Philly rapper AR-Ab has been sentenced to 45 years in prison for his role in a drug trafficking ring.
Prosecutors say that the rapper’s Original Block Hustlaz (OBH) record label was also implicated in at least one murder, but the judge says this was not taken into consideration when sentencing him. He has already spent three years behind bars.
“You could have been a hero instead of a criminal,” U.S. District Judge Michael Baylson said in court via the Philly Inquirer. “But you became a drug dealer. You made that decision. That’s why you’re being punished.”
AR-Ab maintained responded: “The court, the FBI agents, and the prosecutors don’t understand my culture,” he said. “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.”
“This wasn’t a case against gangsta rap,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Everett R. Witherell said in court Thursday. “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.”
A post shared earlier this week to his social media made it clear he was expecting a heavy sentence, but also that he would be appealing the sentence.