The Untold Truth Of Bobby Shmurda

In a city that breeds great rappers like Jay-Z and Cardi B, Bobby Shmurda was once the hottest musical artist in NYC. The Brooklyn rapper landed three hits on the Billboard Hot 100, including his featured guest appearance on convicted rapper Tekashi 6ix9ine's "STOOPID" in 2018 and his own track "Bobby Bitch." But no song was bigger than the infectious 2014 single "Hot Boy" — the title was altered for the radio edit, as the explicit version contains a pejorative term.

With an impressive array of entertaining skills beyond just rapping and an upbeat personality that lights up the room wherever he goes, Shmurda has proven himself to be a versatile star. Sadly, his success didn't last long as the rapper ran into legal troubles, which kept him away from the rap game for years. Fellow musicians and fans pondered if Shmurda would ever come back or if his rapping days were over. "It depends if he comes out and lays low, or if he comes out and starts going crazy and starts dropping records," Jaden Smith speculated to Billboard about Shmurda's return. "If he does that, we know it's going to be crazy." 

In 2021, Shmurda showed he was back with the release of his single, "No Time For Sleep (Freestyle)," and three more tracks later that year, including "Shmoney," per Pitchfork. Along the way, Shmurda had a lot to contend with. Get ready to dance because this is the untold truth of Shmurda.

The history behind the Shmurda name

Before he was Bobby Shmurda, the rapper was just a regular boy. Per The Daily Beast, he was born in Miami, Florida and his real name is Ackquille Jean Pollard. However, he once went by another nickname — Chewy. As the rapper explained on an episode of "Kitchen Talk," he had the nickname since he was 4-years-old, and all his friends and people in the neighborhood would refer to him by it. When "Chewy" started to earn a bad reputation, he decided to take on a new moniker. He told the podcast, "I changed my name to the most civilian name I could think of ... Bobby." Now going by Bobby, people would sometimes approach him and talk about Chewy not knowing it was the exact same person.

When it came to performing music, he decided to go by Bobby Shmurda. He explained to Complex, that the Shmurda part came from telling someone to keep quiet with a shh, similar to a librarian shushing someone. One of the rapper's oldest friends, Rowdy Rebel, said he wasn't even sure of the origin. "It just came from being out. It's just lingo," he told The Fader. Shmurda himself clarified, "We put Sh in front of everything ... [it's] just the homies' lingo." Rebel also noted that the 90s were a decade filled with funny, inventive lingo and that the two rapper pals were simply creative people. 

Life as little Bobby Shmurda

Though he became known for representing NYC and Brooklyn, Bobby Shmurda could have easily been a Floridian. Speaking to Complex, he explained that most of his family lived in Florida, including his parents. However, his dad went to prison when Shmurda was only an infant. Many of the boy's relatives remained in the south but he and his mom relocated to New York. Shmurda was raised in East Flatbush, Brooklyn, at the intersection of 95th and Clarkson. The rapper never forgot his family roots and spent his life often visiting Florida. Nowadays, he considers himself to be a blend of Northern and Southern cultures, per the outlet. 

In school, the rapper was sometimes more occupied with girls than with his studies, explaining to Complex that he found school difficult because he had ADD. This also may have contributed to the fact that Shmurda would fight a lot. This aggressive side partly came from Shmurda's childhood environment, which could be harsh to navigate. "If you ain't hard you ain't gonna stand, you gonna fall. You gone break," he explained about developing his toughness in Brooklyn. 

Despite the hard exterior, Shmurda still liked to have regular fun like attending J'ouvert, a historical Caribbean celebration. As he told The Fader, the festival could have its moments too. "J'ouvert is always something hectic," he said. "... It's wild man, it's a jungle. It used to be fun when you was young, that's the s*** you want to get into.

