Philadelphia Rap Game staple Ar_Ab (legal name: Abdul Ibrahim West) of independent label Original Block Hustlaz (OBH) was convicted today (11/19) by federal jurors, along with three co-defendants [Jamaal “Khaz” Blanding, Jameel “Meliano” Hickson, and Hans “No Brakes Bras” Gadsen], of turning OBH “into a large-scale North Philly drug trafficking operation implicated in several murders.” It’s important we note that nobody was actually charged with murder per se how government prosecutors made clear, as we previously reported, that they felt Ab was responsible for orchestrating the killing of a Mr. Robert Johnson (read about that here). Clearly, the government was not able to prove Ar_Ab’s connection with the murder otherwise he would have been convicted of murder charges also.
Ab is now facing a minimum of 20 years in jail when he faces his sentencing considering how the law treats repeat offenders (reference the recidivist provisions in federal drug laws). Unfortunately, Ab is the latest rapper to have his own lyrics used against him in a court room in addition to his social media posts. The government was unable to provide hard evidence during the trial which explains why Ab was sentenced on conspiracy charges, including conspiracy and distribution of crack cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamine.
Throughout the trial, Ar_Ab and his codefendants maintained that Original Block Hustlaz was a legitimate record label that had drawn interest from fans and music industry insiders alike. Both Drake and Cash Money Records’ Birdman have publicly shouted Ab in the past.
We’ll have more on this matter as the details of the sentencing become available.