AR-Ab Music & Collabos:
North Philadelphian rapper, AR-Ab, or Abdul Ibrahim West, was sentenced to 45 years. His charge, alledgedly running a drug ring implicated in a murder. The Philly rapper, also a member of OBH (Original Block Hustlaz) was considered one of the top 15 unsigned rappers to watch, that should get a deal in 2013. He signed with Cash Money Record Label in 2016. He’s collaborated with the likes of Cassidy and Freeway, also local rappers. AR-AB has released several mixed tapes during his time.
The 38 year old rapper is no stranger to legal troubles. He has been implicated in drug trafficking, possession and other volent crimes. In 2005, AR-Ab was wanted in connection to an April 15 shooting that led to the death of one man and two injured. He was found not guilty in 2008. Instead, Cassidy surrended to the charge of involuntary manslaughter, two counts of aggravated assault and possession of an instrument of crime. Ultimately, Cassidy was sentenced to 11 months in prison plus probabtion but released after 8 months. However, he did do four separate stints in Jail; AR-Ab served his time until his 2013 sentencing related to Crack Cocaine.
Drug Trafficking Raid
On April 13, 2013, a tweet from the rapper was brought into the spotlight, one where he may have referred to a past crime. He stated, “3 years ago I got caught up in a big drug trafficking raid, it just caught up to me. Now I gottta pay da price. I’m doing my final show tonite”, claimed the tweet.
Speculations and rumors were emerging whether he would be seeing any jail time. He was released on parole after serving only 18 months. However, AR-Ab was released early due to his participation in a boot camp program. Now, It appears as though his label founded drug trafficking ring sprouted new charges against the Philly rapper in conjunction of a murder of a rival gang member. Currently, The rapper was looking at charges of conspiracy to distribute, possession, distribution of cocaine, crack, methamphetamine, and heroin.
Beef with Meek Mill
The “Back to Back” Back and Forth
Phlly native, AR-Ab was referenced on a Drake song, “Back to Back.” In the song, Drake says “I drove here in the Wraith bumping AR-Ab.” It was supposed to be a big Philly collaboration. However, it didn’t happen the way it was planned but Beanie and Mill didn’t follow through, going back on his word, and made comments regarding the rapper.
Meek Mill, during a performanced said “F*** AR-Ab” questioned allegience to the Canadian rapper. AR-Ab created his own “Back to Back” Freestyle which was a diss track to Meek Mill threatening him saying he would unleash shooters on him. Meek Mill’s counsin jumped in the beef to defend his cousin by releasing his own, “Back to Back” freestyle that dissed AR-Ab. But by 2016, Meek Mill and AR-Ab ended the fued.
AR-Ab’s Current Indictment
In October 2018, AR-Ab and other members involved in the drug trafficking charge were indicted on counts of distributing drugs in North Philadelphia. Afterwards, AR-Ab was charged with conspiracy to distribute, possession, distribution of cocain, crack, methamphetamine, and heroin. The Courts determined that AR-Ab was the ring leader and he used his record label OBH as a drug-trafficking organization.
In 2019, the prosecutors put his music under a microscope. They analyzed the lyrics to connect to his drug trafficking charges, claiming he had released several confessions regarding his crimes in his lyrics. One particular song that was showcased was “Blood Brothers,” which AR-Ab admitted to ordering the 2017 murder of Robert Johnson who was a rival drug dealer. Robert Johnson was shot multiple times on the 4000 block of Benner street. On November 19, 2019 the courts determined AR-Ab was guilty. April 15, 2021, AR-Ab was sentenced to 45 years in prison.
In regards to the use of songs as evidence against him, AR-Ab spoke of the lifestyle and circumstances that he was embedded in claming he wrote what he knew. “The court, the FBI agents, the prosecutors don’t understand my culture. We don’t rap about flowers and rainbows. We’re gangsta rappers. We rap about what we grew up in. We rap about drug dealing and we rap about violence,” the rapper campaigned on his own behalf.
“District Judge, Michael Baylson responded firmly with, “You could have been a hero instead of a criminal, but you became a drug dealer. You made that decision. That is why you are being punished.”
AR-Ab sentenced to 45 years.
As a result of his indictment, AR-Ab could be in jail, well into his 80s and his record label could fall apart with out him. AR-Ab networth is reportedly $350,000. Many of his fans took to twitter claiming, “Freek AR-Ab” in the same vein as the “Free Meek Mill” campaign. Now, that their feued is squashed, it looks like they have that one thing in common unity among Philly fans of their music.