Prosecutors painted the rapper out to be the leader of his crew.
Philadelphia rapper AR-ab, real name Abdul West, is facing a lengthy stint behind bars. Last year the respected rapper, who was signed to Cash Money, was hit with a number of charges in connection to running a large drug-trafficking ring. West, along with his co-defendants, stood accused of using their record label, Original Block Hustlaz, as a front for their alleged drug trade operations. On Tuesday, the Philadelphia Inquirer shared that West has been found guilty along with associates Jameel “Melanio” Hickson, Jamaal "Bionickhaz" Blanding, and Hans "No Brakes Bras" Gadsen.
"Every one of them had their hustles," Assistant U.S. Attorney Everett R. Witherell said. "But it all ran through Mr. West." Prosecutors also alleged that West's rap lyrics and social media persona weren't just about portraying a certain nefarious lifestyle. They believed that many confessions to criminal activities could be found in his songs and online. The Philadelphia Inquirer reported that as West was being cuffed and led out of the courtroom, he "smiled and blew a kiss to supporters and fans."
The defense contested that the record label was reputable and wasn't being used for anything illegal, but a jury thought otherwise. There were five others charged with crimes allegedly connected to West's case, but they'd previously pleaded guilty. Two additional associates are facing murder charges that are reportedly linked to West and his crew, and rapper Charles "Dark Lo" Salley is looking at a charge of intimidating a witness. Meanwhile, West reportedly faces a minimum of 15 years in prison.