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|Birth name||Abdul West|
|Born||Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States|
|Genres||Hip hop, Gangsta rap, Trap|
|Labels||Original Block Hustlaz (OBH) (current)|
Larsiny Family, We Run The Streets (former)
|Associated acts||Dark Lo, P90 Smooth, Lik Moss, Cassidy, Swizz Beatz, Meek Mill, Shy Glizzy, Chevy Woods|
Abdul West, better known by his stage name AR-Ab (also referred to as King Ab or simply Ab), is an American rapper from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He is a member of OBH (Original Block Hustlaz), the label and rap supergroup he co-founded with fellow rapper Dark Lo. Complex named him one of "15 Unsigned Rappers Who Should Get a Deal After SXSW" in March of 2013, the same year he turned himself in to authorities following legal trouble. He was released in late-2014.
Music career[edit | hide all | hide | edit source]
AR-Ab began his rap career as a member of Cassidy's Larsiny Family, being featured on several of his mixtapes throughout 2007, most notably 07-07-07 (Happy Birthday) and Put Ya L In The Sky. He continued working features for various rappers throughout this time span, until the release of his debut mixtape Welcome to Trap Street on May 1, 2008. He released his second mixtape I See Dead People on January 8, 2009, and his third mixtape Allegheny AB on May 26, 2010.
Ab began making waves following the release of his fourth mixtape Who Harder Then Me, released on February 13, 2011. In 2012, AR-Ab began working on his fifth mixtape Who Harder Than Me II, which was released on October 5, 2012. The record included tracks with features from fellow-Philadelphia rapper Freeway, and rapper/producer Swizz Beatz, who was already a long-time producer and associate of Cassidy who was formerly signed to his Ruff Ryders Entertainment label.
Legal issues[edit | hide | edit source]
Abdul West has been embroiled in a spat of legal issues throughout his career, and prior to his involvement in the music industry, including charges related to drug trafficking, possession, and violent crimes. According to interviews, he has served time in jail on four separate occasions prior to his most-recent 2013 sentencing related to crack cocaine.
2005 murder case
In 2005, AR-Ab was one of three men wanted by police in connection to an April 15 shooting that left one man dead and two others injured. Prominent rapper Cassidy was the main suspect, with Ab and a third unidentified man being wanted as accomplices. In a December 3, 2008 interview with PhillyHeatTV, AR-Ab revealed he was found "not guilty", having spent two years fighting the case. Cassidy had surrendered to Philadelphia police on the afternoon of June 17, 2005. The case took a turn when the primary witness withdrew his confession. On January 25, 2006 Cassidy was convicted of involuntary manslaughter, two counts of aggravated assault and possession of an instrument of crime for his involvement in the shooting. He was sentenced to 11 to 23 months in prison plus probation, and was credited with the 7 months he had already served. He was released after serving 8 months in prison, and went on to relaunch the Larsiny Family which included then-member AR-Ab.
2013 prison sentence
On April 13, 2013, media outlets reported on an ominous Tweet from rapper AR-Ab referring to a past crime which caught up to him. "3 years ago I got caught up in a big drug trafficking raid, it just caught up to me. Now I gottta pay da price. I'm doing my final show tonite", claimed the Tweet. Speculations were abound whether he would be going to jail soon. On April 26, videographer Gil Videos uploaded a video with Ab revealing he will be turning himself in to the authorities. Following his prison sentence, music videos from AR-Ab and OBH members prominently featured the "Free AR-Ab" slogan, and urged fans to write to Abdul West while he's in prison. He was released on parole in November 2014, having served 18 months. According to interviews, Ab was booked for charges related to crack cocaine and faced up to 3 years, which was hastened to 18 months through his participation in the boot camp program.
Shootings[edit | hide | edit source]
During an incident late-September 2011, AR-Ab survived being shot ten times. A Tweet dated September 24, 2011 showed a bandaged Ab laying in bed recuperating with the caption "10 shots couldnt stop me!!!" A previous Tweet confirmed he was in the hospital receiving treatment. He is reported to have suffered 2 shots to the stomach, 2 to the hand, 5 to the glutes and 1 shot to the thigh.
Discography[edit | hide | edit source]
- Welcome to Trapstreet (2008)
- I See Dead People (2009)
- Allegheny AB (2010)
- Who Harder Than Me (2011)
- Who Harder than Me II (2012)
- Mud Musik (2013)
- Mud Musik II (TBD/2015)