Desiigner just got a big update to his arrest case, with the New York district attorney dropping the felony gun charge against the “Panda” rapper after failing to find a gun in his car.
Desiigner had been arrested on Thursday after he was allegedly involved in a road rage incident. Police searched Desiigner’s SUV and found a number of drugs inside, prompting his arrest. The rapper was also charged for allegedly flashing a loaded gun at another driver, but that claim seemed to fall apart in the day after his arrest.
On early Saturday morning, TMZ reported that the district attorney moved to drop the felony gun charge against Desiigner, as well as the more serious drug charge related to a stash of prescription pills found inside the SUV.
“Law enforcement tells TMZ, they cased the SUV in which the ‘Panda’ rapper was a passenger, but found no gun. The arrest for felony possession of a loaded gun was based on what the driver of another car told cops, but the D.A. clearly felt that wasn’t enough.
“The D.A. has also dropped the charge of felony possession of a controlled substance with the intent to sell.”
Initial reports suggested that the rapper, whose real name is Sidney Royel Shelby III, was in the SUV with four other unidentified people when an argument took place with someone in another car. The alleged victim claimed that the rapper pointed a gun, and the victim then took down the SUV’s license plate number and called 911.
“It looks to be a road rage incident involving a Cadillac Escalade around 42nd Street and 8th Avenue in which words were exchanged and a firearm was brandished at the victim’s vehicle,” an NYPD spokesperson told Billboard after Desiigner’s arrest.
Desiigner — Gun Charge Dropped – Desiigner just caught a big break … the D.A. has dropped the felony gun cha… https://t.co/azMvmICzyF
— steve (@MSchwartzNY) September 10, 2016
Desiigner was released from jail on Saturday morning, and he may not be headed back — at least not for a long stint. With the most serious charges now off the docket, there are reports that he could avoid jail time.
— dale w eisinger (@daleweisinger) September 10, 2016
The arrest for Desiigner came after what was a meteoric rise for the 19-year-old rapper. The Brooklyn native hit it big with the single “Panda,” then got even bigger when Kanye West heavily sampled the song on The Life of Pablo.
As Desiigner told Rolling Stone, he grew up with a deep love of music and a strong family connection to the blues.
“He was born Sidney Selby III and grew up in Bedford-Stuyvesant. ‘My dad worked on ambulances for a while; my mother had a lot of different jobs with the city,’ he recalls. He’s loved music as long as he can remember. ‘I played the sax at school. I was in marching band. My moms and pops listened to Funkadelic, Michael, Aerosmith – I f***ed with rock & roll. My grandfather is a blues musician’ – Sidney Selby, who played with the Isley Brothers and the Drifters, among others – ‘so my mind was everywhere. You’d be surprised what you’d catch on my playlist.'”
But the rapper noted that he was on a very different path just a few years ago. He told Rolling Stone that he tried selling drugs in his younger teen years, and was shot in the hip when he was 14 years old. As he was recovering in a hospital room, Desiigner said he decided to leave behind the streets and pursue a career in music instead.
Though the gun and drug charges were dropped against Desiigner, the rapper could still face trouble with the remaining charges. He was expected to be in court on Saturday to learn what will come next in the case against him.
[Photo by Matt Sayles/Invision/AP Images]