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OBITUARIES / Passings / Johnny Jackson

Rapper worked with Tupac

October 10, 2008|From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Johnny Jackson, 39, a rapper, songwriter and music producer for the late hip-hop star Tupac Shakur, died Oct. 3 when he jumped from the second tier of a housing unit in the downtown Twin Towers jail, said Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department spokesman Steve Whitmore. Sheriff's investigators determined he committed suicide, Whitmore said.

Jackson, a resident of Acton, was awaiting sentencing on a felony charge of driving under the influence after pleading no contest, according to the Los Angeles district attorney's office. District attorney spokeswoman Sandi Gibbons said Jackson had been arrested by Glendale police in April on suspicion of DUI and subsequently entered the plea. According to prosecutors, it was his fourth such driving offense since 2001 and that was why the prosecution sought a felony conviction.

Often called Johnny J, Jackson produced the Grammy-nominated song "How Do You Want It" and 10 others for Shakur's "All Eyez on Me" album, one of the best-selling albums of 1996. He also produced and co-wrote for Shakur the song "Never Had a Friend Like Me" for the soundtrack of the 1997 movie "Gridlock'd." Other Jackson-Shakur collaborations included the song "Pour Out a Little Liquor" for the "Above the Rim" soundtrack and "Thug Life" album from 1994.

Jackson also was a producer for rappers Bizzy Bone, WC and Jon B. He released his own rap album, "I Gotta Be Me," in 1995. He and his wife, Capucine, founded a production company called Klock Work Entertainment.

Born in Juarez, Mexico, in 1969, Jackson grew up in Los Angeles and played the drums while attending Washington High School. In 1990 he produced the hip-hop single "Knockin' Boots" for rapper Candyman.

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