L.A. Reid has spoken out for the first time regarding Epic Records’ refusal to bail out Bobby Shmurda. The Epic Records CEO sat down with Rap Radar Podcast to express his feelings about the “Hot N*gga” rapper.
“I’m crazy about that kid and I think about him often. And I feel like, you know, his better days are ahead of him. I do believe that,” Reid said. “And I think it’s unfortunate what has taken place. But, when I heard him, I believed him. That’s what sold me. It felt soulful. It didn’t feel like someone was play acting and it felt really believable. And, I guess it was.”
Epic Records signed Bobby to a multi-album, seven-figure contract in the summer. But the label has been distant since the “Hot N*gga” rapper was slapped with a litany of charges that could possibly take him away from society for 25 years. Shmurda sits in Manhattan Detention Complex aka “The Tombs” on charges of conspiracy, reckless endangerment, criminal possession of a weapon and criminally using drug paraphernalia. Bobby, whose bail has been set at $2 million, pleaded not guilty to those charges Thursday, Jan. 30.
Reid says Epic Records cannot bail Bobby out because it simply doesn’t have the money.
“Well, it made me feel like people don’t know anything about my business, right? It’s really not their business. That’s the truth about it, right? We’re not elected officials here. And we’re not at liberty to disclose how we do business. It’s fair practice, I can tell you that. But, it’s not the industry that it once was,” he revealed. “We seriously don’t make the money we used to make. That’s a fact of life, right? Bobby Shmurda is not the same as Snoop Dogg and Murder Was The Case, who’s coming off The Chronic and his first album. It’s a different era, you know? And, we’re a publicly held corporation. We just aren’t in the same position we were in back in those days. So, it’s a different day.”
Reid was reported to be receiving death threats for not bailing Bobby Shmurda out of jail, according to Sandra Rose.
Rose reports an unknown rapper made the threats in a video posted to YouTube.
Bobby told Billboard Epic has distanced themselves from him.
“They’re not standing by me that much,” Shmurda told Billboard. “Every time I call them, there’s excuse about Sony. I haven’t gotten a visit from one of them yet. At first I thought it was love. Now everything is all business.”
According to the New York Times, Shmurda, born Ackquille Pollard, hopes to get out of his Epic Records contract once he makes bail.
“I’m going to try my best to go back on the deal,” Bobby said, according to the NYTimes. “If not, I’ll give them their music and bounce.”
Reid and Epic have been subjected to much criticism for not financially supporting Bobby.
Dr. Boyce Watkins, a social commentator, got people talking with controversial remarks targeting Epic Records CEO L.A Reid. Watkins said Reid was worse than the Klu Klux Klan for exploiting and abandoning Bobby Shmurda amid his legal woes.
Watkins posted an image onto Facebook of Bobby in cuffs during a court hearing, writing, “This image hits me hard: Three black men, three separate roles, all contemplating the tragic loss of a young black man’s potential. The only other black man to add to this picture is LA Reid, who paid Bobby Shmurda to rap about gun violence, but has now abandoned him after the gun culture caught up with him. LA Reid should be ashamed of himself. Men like him exterminate more black men than the KKK. #BobbyShmurda
Matthew Middleton, Bobby’s entertainment lawyer, accused Epic Records of exploiting Bobby who hails from an impoverished neighborhood in East Flatbush, Brooklyn.
“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 told the NYTimes. “To take advantage of that and exploit it from a business standpoint and then turn your back is disingenuous, to say the least.”
50 Cent is even upset with the folks over at Epic Records for not supporting Bobby Shmurda amid his mounting legal woes.
Fif made his thoughts on the matter known on DJ Whoo Kid’s SiriusXM Shade 45 “Whoolywood Shuffle” radio show.
“I’d like to see that check from Epic,” he said. “…Why didn’t they bail Bobby out? He never got bailed out. Sha Money and them ain’t bail him out. How yo name gon be money and you don’t show up with the money when them n-ggas go to jail?”