A rapper best known for facing off with Eminem in “8 Mile” isn’t welcome in Iowa anymore.
In the movie, Gerald “Strike” Sanders’ character loses a rap battle with Eminem’s character. In real life, Sanders has lost a legal battle with Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller.
At issue is a company Sanders runs in which young people recruited from inner-city neighborhoods go door-to-door around the country selling products like magazines, clothes and pet accessories.
Miller’s office claims Sanders directed them to falsely tell people the money went to local charities, a claim Sanders vehemently denies.
“What’s important to know is that I did not send people into the neighborhood to defraud people,” he said.
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Still, Sanders agreed in a settlement released Wednesday to close down Iowa operations of his company, Atlanta-based Inner City Solutions.
In documents, Miller’s office alleged that Inner City Solutions failed to register as a fundraiser, failed to obtain door-to-door sales licenses and did not inform buyers of their right to cancel sales within three days.
He painted it as a win for Iowans.
“This agreement puts a stop to Inner City Solutions’ business in Iowa and ends the company’s claims it raises funds for local charities close to the hearts of many Iowans,” Miller said in a prepared statement.
Sanders said it was more like blackmail.
“We could go after you for these crazy amounts, but if you sign this paper saying you’ll never come back to Iowa we’ll leave it alone,” he said officials told him.
In making the settlement, Miller’s office agreed not to pursue any potential fines, fees or other penalties against Sanders for the alleged violations of the state’s fundraising and door-to-door sales laws.
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Nearly missed his audition because ‘We … thought it was the feds’
In addition to his appearance as rapper Lyckety-Splyt in “8 Mile,” Sanders was part of the early 2000s Detroit rap group The Mountain Climbaz.
He went on to appear in other movies, playing himself in 2013’s “Five Thirteen” and Malcom X in 2015’s “American Sharia.”
But his star turn in “8 Mile” almost never happened, according to media reports.
He told hip-hop magazine XXL that when he went to audition, “I was on the run from the feds at that time.”
“When we pulled up to the [auditions], we actually thought it was the feds,” he told the magazine. “At that time I was in the streets, carrying guns. My manager was like, ‘If they try to arrest you, I’ll shoot in the air, you run!'”
Then, just before he was scheduled to shoot the scene with Eminem, he was arrested on an attempted murder charge and the movie’s star had to step in.
“Em done bailed me out on my attempted murder case,” he told XXL.
Daniel Lathrop is a staff writer on the Register’s investigative team. Reach him at (319) 244-8873 or email@example.com. Follow him at @lathropd on Twitter and facebook.com/lathropod.