Epic Records has been accused of not supporting Bobby Shmurda after he was arrested.
In a New York Times article published yesterday (February 22), Ackquille “Bobby Shmurda” Pollard says he expected his label to assist him during his arrest and that they did not.
“Mr. Pollard says that he hasn’t heard what he wants from his label, Epic Records — namely a firm reassurance of its backing and help making his $2 million bail: ‘When I got locked up, I thought they were going to come for me,’ he said in an interview from the Manhattan Detention Complex, ‘but they never came,’” The New York Times reports.
Shmurda was signed to Epic in mid-2014 after the success of his single “Hot Boy.” In December, Shmurda and members of his GS9 crew were arrested and charged with many counts of criminal conspiracy, weapons and drug possession.
Shmurda’s entertainment lawyer Matthew Middleton says that Epic is not required to cover the artist’s legal fees, but that there is an expectation of emotional support and loyalty that has not surfaced.
“These companies for years have capitalized and made millions and millions of dollars from kids in the inner city portraying their plight to the rest of the world,” Mr. Middleton says in the article. “To take advantage of that and exploit it from a business standpoint and then turn your back is disingenuous, to say the least.”
Shmurda’s street image propelled him into the record labels spotlight, yet the teen admits to being in a vulnerable position. He told the paper that his lyrics were not genuine and that he fabricated them.
Epic “grabbed me up at a vulnerable time,” he said. “I was desperate to get out of the ’hood. I knew I was going to lose my life or go to jail.”
Shmurda was reportedly under investigation starting in 2013. His gangster persona helped draw the label to him and his music, yet the industry cannot always offer guidance in tough spots.
“I understand from a corporate standpoint that companies cannot put themselves in a position where it appears they’re supporting and condoning criminal activity,” Middleton says. “But he hasn’t been found guilty of anything yet.”
New York artist 50 Cent called Epic out last week for not bailing out Bobby Shmurda.
“You know what I would really like to see, though?” 50 Cent asked during an interview with DJ Whookid on Shade 45. “I’d like to see that check from Epic. How they didn’t get Bobby out? Why didn’t they bail Bobby out?”
Shmurda reportedly posted the $2 million bail in early February and once out says he hopes to leave Epic.
“I’m going to try my best to go back on the deal,” he says in the New York Times. “If not, I’ll give them their music and bounce.”
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