‘Hot Boy’ rapper Bobby Shmurda gets 7-year prison sentence
NEW YORK (AP) — Bobby Shmurda, a rapper once on the rise thanks to a viral music video that popularized the “Shmoney dance,” was sentenced to seven years in prison on Wednesday after claiming he was railroaded into taking a guilty plea on charges he conspired with a violent drug gang.
“I want to withdraw my plea,” a defiant Shmurda said during his sentencing in a Manhattan courtroom. “I was forced by my attorney to take the plea. I was forced.”
New York state court Justice Abraham Clott denied the request and imposed the seven-year term that was agreed to as part of a plea deal that spared Shmurda from going to trial on multiple counts carrying penalties that could have put him behind bars for decades.
The 22-year-old Shmurda, whose birth name is Ackquille Pollard, is best known for “Hot Boy,” a gritty song with rhymes about gunplay.
He and Chad “Rowdy Rebel” Marshall — another aspiring hip-hop artist who also pleaded guilty in the same case — gained notoriety with their performance in the “Shmoney dance” video, which has nearly 15 million YouTube views.
Authorities arrested Shmurda in late 2014 after he left a recording studio near Radio City Music Hall, only days after he performed “Hot Boy” for a national television audience on “Jimmy Kimmel Live.”
Investigators found two handguns and a small amount of crack cocaine in a car in which he was riding, authorities said.
An indictment charged Shmurda and more than 15 defendants with a variety of crimes including murder, attempted murder, assault and drug dealing.
Shootings by the gang left one rival dead, injured an innocent bystander sitting on a folding chair outside a Brooklyn home and caused pandemonium outside a nightclub in Miami Beach, Florida, authorities said.
The court papers also alleged that Pollard once fired a gun toward a crowd of people outside a barbershop in Brooklyn.