Six years ago, today, Bobby Shmurda’s effervescent first single “Hot Nigga” was made digitally available for consumption by Epic Records. The music video – which has garnered nearly 650 million YouTube views – was released in May of 2014 and quickly became an internet sensation. While the record was re-packaged, the music video was not subjected to such changes, most likely because it had already reached “viral” status, but also because it represented the ingenuity of Brooklyn inner-cities. It spawned the “Shmoney Dance” craze where, in a moment of inventiveness, the rapper throws his hat in the air and begins to pop his hips left and right. Unplanned, the “Shmoney Dance” helped cement the record as the song of 2014. Peaking at Number 6 on the Billboard Hot 100, it helped usher in a new era. This was the first song that this current incarnation of social media (Instagram, Facebook and Twitter) made prominent, something we’ve since seen replicated several times over.
A subsequent EP – Shmurda She Wrote– followed along with other Billboard hits like “Bobby Bitch” and the cult classic “Computers.” Unfortunately, the success was short-lived. In December 2014, Bobby Shmurda, along with his associates, his brother and GS9 label-mate Rowdy Rebel, were arrested on charges of drug and gun possession, reckless endangerment and conspiracy to commit murder.
Less public members of the organization received the harshest of sentences, while Bobby Shmurda and Rowdy Rebel have been behind bars for the past 6 years, with an impending release set for the tail-end of 2020. Their impact on the New York culture has not been forgotten (as they successfully implemented the Chicago drill sound to help popularize the sub-genre of New York drill) and in return, fans have showered them with support and promises of a hero’s return.