When hit rapper Bobby Shmurda (born Ackquille Pollard) was initially tried and sentenced to prison in 2016, it came as a shock to many of his fans. The artist had recently been signed to Epic Records after his song "Hot N---a" went viral, and his debut studio album was set to release that year.
Why did Bobby Shmurda get seven years in prison?
In 2014, Shmurda was arrested as part of a raid of Quad Studios in Manhattan where police discovered 21 guns, crack cocaine, and marijuana. He was also arrested on charges that he was the suspected ringleader of a gang known as "GS9."
According to The Washington Post, Shmurda was charged with conspiracy to commit murder, reckless endangerment, and drug and gun possession. He was arrested with 14 other people, some of whom were charged with similar crimes.
Initially, his charges could have resulted in a sentence with anywhere from eight to 25 years in prison, though Shmurda accepted a plea deal, reducing his sentencing to only seven years.
According to Rolling Stone, Shmurda attempted to withdraw his plea deal before his final sentencing, claiming he'd been forced to accept it.
"I want to withdraw my plea,” he said during his sentencing according to the outlet. “I was forced by my attorney to take the plea. I was forced.”
However, his request to withdraw the plea was denied, and Shmurda was sentenced to seven years in prison in 2016.
Bobby Shmurda is expected to be released in February 2021.
When Shmurda was initially sentenced, he had two years docked off his time, as his record label refused to bail him out from jail, despite the expectation that they would. At the time, it was only expected that he would serve three and a half more years of his sentence.
However, after issues with the parole board for years, as well as measures taken related to COVID-19, Bobby's release from prison has been shifted multiple times. Now, according to court documents, he is finally set to be freed.
Shmurda had a parole hearing set for August and his conditional release date was set for Aug. 4. With months removed from that initial date, Bobby is apparently finally set to be freed on Feb. 23, 2021.
"Somebody said when Bobby Shmurda walk outta prison his hat gon return to him like Thor’s hammer," one Twitter user tweeted about his potential release.
"Bobby Shmurda’s comeback music video will break the internet. It will be a cultural reset. There’s no way around this," another fan tweeted, and so far, it has indeed. Taking to Instagram in the early hours of Feb. 22, Bobby's team shared a preview of what seems to be his first song post-release, accompanied by scenes from the famed movie King of New York. Since the clip was posted, Bobby's page finally surpassed 1 million followers.