Skinnyfromthe9 Released From Jail, Thinks Overcoming Sentence Will Make Him an All-Time Great
Skinnyfromthe9 is once again a free man. Earlier today (Nov. 5), the rapper born David Alex Villegas was released from New Jersey's Somerset County Jail after being charged with kidnapping, robbery and aggravated assault back in August. Hopping on the phone with XXL, the 22-year-old rapper gives fans an update in his first interview since getting out of jail.
Having been locked up for a crime he says he didn't commit, the last three months have been a test of Skinny's patience. "I just felt betrayal and I felt like this was just not fair. Because I got charged with kidnapping and didn’t even do it," Skinny tells XXL of the ordeal.
The "Songs About You" spitter says the incident that led to him being hit with a first-degree kidnapping charge began to unfold after the alleged victim, a man he says he's known for over 10 years now, stole his $8,000 chain while Skinny was asleep.
"He took my chain and sold it for like five hundred dollars," Skinnyfromthe9 says two hours after being released from jail. "When I found out that he stole it and sold it, I went to go confront him," he continues. "And he told me 'Yo, bro, I sold the chain. I’m sorry. Don’t call the police on me. I don’t want no problems. I’ll give you the chain back and you don’t ever have to talk to me again.' Long story short, I get to my house and the cops come and he tells everyone he got kidnapped."
In 2017, New Jersey eliminated their cash bail option, which left Skinny's fate in the hands of a judge. "No judge is gonna let you go home on a first-degree charge," explains Skinny, who says he hadn't even taken a shower before he hopped on the phone. "So me having that first-degree charge, [there was] nothing no one could do."
Like countless rappers before him, Skinny used his time behind bars to do some reading, making his way through books like The Autobiography of Gucci Mane, The Art & Science of Respect: A Memoir by James Prince and more.
"All those books inspired me because then I realized that all these people—Tupac was one of the greatest to ever live, he went through the same thing," offers Skinny. "So did Gucci Mane, he went through the same thing. And even [XXXTentacion] went through the same thing. I got very inspired in there...I just thought of this as a test and when I get out, I’m gonna be one of the greats because that’s what all the greats went through. Meek Mill went through the same thing."
Back in September, Skinny's kidnapping, aggravated assault and robbery charges were dropped down to luring an adult, simple assault and theft. On Sept. 27, he pled guilty to one count of third-degree luring an adult and one count of third-degree theft. While he still had to sit in jail for more than a month from that date, he no longer faced the 25 years that usually come with a kidnapping charge.
Skinny says another reason the state dropped the initial charges against him was because the person who accused him of the crime broke into his home and stole over $20,000 worth of items while Skinny was locked up.
By his own account, Skinny now faces three years probation after accepting the plea deal. He says New Jersey's lack of an option for cash bail gave him no choice but to accept the terms of the plea.
"Had there been bail, I wouldn’t even had to cop out—I would’ve went home and everything would’ve got dismissed," suggests Skinny. "But once you’re in the system they don’t wanna let you out. Because if they drop the charges you could sue them for false imprisonment, you know? They basically had to put it under the rug, because obviously this would’ve made a big deal. And they had no choice but to let me go."
Shortly after his release, the Hitco Entertainment signee spoke with 6ix9ine, who was one of a few rappers that reached out to him while he sat in jail. Fetty Wap, 24hrs and Phora also made sure to speak with him during his sentence.
Now that he's out, Skinny is focused on releasing his debut project, It's an Evil World, which carries a title he says reflects both the state of the world and his wish to be make a difference in it.
"Like when you turn on the news, I don’t know... Like the guy that just shot up the synagogue; it’s crazy," offers Skinny, referencing the shooting at Pittsburgh's Tree of Life synagogue. "It’s an evil world. There’s just so much bad things going on. I wanna be a symbol of hope."
With his jail experience behind him, the "Jump Out That" rapper wants to leave his fans with words of inspiration.
"You can be whatever you want in life," he proclaims. "I want all the kids who feel alone, all the kids who are bullied, all the kids who are looked at as the weird person in class with no friends and no one to talk to, that you could look at me and [know] I was in the same shoes that you were in, and you can succeed... I hope I can save lives. That’s all I wanna do."
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