Music News

Eric B., whose given name is Eric Barrier, has been jailed in New Jersey since late October due to a 17-year-old warrant.

The producer/DJ and Blue Bloods actor was jailed because he failed to appear in court, according to his attorney, as reports.

The 56-year-old, who was a part of the iconic rap duo Eric B. & Rakim, found out that he had a warrant for his arrest when Vermont state police questioned him last month, according to an attorney, Patrick Toscano of Caldwell.

Paul Bergrin of Nutley, his attorney at the time, told the artist “there was no need to appear on the sentencing date,” Toscano said last week in a letter to the court.

In an unrelated case years later, Bergrin was convicted of murder, cocaine trafficking, racketeering, and other crimes.

“Mr. Bergrin told Mr. Barrier that his case was ‘dismissed’ because he was accepted into PTI (pre-trial intervention),” Toscano wrote in the letter to Judge James Guida.

“When Mr. Barrier asked Mr. Bergrin if he was sure of that, Mr. Bergrin advised him that he definitely did not need to appear and that Mr. Bergrin would be in court on that date to handle everything for him,” states the letter.

The hip-hop artist also claimed that he didn’t receive a letter from the court regarding his negligence to appear.

According to Toscano, Barrier returned to New Jersey, reached out to a lawyer regarding the warrant, and has been in the Bergen County Jail since Oct. 28. The artist even spent his 56th birthday (Nov. 8) in jail last week.

“Indeed, (Barrier) is a highly public figure and currently is a cast member on the television show Blue Bloods and is easily reachable at all times,” Toscano wrote.

Toscano also said that he met with the actor recently and he “was literally at wits end and overcome with anxiety.”

“He advised me that his role on Blue Bloods will be compromised and he will likely have his contract voided if he is not released from the (jail) at this time to explain this entire situation to his producers/directors,” Toscano wrote. Barrier plays Detective Mike Gee on Blue Bloods.

In the late ’80s, Eric B. & Rakim were both influential during the golden age of hip-hop. In 2012, they were nominated for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

Glennisha Morgan is a Detroit-bred multimedia journalist and writer. She writes about intersectionality, hip-hop, pop culture, queer issues, race, feminism, and her truth. Follow her on Twitter @GlennishaMorgan.