Seven years ago, the teenage Brooklyn rapper Bobby Shmurda came out of nowhere to become one of the biggest rap stars in New York. Shmurda’s track “Hot N***a,” originally just a freestyle over the beat from a Lloyd Banks track, had gone mega-viral and crossed over onto the pop charts, peaking at #6 on the Billboard Hot 100. But a month after the release of his debut EP Shmurda She Wrote, New York police arrested Shmurda on conspiracy to murder, reckless endangerment, and gun possession charges, sweeping up more than a dozen members of his G59 rap crew at the same time. Since then, Shmurda has been in jail, and he’s spent much of that time awaiting trial. Today, Bobby Shmurda comes home.
After many trial delays, Shmurda finally accepted a plea deal in 2016. He pleaded guilty to fourth-degree conspiracy and second-degree criminal weapons possession, accepting a seven-year sentence. In court at his sentencing, Shmurda said, “I was forced to take this sentence, I did not want to take this sentence. I was forced by my attorney to take this plea.” After being denied bail in 2020, Shmurda has finally been granted his release.
TMZ reports that as of 8:30AM today, he is a free man. Presumably he’s currently with the Migos rapper Quavo, who told Billboard he was planning to pick Shmurda up at Clinton Correctional Facility. (Before his arrest, Shmurda and the Migos were putting together a collaborative mixtape called Shmigo Gang.)
It’s been a long time since Shmurda made his one hit, but he’s returning to a New York rap world that’s been eager for his release for years. In the years that he’s been away, Brooklyn’s drill scene has exploded, and Shmurda’s success prefigured all that. Shmurda’s crewmate and collaborator Rowdy Rebel, arrested in the same NYPD sting, was released from prison in December, and he’s since released a few songs.