Dancing his way to success

Young Bobby Shmurda started dancing when he was 4 years old, not long after learning to walk, the rapper revealed on "No Jumper." When he grew up, Shmurda could still rarely help himself from dancing. In 2022, for instance, the rapper posted an Instagram video of him and two podcast hosts dancing to the song "Shmoney." Shmurda got so into the track that he fell backward off a couch. Impressively, he didn't miss a beat and kept his legs waving in the air. For the caption, he wrote, "SHMURDA NEVER STOP DANCING."

In an interview with The Fader, the "Splash" rapper credited his upbringing in Jamaican culture for fostering a love of dancing at the club or anywhere. "We be outside, we dance, we rap, we do all that. We just ourselves. A lot of people scared to be themselves," he told the outlet. In Shmurda's opinion, a real man dances in public instead of at home in a mirror.

Shmurda combined his two loves when his signature dance move, the Shmoney Dance, went viral. As noted by Slate, the dance originated from a brief sequence in the video for "Hot Boy" wherein the rapper dramatically discards his cap, turns away from the camera, and proceeds to seriously groove one out. Per USA Today, even celebrities like Beyoncé and Rihanna wanted to show off their version of the dance. "Everybody did it well ... I like all of them," he told the outlet.

How Hot Boy came to be

"Hot Boy" reached number six on the Hot 100 thanks in part to a popular viral trend of Bobby Shmurda on the defunct video-sharing app Vine. "Hot Boy" was one of the songs of the summer and it was such a cultural phenomenon that Pitchfork named it the 63rd best song of the 2010s. 

Even more amazing, Shmurda made his hit song for the low price of $20, per Complex. He used the money to pay for a one-hour studio session at Brownsville in New York. The rapper joked that the recording booth was barely big enough to move in. The size didn't correlate to potential and the second the record light went on, Shmurda knew he was creating something special. "I didn't know it was going to change my life," he told the outlet.

In another interview with Complex, Shmurda explained that he put the song on YouTube and it received about 2,000 views on the first day. That was a huge deal considering that videos by some of his fellow Brooklyn rappers would get 5,000 views over several years. Though no other song has ever reached the height of "Hot Boy," Shmurda maintains that he isn't a one-hit wonder artist. Still, his smash hit holds a special place on his setlist during live performances. "Sometimes, I don't be feeling it, but once I see the crowd, they go crazy and they give me energy," he told USA Today about "Hot Boy."

He's open about his sex life

Bobby Shmurda isn't shy about his sexual encounters. As he explained in a video interview with GQ, one of the ten most essential things in life that he is usually carrying around is condoms. He noted that he's particularly fond of using brands that offer him a highly durable level of protection. "If you're having sex, have safe sex. Please," Shmurda implored to viewers. On Twitter, the rapper once joked that he was temporarily practicing abstinence after a sexual encounter proved to be more than he'd bargained for. "Had the worst day ever ... not having sex for 6 months," he joked. In a follow-up tweet, he wrote, "New rule I am no longer talking to girls with (tongue rings)."

Jokes aside, Shmurda was likely serious about taking time off from sexual activity due to his unhealthy relationship with hooking up. "I was having ... real sex addict problems," he admitted during an interview with Hot 97. Feeling that his sexual activities were becoming out of control, Shmurda imposed a self-ban and decided that he needed to calm down. The rapper added that in his opinion, at least he was addicted to sex than drugs or other worse habits. "I need sexx therapy #Baddd," Shmurda once tweeted. "I need to be stopped lol frfr tho," he added. Clearly, he didn't stop. A few weeks later, Shmurda admitted in an interview with Complex that he'd officially checked the Mile-High Club off his bucket list.

Who is Bobby Shmurda's girlfriend?

Back in 2014, Bobby Shmurda was on top of the world as his single "Hot Boy" ruled the airwaves and blared out of car windows everywhere. With all the success, the rapper felt especially confident in his appeal to women. "Everybody want a piece of Bobby," he told Complex about his status at the time. As his fame grew, Shmurda longed for simple days where he could spend time with a female companion. Speaking to USA Today, the rapper suggested that in his downtime he liked to "Get a girl, get a hotel, smoke, and relax."

