Abdul Ibrahim West, famously known as AR-Ab, maybe spending what could be the rest of his life in prison, as the rapper was slapped with a 45-year prison sentence for drug trafficking.
The 38-year-old “Blow” rapper had his sentence handed down in court on Thursday, April 15, according to The Inquirer. AR-Ab was convicted of distributing crack cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamine, and using his record label, Original Block Hustlaz (OBH), as a front. Police also reported that this undercover drug ring was responsible for at least one murder.
Still, the Philadelphia native, after receiving his sentence, suggested that the court was persecuting him for his cynical song lyrics used in his single “Rivals.” AR-Ab raps, “The court, the FBI agents, and the prosecutors don’t understand my culture. We don’t rap about flowers and rainbows. We’re gangsta rappers. We rap about where we grew up. So we rap about drug dealing. We rap about violence.”
AR-Ab’s 2018 single “Rivals” reportedly came after an OBH stash house was raided by the police. In the song, he rapped about losing “10 of em,” reportedly in reference to 10 kilograms of cocaine that was seized on the scene.
He rapped, “Quarter million loss, got a broke heart, And they snatched my dog, that’s the worst part, One rat destroy everything you work for, I pray to God that he don’t tell them who he work for.”
Assistant U.S. attorney Everett R. denied that his sentencing was linked to any song lyrics, saying, “This wasn’t a case against gangsta rap. Mr. West made it clear not just in his lyrics but in his social media that people should be afraid of him and his willingness to resort to violence.”
AR-Ab was implicated in the 2017 murder of his rival and alleged drug dealer Robert Johnson. The rapper’s former associate claimed AR-Ab paid him with drugs for the hit.
Still, District Judge Michael Baylson said that since AR-Ab was not charged with murder, this wasn’t considered in the handing down of the hefty sentence.
He said in court: “You could have been a hero instead of a criminal. But you became a drug dealer. You made that decision. That’s why you’re being punished.”
Still, AR-Ab maintained at the end of the hearing, “I’m not saying I’m innocent. I’m saying I’m not guilty of all them charges.”
This has the public speculating that the rapper may have plans to appeal his case.