Remembering G. Dep, the Rapper Who Confessed to a 17-Year Old Cold Case

(Photo by Suzi Pratt/WireImage)

Among the standout tracks on Lil Wayne’s Tha Carter V, the long awaited and oft delayed fifth album in the rapper’s conceptual discography, the highlight might just be “Uproar,” a ridiculously bouncy track that is as much of a throwback to Wayne’s glory days as it is a sign of the musician’s continued evolution.

Of note, though, isn’t just the song’s lyrics — but also the beat, produced by Swizz Beatz and a reimagining of G. Dep’s “Special Delivery” beat, a 17-year old song that reigned supreme over the NYC airwaves in the early 2000s (signed to Bad Boy Records, G. Dep was a Harlem native). What’s so fascinating about a remixed “Special Delivery” is two-fold: Wayne uses the beat as he would a freestyle, nimbly interweaving bars throughout the boombap-cum-keyboard laden sample; and the release of “Uproar” brings G. Dep (born Trevell Coleman) back to the current pop culture fold.

As chronicled by Jennifer Gonnerman for New York Magazine, Coleman confessed in 2010 to a cold case murder committed in 1993; Coleman pled guilty to second-degree murder, revealing how he shot a man three times and fled the scene without knowing whether the individual died. In his confession, Coleman outlined why he decided to suddenly come forward: “The reason I turned myself in was because I felt awful about what I did and I wanted to make it right for this guy’s family.”

Gonnerman deftly reports on Coleman, his rise to G. Dep fame, and his current incarceration (at Elmira Correctional Facility until at least 2025), and it’s worth revisiting the 2012 profile in light of Lil Wayne’s “Special Delivery” revival.

At times, his life felt like a series of endless internal calculations, all part of an effort to, as he later explained, “balance myself out.” If he bought a coat, he might scribble on one pocket with a marker before putting it on, just to deprive himself of the chance to wear something completely new. He never had much money, and he was so determined to give away what he did have that a few times he stuffed bills into the coin slots of pay phones, then walked away. Afterward, he’d feel a little better—“I did think, Well, okay, now I don’t have to feel like I have too much regret,” he says—but the relief was only temporary.

Coleman and his wife had separated, but he still stopped by to visit his 7-year-old sons. Some days, he’d be seated with them at the table, sharing a meal, thinking how blessed he was to have such beautiful boys, and suddenly be seized by guilt. Did the man he shot at have any kids? What happened to them? And why should he get to spend time with his kids if there was a chance he’d robbed another child of his father?

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