Silento Gets Stuck in Dubai Over Business Dispute
Silentó, the teenage rapper known for the song "Watch Me (Whip/Nae Nae)," was stranded in Dubai, United Arab Emirates recently after being barred from leaving the country over a business dispute involving a club promoter.
The Associated Press reports that the Atlanta rapper, whose real name is Ricky Lamar Hawk, had his passport seized after being accused of not paying a local club promoter back 300,000 dirhams ($81,500 US dollars) for failing to perform at his club. This travel ban on the rapper was issued by an Al Ain Civil Court on Feb. 20.
According to the promoter Makki Taj El Sir Abdel Halim, who owns Mackie Entertainment, Silentó was paid to perform twice while in Dubai; once at Al Ain and once at the Emirati capital, Abu Dhabi, on Feb. 18.
"Silento did not cancel any shows at all," Jenna Kadhum, Silento's laywer, told AP. "The rapper only learned of the travel ban against him on Wednesday."
Silento eventually ended up performing in the clubs to avoid the travel ban. The entertainer later tweeted about the fan love he recieved abroad, posting a pic of fans and writing, "Today was so fun with my fans ❤️ I love them all & I took every picture! look at us #UAELOVE."
The "Whip/Nae Nae" was easily one of the biggest dance crazes of 2015. Though they were two seperate dances previously, the young rapper, then 17, combined the two with his infectious song. The Whip and Nae Nae became a national phenomena later that year and at one point, you couldn't go more than a few days without seeing everyone from kiddies to old folks sharing videos of themselves doing the dance online. As Silento's biggest song to date, "Watch Me (Whip/Nae Nae)" peaked at No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100 in July 2015.
“It’s a individual song,” Silentó explained to XXL back in 2015. “It’s an each person song. Everybody has their own feel or their own position to my song, ’cause it’s like, ‘Watch me—ooh, ooh, ohh.’ You know, like watch me. No other dance song says watch me do it. It just be telling you to do it.”
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