Bobby Shmurda Reveals the Best Thing He’s Learned in Jail and Insists Cops Have No Evidence Against Him
It's been over 500 days since 21-year-old Brooklyn rapper Bobby Shmurda was arrested as part of a police raid on his GS9 crew in 2014. Sitting inside Rikers Island and various other correctional facilities in New York for more than a year, he's had his trial postponed numerous times while watching his friends get double-digit sentences for murder. When it comes to the charges against him, the list is lengthy including conspiracy to commit murder in the second degree, two counts of criminal possession of a weapon, reckless endangerment and one count of criminally using drug paraphernalia.
Two years removed from his hit single "Hot N*gga," he's still waiting for his day in court come September and New York City still awaits his return. When XXL spoke to Bobby's mother Leslie Pollard earlier this year, she felt "empty" and thought her son was being mistreated by the criminal justice system. "They’re giving a lot of issues with the bail, even with someone that’s willing to come forward with the bail, they’re making it impossible to bail out," she said. "Just praying, hoping it’ll be over. I’m trying to keep his spirits up when we do speak to him, try to deter him from even thinking about the case even though it’s hard."
In the wake of Troy Ave shooting a gun during T.I.'s concert at Irving Plaza earlier this week, there's no question hip-hop police are wide awake in New York City this summer. When it comes to the NYPD, Bobby has repeatedly said he feels the cops are targeting him and his GS9 crew for reasons unknown. In our interview with Bobby straight from jail, he reiterates that even before "Hot N*gga" blew up, cops were trying to knock him.
With his new trial postponed until Sept. 12, Bobby speaks to XXL about the status of his case, the movies he's been writing in jail and when we can expect new music.
Bobby Shmurda: My reaction to that is I’m keeping my head high and staying positive. They’re gonna get all that time back. The courts we’re in, we’re in Manhattan and they do a lot of dirty things there. They had no witnesses, no nothing and they still found them guilty. All the jurors that were there, they’re emailing [Rasha and A-Rod’s] lawyers like, "Yo I’m so sorry about it."
These D.A.’s in Manhattan, they brainwashed the jurors, they paint the pictures. They don’t even go off the facts of the law, so it’s crazy. So they’re gonna get that appeal and try and get out. They’re gonna be alright, they’ll be back.
Are you at Rikers now?
Yeah, they got me back on the Island. They just brought me back from the county on [May] 1. Everybody was saying that I came home, I ain’t come home. I just got discharged from the county and they brought me back to Rikers.
How is it in there for you?
Um, right now they got me in this little kid building, they got me with little 18 to 21s. It’s annoying but I’ll be out the building in August when I’m 22, but right now it’s just a bunch of little kids. Ain’t really no problems, everyone shows love.
What’ve you been doing in there?
I’ve been doing the same thing. Write, read and get on these phones all day. I stay on the phone and talk to these girls all day, talk to my bros, keep they heads up and stay positive. Look over my case. I do a bunch of things to stay occupied.
How are you feeling about your case these days?
Well, my case, they really have nothing on me. They’re just doing a bunch of dirty things, that’s why I feel like they’re dragging it out so long. I looked at my case from back to front and they have yet to come up with any evidence to stick on me. They’re just trying to paint a picture of me because of the people I’m associated with, like they’re trying to have me on some guilty by association. But there’s no conspiracy of murder, all these gun charges, there were no guns found on me, none of my DNA is on these guns. They’re violating my constitutional rights, my civil rights. They just don’t want me out at all.
Your trial was just postponed a couple weeks ago until September.
The reason they do this, I don’t know if they think they’re scaring me but they’re not scaring me. They probably got stuff on a couple people in this case but there are a lot of innocent people in this case too. So they just grabbed us and they’re holding us and I guess they want us to just take a number. They were trying to scare us because my co-defendants just blew but that’s not scaring me. They postponed until September to probably give us time to think and they gave [Rasha] this big ass number like 153 years to life so we could get scared and by the time we get to court, we’ll just take a number. But we ain’t with that.
In the court system, they charge a lot of people with conspiracy because it can be hard to prove. The sentences Rasha and A-Rod received seem like the prosecution is trying to make a statement with those guys.
A witness came and said they didn’t recognize anybody. They got cops lying on the stand. They dismissed my case in Brooklyn and brought it back to Manhattan. So we got the grand jury from Manhattan and I’m trying to get the grand jury from Brooklyn because the cop testified twice and told two stories, but the judge keeps denying the motion. They just violating our rights, and then I look at them like how you want people to follow the law and y’all not even following y’all own laws?
They’re just doing this because I’m Bobby Shmurda and this is supposed to be a political case and all types of crazy shit. I want people to pay attention because I want them to say what evidence they have on me. I want them to put it out there because there's no evidence whatsoever. They don’t have me conspiring to murder nobody, no guns, no fingerprints, none of my DNA is on the guns. This shit is crazy.
