NEW YORK (AP) — An up-and-coming rapper pleaded not guilty on Thursday to charges he moonlighted as a gun-toting member of a New York City street gang responsible for several shootings during turf wars over drug trafficking.
“He is a legitimate entertainer,” Greenberg said. “He is rich. He is busy. He is always on tour.”
The Brooklyn-born Pollard is best known for the hit song “Hot Boy.” He also put out a music video that popularized a dance craze called the “Shmoney dance,” and reportedly signed a lucrative record deal with Epic Records.
Greenberg claimed Epic had agreed to help Pollard make bail. A spokesman for the label declined to comment.
Police arrested Pollard on conspiracy, reckless endangerment and gun possession on Wednesday after he left a recording studio near Radio City Music Hall. Police found two handguns and a small amount of crack cocaine in a car in which he was riding, authorities said.
Police seized 21 guns during the investigation, 10 of them while making arrests on Wednesday.
The case carries some “deeply disturbing themes: The gang members’ enthrallment with guns, and a cavalier disregard for human life,” Special Narcotics Prosecutor Bridget Brennan said at a news conference.
The hip-hop artist’s songs and videos were “almost like a real-life document of what they were doing on the street,” added James Essig, head of a New York Police Department unit that made the arrests.
The court papers allege that Pollard fired a gun toward a crowd of people outside a barbershop in Brooklyn earlier this year. They also say he was present last year during a confrontation between rival drug gangs outside a Brooklyn courthouse where shots were fired.