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11/9/2003

Ex-worker raps Enron in new CD

By Lee Hockstader and Karin Brulliard
The Washington Post

Like practically everyone else who worked at Enron, David Tonsall lost much of his retirement savings, not to mention his job, when the company went under. Now he’s out for payback, and not in a court of law.

Tonsall, 39, an engineer who climbed the corporate ladder at Enron for five years, is at work on a rap CD whose lyrics bear a clear warning for former Enron Chairman Kenneth Lay and former CEO Jeffrey Skilling.

“Skilling, going to find you, rain, sleet or snow/There’s nowhere on Earth that you can go,” he raps in the title track, “Corporate America.” At another point in the song, he says: “Corporate America, time to undress/You’re the reason the country’s stuck in a mess/You pay off politicians to release your stress/From this day on you’d better wear a vest.”

Born in Washington, Tonsall said he grew up with rap music but never gave a thought to rapping until after he lost his job at Enron, where his wife also worked. He started a small engineering company but had enough time on his hands to write about 20 rap songs.

The CD is scheduled for release Dec. 3, two years to the day after Enron laid off Tonsall and 4,000 other workers.

Tonsall, who is going by the hip-hop name “NRun,” doesn’t deny that the CD was inspired partly by vengeance. On his Web site, www.nrunwrekords.com, he advises “all you SOBs” behind Enron’s collapse: “Beware.”

“Jeff Skilling and Ken Lay, nothing’s happened to these guys,” he said. “These guys are walking around Houston. Some kid takes a Coke out of a grocery store, they’re in handcuffs. I feel a disparity.”