This week jurors found Philly rapper AR-AB and three members of his Original Block Hustlaz (OBH) label guilty of felony drug charges. They are accused of using the label as a front for a large-scale North Philly drug trafficking operation and implicating it with at least two killings.
Although AR-AB, who’s birth name is Abdul West, was not charged with those killings, he faces counts including conspiracy and distribution of crack cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamine. Assistant U.S. Attorney Everett R. Witherell told jurors during his closing argument, “Every one of them had their hustles but it all ran through Mr. West.”
The verdict came after a two week trial where prosecutors argued, his lyrics and social media persona were more than just marketing: They amounted to a confession to crimes. There were originally nine OBH members charged, but several of them plead guilty and testified against AR-Ab and the others. He faces a mandatory minimum prison sentence of 15 years under recidivist provisions in federal drug laws.