It’s been a rough 13 months for Charles Taylor Jr. In January 2008, a federal judge in Miami sentenced “Chuckie,” the Boston-born son of former Liberian warlord Charles Taylor, to 97 years in prison for his role as an enforcer during his father’s reign of terror in the 1990s and early 2000s. (It was the first-ever conviction under the federal government’s anti-torture statute.) This past Friday, another judge ordered Chuckie to pay five of his victims a total of $22 million in damages; the victims testified that they had been tormented with electric shocks to their genitalia, raped at gunpoint, and scalded with molten plastic, to name a few of the alleged atrocities. And with Junior’s father on trial in The Hague for war crimes, things aren’t looking so good for the family.
But Chuckie may envision a silver lining: He’s now free to work full time on his rap career. As Rolling Stone reported in a 2008 profile, “After he fled the collapse of his father’s dictatorship in Liberia, Taylor recorded approximately 20 tracks at a studio called Eclipse Audio in Trinidad.” He sent the magazine one of those tracks, “Angel,” which you can listen to here (halfway down).
It’s more than a little awkward listening to a love song performed by a thug who makes Cam’ron look downright angelic. But if it’s any consolation, Taylor is no N.W.A. You can look for “Angel” and other Taylor tracks in the bargain bin, if they make it that far.