Joseph Guzman

Equinox Staff

Late 2018 into 2019 it seems that a lot of different rappers have been detained and taken away in some capacity. Whether you’re a rainbow-haired internet titan or a struggling lyricist shaped by your surroundings in the streets, someone’s gonna find you.

The latest rising star that seems to be finding himself in and out of containment is young 19-year-old rapper/singer YNW Melly. Melly just recently announced on his Instagram that he was turning himself in. In his last statement he said, “I am turning myself in today I want you guys to know I love you and appreciate every single one of y’all, a couple months ago I lost my two brothers by violence and now the system want[s] to find justice…”

This case began back in October 2015 when Pitchfork wrote that,“[Melly] allegedly fired a gun toward three other students near their high school. It was after this incident, Melly has said when he ‘was locked up,’ that he got the inspiration for ‘Murder on My Mind’: ‘I woke up and I had that chorus.’” The track “Murder on My Mind” was released roughly 17 months later on March 4, 2017.

He later mentioned he was going to be going into a “program” for six months due to negative music.

Almost three years later, Melly’s friends YNW Juvy, (19-year-old Christopher Thomas Jr), and YNW Sakchaser (21-year-old Anthony Williams) were found dead at 3:20 a.m. A couple of weeks passed by and Melly released a documentary highlighting his and his friends’ lives. At the end of the film, it is mentioned how all of them were targets of a drive-by shooting, and how Sakchaser and Juvy lost their lives. Shortly after the documentary came out, Melly did an interview with the people who analyze lyrics in artist’s music at Genius.

When breaking down the lyrics of “Murder on My Mind” he mentioned that during the time he was frequently in jail, , he was facing issues because of this song. People allegedly claimed he killed his friends who were a part of his song, and said he was a part of the alleged “drive-by shooting.”

Early January, Melly was collaborating with Kanye West and Lyrical Lemonade and released the song that seems to have broadened his audience more, called “Mixed Personalities.”  At the time this was written, it garnered  over 22 million views on Youtube. Only three days into the new year, Melly found himself locked up again in reference to a former arrest. His mugshot has gone viral in the hip-hop community, showing him smiling devilishly into the camera. A week later he released his second project titled “We All Shine” from jail. He was released from the Lee County Jail on Jan. 25, 2019.

On Feb. 13, 2019 Melly posted a photo with Sakchaser and Juvy, and then announced that he will be going back to jail. Most recently, some new information popped up which could be tied to him turning himself in. On Feb. 22, it was announced that he is a suspect in the shooting of a deputy officer.

Joseph Guzman can be contacted at

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