Wed 25 May 2016
As the young rapper remains behind bars after several unsuccessful attempts for bail, GQ goes inside Bobby Shmurda’s “surreal saga” in this excellent new profile. Scott Eden sits down for a rare jailhouse interview with Bobby while uncovering many startling details — and raising bigger questions — about his arrest and the conspiracy charges he’s currently facing along with other members of his GS9 crew.
For instance, how the police took an unusual — and perhaps even illegal — interest in Bobby as “Hot N*gga” began to blow up. Or the fact that no drugs or cash were actually seized (or at least submitted as evidence) in the GS9 sting. There’s even a pretty crazy story from Sha Money XL, the Epic A&R who signed Bobby, about the night the NYPD arrested the GS9 members at Quad Studios back in December 2014.
The whole piece is definitely worth a read, but you can check out a few highlights after the jump. If there’s any positives to take from all this, it’s that Bobby has been keeping busy in jail and has even written a movie (a fictional one) based on his life.
Continue reading below…
Before “Hot N*gga,” Bobby was held at gunpoint and saw his weed guy get killed:
When Chewy reached the landing of Pluto’s apartment, he felt something cold and hard touch the back of his head. Then someone grabbed his shoulder and spun him around. A pair of eyes stared back through the sight hole of a ski mask. The gun in the man’s hand was a large-caliber revolver. He was with a partner, similarly disguised and similarly armed. “Where the hell Pluto live?” And then Pluto’s door suddenly opened—there was Pluto—and Chewy watched as one of the gunmen wheeled in surprise and fired.
Bobby was arrested moments after meeting Busta Rhymes at Quad Studios while the other GS9 kids tried to run:
The elevator stopped. Another studio occupies a lower floor in the same building, and now the door slid open to reveal Busta Rhymes. Born and raised in East Flatbush, a generation older than Pollard, Rhymes had met the young rapper once or twice during the summer of Shmurda’s rise to fame, and he said now: “Bobby Shmurda!” The two exchanged a rapid greeting, and as the door slid closed again—there were too many people in the elevator for Rhymes to fit—the elder rapper seemed to echo Sha Money: “You got to be safe out there, mon.”
Moments later, an N.Y.P.D. platoon emerged from the vehicle and entered the building. A minute passed. Then the elevator went “bing,” and when the door opened, the N.Y.P.D. poured out, all rifle barrels and shouted commands. “Everybody put your hands up!” Sha Money says that he, his engineer, and three Quad Studios employees immediately complied. Everyone else—all the GS9 kids—scattered and hid. “Some turned into Batman, some turned into Spider-Man, climbing the walls,” Sha Money recalls now. “Some tried to turn into Invisible Man and hid between walls.” The N.Y.P.D. searched the entire building. They didn’t find the last man—Rowdy—until seven in the morning.
NYPD took an unusual interest in Bobby as he began to blow up:
Another time, Wilson and others were with Pollard outside another venue when a group of N.Y.P.D. officers confronted them. They were pulled from their cars and thrown to the ground. Ball, who had fallen asleep on the ride to the venue, says, “I woke up to the barrel of a gun in my face.” According to Wilson, an officer asked him how much money Pollard was making.
According to Bobby, the police didn’t have a valid search warrant when they “found” him in possession of an illegal firearm in June 2014:
Pollard’s version differs. He says the cops came in and lined everyone up against a wall. They then searched the apartment, found a gun, and told Pollard they’d be charging him with illegally possessing it. The four kids were put into the back of a paddy wagon and held there, Pollard says, “for, like, eight hours” before arriving at the precinct for booking. Pollard says none of his DNA was found on the gun. And, according to court documents, Pollard’s lawyer plans to argue that the search warrant was issued under false pretenses.
There has yet to be any drugs or cash presented as evidence in the GS9 sting:
There were other oddities. For a case against a purported drug gang, there was a curious lack of drugs. No undercover sting had interrupted a GS9 drug transaction. No illicit profits had been sought in forfeiture proceedings…So far, the main evidence of drug sales appears to be the recorded phone calls and the snippets of dialogue about dealing “crills” and “twork.”
At the urging of his manager and uncle, Bobby tried to escape the street life in Brooklyn, but his loyalty to his friends was too strong:
At one point in early September, after the scene with police outside the venue in Queens, Wilson flew back to Florida. He’d had enough. He says he gave Pollard an ultimatum: Come “home” to Miami, get away from the East Flatbush crowd once and for all, and I’ll stay on. But Pollard never came.
But in the end, Wilson, Sha Money, and others say Pollard felt an unshakable loyalty to the kids he grew up with. “They were a band of brothers,” Sha Money says. Now that money was flowing in, now that he was on the verge of making it out, Pollard wanted to share with the boys who’d always had his back.
Bobby may have been forced into criminal activity by G-Stone Crips:
In early September 2014, he tasked Ball with going up to the city and persuading Pollard to come back to Miami…Ball says he found Pollard holed up at the Times Square Holiday Inn, and he was not alone. “It was like he was kidnapped by Crips,” Ball says. “Blue shit everywhere. And everybody was looking at me like: Who the fuck is you?” He pauses. “Don’t get me wrong: It looked like that to me. I mean, that was his squad. But it was a whole bunch of new dudes. People I’d never seen.”
Ball recalls having to pull Pollard, who was clearly exhausted and ill and “coughing up some green shit,” into the bathroom. He turned on the water faucet so they could talk without the others hearing. “I was like, ‘Bro, you gotta come home.’ ” Pollard assured him that he would come to Florida soon. He just needed to take care of some things first.
Bobby is only allowed out of his cell for 75 minutes a day, but has been working on movie scripts:
At Rockland, he was being held in “protective custody,” away from the general population, and could only come out of his cell for 75 minutes each day. He was said to be in a mutable state of paranoia, anger, and unreason, a product of being caged indefinitely and solitarily, but on this day, dressed in the classic orange coveralls of the American jailhouse, he was, by turns, calm, cheerful, and cautious…He spoke of the “movies” he had written, including one based on the story of his life. “That’s going to be a fiction story about this whole experience,” he said, laughing. “I gotta say fiction, though. It’s going to be a fiction story.”
Bobby’s trial is set to begin in September.