Shmurda in the "Hot N*gga" video
Mar 8, 2021
What’s next for Bobby Shmurda?
The king of Brooklyn drill's weekend may not have gone completely as planned, but he is out on parole, back at work and ready to make some shmoney
After finishing his seven year prison sentence, the man who reinstated Brooklyn as rap’s mecca at just 19 is ready for his comeback.
Bobby Shmurda, leader of the East Flatbush rap group GS9, was seen in Atlanta over the weekend enjoying NBA All-Star Weekend, hanging out with Gucci Mane (suggesting a possible collab?), hitting the club … and hopefully not catching Covid.
In all, it was a long-anticipated yet halting return to a music industry that he once had in the palm of his hands: Shmurda had been set to perform Friday night at Compound ATL as part of the post-game festivities, but his appearance was reportedly abruptly canceled. The gig, co-hosted with NYC’s own 50 Cent, would have earned Shmurda $125,000. Shmurda’s appearances over the weekend reportedly would have taken his total payday to over $300,000.
Born Ackquille Pollard, Shmurda’s weekend out came only two weeks after he was released from prison, where he served seven years following his arrest on weapons and conspiracy charges at the end of 2014.
Under his plea deal, Shmurda, now 26, will be on supervised release for five years in Brooklyn. And while no-one repped Brooklyn quite like Shmurda as his career was taking off, his problematic prosecution leaves him with a complicated relationship to New York City. “I want to be in and out,” Shmurda told GQ, “I love the city, but there’s the system, right?”
Shmurda originally first blew up on the scene in the summer of 2014 with the release of “Hot N*gga” (or “Hot Boy” as it was called on the radio), a drill rap hit that became one of the most popular rap songs in the country. Its accompanying video was a viral sensation that pictured Shmurda breaking down his famous “Shmoney” dance while hanging around the blocks of East Flatbush. The song’s success helped pave the way for a deal with Epic Records.
For years, Brooklyn had been the pinnacle of East Coast rap, embodied by legends including Notorious B.I.G, Jay-Z, and Nas among other legends. But in the 2010s, over a decade after Biggie’s death and past the peak of Jay-Z’s dominance, rap’s epicenter migrated south to areas like Atlanta where the trap sound reigned. Shmurda and GS9’s success was in pulling some of that attention back to Brooklyn.
Shmurda’s absence left a similar gap in the New York rap scene to the post Biggie and Jay-Z era, but his influence would continue. Drill rap began to dominate New York, with Brooklyn’s Pop Smoke becoming an emerging star after his 2019 song “Welcome to the Party” went on a similar trajectory to “Hot N****.” But when Pop Smoke was killed in February 2020, there was no obvious contender to New York’s rap throne.
Now, one year later, that might change. Brooklyn is eagerly watching for Shmurda’s next move, but if last weekend is any hint, Shmurda could pick up right where he left off.
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