NEW YORK – Bobby Shmurda, a rapper once promising thanks to a music video that popularized the Shmoney Dance, was released on Tuesday after spending more than four years behind bars on a conviction for a drug gang.
Authorities have confirmed that Shmurda has been released from a New York prison amid speculation whether he would attempt a return to the music industry.
Messages were left with Shmurda’s lawyer on Tuesday. The 26-year-old Brooklyn artist had previously called the affair a sham.
Shmurda, whose birth name is Ackquille Pollard, was best known for “Hot Boy,” a gritty song with rhymes about shootings. He gained notoriety with his performance in the video “Shmoney dance”, which had millions of views on YouTube.
Authorities arrested Shmurda in late 2014 after he left a recording studio near Radio City Music Hall, just days after performing “Hot Boy” for a nationwide TV audience on “Jimmy Kimmel Live” . Investigators found two handguns and a small amount of crack cocaine in a car he was in, authorities said.
An indictment has charged Shmurda and more than 15 accused with various crimes, including murder, attempted murder, assault and drug trafficking. The gang gunfire left a rival dead, injured an innocent bystander sitting in a folding chair outside a Brooklyn home, and caused a pandemonium outside a nightclub in Miami Beach, Florida, authorities said.
Court documents alleged that Shmurda had previously fired a gun at a crowd of people outside a Brooklyn barbershop. They also said he was present during a confrontation between rival drug gangs outside a Brooklyn courthouse where shots were fired in 2015.
Shmurda was sentenced to seven years in prison in 2016, but was eligible for early release because of the time he served before pleading guilty and for good behavior in prison. A plea deal had saved him from being tried on several punishable charges that could have put him behind bars for decades.