When he was sentenced to time in prison, Shmurda's time with the ladies obviously came to halt. That is until a woman allegedly sneaked a knife into his possession during his incarceration. In 2015, Kimberly Rousseau attempted to smuggle a shank to Shmurda during a visit, per Bossip. As a result, a judge sentenced the rapper to several more years locked up with a concurrent sentence in addition to the crime that landed him in jail in the first place. Some thought this high-stakes event gone wrong meant that Rousseau and Shmurda were romantically connected. However, the rapper's attorney clarified that "She was an obsessed fan. She has no connection to him," he told Bossip.

After getting out of prison, The Shade Room claimed to have spotted Shmurda with a mysterious woman. Only, in an Instagram Live session, the rapper denied that the hooded figure was him. 

He's faced several legal issues

Bobby Shmurda became involved in illegal activities at a young age. He told Complex that he spent a lot of time with older guys, including his brother. When they started selling crack, so did he — he was in the fifth grade. At first, he was picked on for his age but as a result, Shmurda said he learned to stand his ground and fight against older guys. "So when I came across people my age, I was a monster to them," he told the outlet. Going into adulthood, Shmurda's activities began to come with serious consequences. For example, Shmurda violated his probation in regards to previous gun charges, which landed him in jail for fifteen months, he told the outlet. After getting out, he recorded "Hot Boy." Then, in 2014 at the height of his career, Shmurda saw everything come crashing down. 

In October, the rapper was arrested for smoking marijuana in a vehicle. Though the charge forced Shmurda to miss a scheduled performance, it was nothing compared to the case cops were building on the rapper. While at Manhattan's Quad Recording Studios in December, Shmurda was arrested for "gang conspiracy" charges, The Daily Beast reported. Officers then found three weapons in Shmurda's car. In total, courts charged Shmurda with "conspiracy to commit murder, reckless endangerment, and gun and drug possession," and set bail at $2 million, per GQ. The rapper spent a little more than six years in jail before his release.

A mixed heritage and a bombastic block

Growing up in Brooklyn, Bobby Shmurda encountered people with a wide variety of backgrounds. For example, he said many of his friends were Haitian with others coming from Guyana and Barbados. "Our neighborhood is all West Indians. Jamaicans and Haitians," Shmurda told The Fader. He suggested this melting pot influenced his act and everyday vernacular. As for his own background, Shmurda's mom was from New York and his dad was from Jamaica. The rapper admitted to the outlet that he sometimes couldn't understand what his father was saying due to his thick Jamaican accent. Shmurda was only two months old when his dad went to jail for a life sentence. "I still talk to him all the time ... He said he seen me on TMZ," he told The Fader about his dad.

Shmurda has one older brother but he also grew up in a building full of kids his own age, who all started in kindergarten together. "We would all go to the same school, go across the hall to each other's houses. So it's like I got five brothers really," he told Complex. These friends later called themselves Shmurdas before forming the GS9 group. No matter the name, Shmurda referred to all the guys as his family. The rapper also made sure to represent his neighborhood in his music. "That's one of the craziest blocks in Brooklyn," Shmurda told "No Judgment Zone" about shouting out his friends in "Hot Boy."

Bobby Shmurda can do more than just rap

As a kid in Brooklyn, Bobby Shmurda said he loved to entertain people in his neighborhood. "I was telling jokes, doing dances, doing pranks," he admitted to Complex. This included putting hot sauce on the tongues of friends who would fall asleep at night. Others noticed Shmurda's gift for entertaining others and encouraged him to pursue a career in show business. According to the rapper, he was more focused on making money than trying to make it on TV. That is until he became a star with his music career. 

Following the success of his hit singles, Shmurda's mindset shifted to be more entrepreneurial. "My future is bright. I'm gonna be doing movies; I wanna be doing everything," he said. As of 2014, Shmurda set his sights on Hollywood, telling Complex that his acting goals included making a movie with Kevin Hart. "We gotta do a brotherly movie," he joked to the outlet. "I could be the little big brother, he could be the older one."

