBI to investigate the mayor he'd served as chief of staff for public corruption; and testified in three federal trials for the prosecution. He forced former Cuyahoga County Coroner Dr. Elizabeth Balraj to admit her investigations of police killings were fraudulent; and to issue notices to local police that her investigators would control police killing investigations. Eric's current work has resulted in Cuyahoga County Judge John Russo accepting the criminal complaint he guided an activist to file against 24 civil rights-violating police officers in the city he once led for operating without valid peace officer credentials. USA Today reporters picked up on Eric's police credentials reporting from his social media page and made it national.

Eric is the author of of his first book, "Fight Police License Plate Spying," which examines the FBI and local police misuse of the National Crime Information Center criminal records history database. An accomplished trumpet player and singer whose friendship with Duke Fakir of the Four Tops resulted in his singing the show's closing song, "Can't Help Myself": Curtis Sliwa of New York's Guardian Angels counts Eric among his founding chapter leaders from the early 1980's role as an Ohio organizer of over 300 volunteer crime fighters in Cleveland, Columbus and Youngstown, Ohio. For his work as a young man Eric was recognized by Cleveland's Urban League as it's 1983 Young Man of the Year.

Known in Cleveland for his encyclopedic knowledge of government and history, and intimately-connected with the region's players, every local major media outlet in Cleveland has picked up on one of Eric's stories since 1979. There is no mainstream newspaper, television or radio outlet in Cleveland that does not include an interview with Eric Jonathan Brewer in its archives over the past 40 years.