There are people within hip-hop that say “Hot N*gga” might have been something that cops latched on to. Have you heard that criticism?
I haven’t heard that but I’ll tell them one thing: any man that God bless, no man can curse. They tried to do a lot of things to me before that single came out off little dumb cases like weed or speeding or all types of crazy shit. They tried to tax me before and I wasn’t going for it so now they tried this shit. Other people trying to take the gun charges and [the D.A.] is like, Nah, we want him.
Why do you think police are targeting you?
I don’t know why. They’ve been doing this since day one, since right before I blew up. Right before I got signed, about a month before, I got locked up. I was in the house, it was about 10 of us in the house and they had caught a gun in the house. They singled me out out of everybody, let everybody go from booking and just put everything on me. I’m like, me? For what? It’s just hate.
The whole GS9 affiliation has been what the prosecution is trying to expose and shed light on. Has that connection been a problem where you’ve been?
Nah. They say GS9 is a gang. GS9 is no gang, it’s a business. GS9 was never a gang, it’s a family. These are people I know from daycare like Rasha, A-Rod, people I put in positions and gave jobs to like A&Rs. It hurt them to see people make it out the hood and off the block. Before when we were on the block, they fucked with us but they never did no crazy shit like this so I think it hurts them to see people make it out our neighborhood.
There can be pressure sometimes behind bars from Bloods and Crips. Have you experienced any of that?
Nah, everybody show me love from Bloods to Crips. We’re not on that type of time, I know it looks crazy from the outside but we really don’t be on that type of time. Everybody’s getting money. My best friend’s a Blood.
It looks crazy from the outside because people don’t really know what goes on and then they read the stories the media put out and the media sometimes don’t know what they’re talking about when they don’t get it from the source. GS9 got Bloods, got Crips, it ain’t no Crip thing, it’s just a business. I made that business so I could take people from the hood and do positive things, people who were in the hood stuck and had no choice but to do negative things, they’re doing positive things with their life now. I turn gangbangers into businessmen and they don’t like it.
How’s your relationship with Epic these days?
L.A. Reid just wrote me a letter last month. Epic is still love, no love lost. They ain’t my father or nothing, I don’t expect them to do too much. I expect them to just show love and support and they show love and support. They did what they could for me, so it’s love with Epic.
So you never expected them to bail you out?
Um, like, not really, because at the same time [Epic] is a business. This right here, what’s going on, this is my personal life, this has nothing to do with the business. It would have been a smart move [to bail me out] but at the same time you gotta remember that Epic is owned by Sony, so they gotta go through Sony and I’m pretty sure the person who runs Sony thinks I’m guilty too because of the way they make me look outside. But not really though. [Epic] ain’t put me here so I don’t expect them to get me out.
What people from the industry have reached out to support you?
Yeah, I was just talking to Migos and Rich The Kid the other day. Those are bros right there. I fuck with Meek and them. I fuck with the Dave East. I fuck with a couple people out there.
I heard a bit about the movies you’re writing. Tell me about those.
Man, I wrote like three movies, man. I wrote Shmurda She Wrote, everybody wanna see what happened before the rap, how we grew up. It’s like a Belly, Get Rich or Die Tryin', Shottas and Notorious all in one. It’s real. My life feel like a movie.
I got the next thing, it’s called Backyard Party and I got another movie called Saturday coming. Ice Cube, don’t sue me for that one [laughs]! Saturday is like a whole new 2014 East Coast version of Friday, a bunch of crazy events that happened on a Saturday. I’m trying to be an actor/rapper when I get out, I’m trying to do everything.
What’s the best thing you’ve learned behind bars?
I learned about fake love. When that sun not shining on you, everybody’s not there. It be like that sometimes. I expected it, but I’m disappointed with certain people. Being in jail, it shows me a lot of people I was around were fake. They were around for the money and shine, and when it’s raining everybody’s not under that umbrella with you.
Do you have any plans to release new music soon?
Yeah, we’ve got some music about to come out around July, August. We’ve got Migos on there, Rowdy Rebel of course, my new upcoming artist Hood Hefner. Trying to get a couple other people that said they’re gonna show some love, can’t say no names right now but there’s gonna be a couple other big people on there.
Remember when you danced on the table at Epic?
Yeah! I enjoyed it! Everyone was like, “Ah, you crazy.” That’s me! I dance everywhere. I love dancing. I get happy and start dancing. I made it cool for gangsters to dance.
You know what the problem is that I talk about with people in jail every day? Everyone be trying to be too tough sometimes. Just relax and be yourself. People be scared to be themselves. You gotta enjoy life. Life is short. I enjoy it to the fullest.
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