Oakland rapper charged with sex trafficking


Illustration by Brittany England


Louis LaVenture,
News and Sports Editor

Four months ago, Oakland rapper Joshua Richard Durham — known as “Five Hunnet” — was hard at work on a hip-hop album called “Five Star Lifestyle.” Durham had been working with Curtis Young, the son of legendary producer Dr. Dre, and several other Los Angeles artists in an attempt to create a bridge between the two areas. In a video interview in July at a Spotify publicity event in LA, Durham talked with Young about his plans.

“I been in the game for a long time,” Durham said. “This project is a result of a lot of hard work and it really marks the connection of the Bay and LA.” According to Durham, he signed a deal with Universal Distribution to release the album, the most recent project in a lengthy rap career that dates back to the early 2000s, according to his website.[mks_pullquote align=”left” width=”300″ size=”24″ bg_color=”#ffffff” txt_color=”#141414″]”This project is a result of a lot of hard work and it really marks the connection of the Bay and LA”  -Durham[/mks_pullquote]

“Five Star Lifestyle” has yet to be released, and may never be. According to the Pittsburg Police Department, Durham was charged in late October with human trafficking of a minor, forced oral copulation with a minor, having sex with a minor and providing drugs to a minor to keep her under his control. Durham pleaded not guilty to all of the charges at his first court appearance on Oct. 28 in Martinez, and his bail was set at $1.2 million. He is still in custody.

Durham’s plans to finish the album are now on hold indefinitely, which will leave Durham far from his comfort, the studio, which has been home for him. He has produced projects for himself and several Bay Area rappers like The Jacka, Husalah, San Quinn, Rydah J. Klyde and HD. Durham used several studios throughout the Bay Area and produced and recorded songs at several local facilities including 51 Hertz in Hayward.

“He was about his money I know that,” said StackBeats, a producer and rapper out of Hayward, who worked with Durham on several songs in the late 2000s in several Hayward studios. “I never saw any women at the studio when we was working. He was trying to get s— done. Make good music and make good money.”

He stated that while the two did smoke marijuana, he never saw any other drugs when he worked with Durham. “I didn’t see him selling no girls,” StackBeats said. “He wasn’t about that when I was f—- with him. Or at least I never saw that kind of s—.”[mks_pullquote align=”right” width=”300″ size=”24″ bg_color=”#ffffff” txt_color=”#141414″] “I didn’t see him selling no girls,” -StackBeats said[/mks_pullquote]

Many of the rapper’s songs reference selling women. The song “It’s The Hustle,” released in August 2012 by The Jacka, features Durham rapping about being a pimp and profiting from it.

“She a snow bunny, she wanna hoe for me, so I told her just hoe for me, it’s five double-O, I’ll never be phony,” Durham raps in the song. In “The Weekend,” a song featuring HD off of his 2014 album “Rags 2 Fortunes,” Durham has a conversation with himself in which he raps about a woman calling him a pimp and Durham confirms it.

The 30-year-old came under investigation by the PPD in August after the victim reached out to family members and told them that he was making her perform sexual acts on others for money. According to PPD, they began to monitor Durham in person and online where they found evidence he was soliciting the minor on social media websites like Instagram.

According to the District Attorney prosecuting the case there was evidence collected by investigators that showed he was soliciting the girl. His attorney, Julian Ross was unavailable for comment at the time of publication. A preliminary hearing has been scheduled for later this month in Contra Costa County.