Obviously, any of Shmurda's plans for starring in a major motion picture were derailed when he went to jail. Once he was out, Shmurda decided to use his real-life story as inspiration for motion pictures. In 2022, during an interview with "No Jumper," the rapper revealed he had been spending a lot of time in Los Angeles working on a script for a movie. He also had a documentary in the works about his life. 

The real reason he started rapping

Some of Bobby Shmurda's earliest musical influences were classic rappers like the Notorious B.I.G. and 2Pac in addition to more modern legends like Lil Wayne. Then Shmurda began putting his own spin on tracks from established rappers by creating remixes. "I used to remix mad 50 Cent and Jay-Z songs," Shmurda revealed to Complex. The young rapper created a DIY studio in his house and in 2004, ten years before his big single "Hot Boy," he laid down his first official remix. After releasing his own verses over the Crime Mob song "Knuck If You Buck," Shmurda got his first taste of success. "We did that and had the hood going crazy," he said. 

More than just a personal passion, Shmurda acknowledged his friends were influential in his decision to stick with rapping. He admitted to often being distracted at a younger age but his buddies kept encouraging him to make music, he told Complex. More than just creating tracks for people to dance to, music served as a way for Shmurda to stay out of trouble. "If I wasn't rapping, I probably would have been dead or in jail or something," Shmurda told USA Today. "My life wasn't going in a good direction." In 2014, Shmurda suggested to The Fader that he felt blessed to have not found himself in a similar situation as his dad and others who ended up in prison, saying, "I feel like I'm the chosen one."

What it was like for Bobby Shmurda in prison

Bobby Shmurda's first experience with the criminal justice system was as a 12-year-old when he went to a juvenile detention center, per GQ. As he told the outlet, this meant when he served his six-year sentence following his arrest in 2014, he didn't fear that life in prison would break him. The rapper spent three years at the Clinton Correctional Facility in New York, the same center that was portrayed in the series, "Escape at Dannemora." Rather than escaping, Shmurda learned that working jobs provided perks for a more manageable life.

One thing that the rapper was especially good at in prison was staying positive. In fact, his energy was so infectious that he brought joy to many of his fellow inmates, even people serving life sentences. "People who've been in there for 30 years and haven't laughed — I'd have them crying all day," Shmurda told GQ. According to the star, "When you got good energy, no matter where you at, you can bring a smile to someone's face." 

His positivity was especially difficult given his daily situation. Shmurda told Complex that 85% of his time in jail was in solitary confinement. Even worse, he claimed he would only get one hour of recreational time each 24-hour period. Often, the rapper said he would skip the outside hour because it was usually around five o'clock in the morning and way too cold for comfort, he told the outlet. 

He decided to become a role model

One of Bobby Shmurda's most enlightening moments while serving his prison sentence was getting fan mail. "A six-year-old girl wrote to me; she said I was her favorite rapper," he told GQ. The rapper then realized that his actions in the past were setting an example to fans that looked up to him. "That just let me know the kids are watching me, and I have to be a role model," he explained. This included Shmurda's god kids.

As for his musical content, Shmurda said his lyrics merely described his personal experiences but suggested these weren't actions to be replicated. In an interview with Hot 97, the rapper highlighted that his tunes are there to be danced to and enjoyed in clubs, and not to be held as anything aspirational. He told listeners about avoiding illegal activities, "Young Black kids and young kids period. They're not playing with nothing right now," he explained. Making the call from prison, Shmurda had a message for all those who may have glamorized prison time, and insisted, "This s*** ain't sweet."

During an Instagram Live session following his freedom, Shmurda explained that he was doing his best to be an upstanding member of society. By contrast, he felt some people online wanted him to do the opposite. The rapper explained why this was a bad call for him, highlighting that on top of being on parole, he also had a lot of young fans watching him. 

Label problems for Bobby Shmurda

Though he was away in jail for about six years, Bobby Shmurda was still signed to Epic Records. This professional security sounds nice on the outside, but as the rapper claimed in a since deleted Instagram post (via The Shade Room), the label that he joined as a 19 year old wouldn't let him release new music. Instead, Shmurda claimed the record company kept him on the payroll to continue making money off his previous hits. While he gave credit to the label executive, he stated, "I still feel like I'm in prison." The rapper pleaded multiple times in his post directed at Epic Records, "Just let me go."

Shmurda finally got his wish in late March 2022. The rapper posted on Instagram Stories (via Complex) that he just signed the papers ending his contract with Epic Records. In addition to him claiming he made a million dollars that day, he wrote, "We celebrating all week." With Shmurda on the open market, phone calls with offers didn't come in as expected. According to the rapper, labels were ignoring him. On Instagram, the rapper suggested that he would release music independently. In comments on the post, he claimed that he was being shut out by major record labels who he claimed were too afraid to sign him. In April 2022, Shmurda released his first track "They Don't Know" off his album of the same name. It was his first song since leaving Epic Records

He's kind of a fashionista

Growing up in East Flatbush, Brooklyn, Bobby Shmurda enjoyed shopping. "I used to be a Polo head 'til I seen everybody wearing it," he told The Fader about wearing Ralph Lauren clothing. Looking for a new personal style, Shmurda's favorite thing to wear became clothes from Dutch fashion brand G-Star RAW. He considered himself a trendsetter for the brand and felt others might try to steal his signature look.

Speaking to Complex, Shmurda also recalled going to Jimmy Jazz, Foot Locker, and Kings Plaza, to look for hot fashion accessories. By junior high, he became especially interested in Jordan sneakers. After getting recognition as a famous rapper, he enjoyed the luxury side of fashion, as proven by the Dior sweatshirt he rocked to go sneaker shopping with the publication. As he told GQ, he also carries most of his stuff in a luxury Louis Vuitton backpack. The bag was apparently part of a bigger set of Louis Vuitton gear that a friend gave him. "I don't go nowhere without my bag," he explained. 

Fans may have also spotted Shmurda carrying a briefcase from the famous French luxury brand. The rapper explained that he would give friends a "Shmurda Kit" inside each Louis Vuitton briefcase. "It's for 18 and over," he told Complex, explaining that it contained some adult items for reigniting relationships. Each briefcase featured custom text that said "Shmurda" and "Shmurda Kit," which were hand painted by the artist Al-Baseer Holly, Vulture reported.

He splurges on high-end jewelry ... and water?

Even though Bobby Shmurda had a relatively short music career due to his arrest, his massive success was enough to earn an impressive amount of money. As of 2022, Shmurda was worth an estimated $400,000, according to Celebrity Net Worth. The rapper's gift collection alone might just be equal in value. 

The custom gold necklace that he wears, which says "Shmurda," was a gift. The performer told GQ that the chain cost around $150,000. Eric Da Jeweler, who created the piece, showed off the pendant on Instagram. The entire piece was covered in VVS diamonds and featured an emerald emoji on top of the text. Per GQ, Shmurda wears a gifted ring on his finger that he claimed cost $25,000. Apparently, he also likes to splurge on basic necessities. drinking multiple bottles of Fiji brand water every day. He offered some advice to the publication, "Don't drink juice. Drink water."

Speaking to Complex, Shmurda suggested he had a solid business approach. "I'm trying to be like the new 50 Cent," he explained, referencing Fiddy's entrepreneurial projects like his Le Chemin Du Roi champagne brand. "I'm trying to do sneakers, some watches, some water. I'm trying to sell it all," Shmurda claimed. He likes to buy it all, too. In celebration of ending his contract with Epic Records, Shmurda rewarded himself with custom jewelry from the GLD Shop in Miami which he stated made the best chains in town, via Complex.