"Gun Culture" And The Arrest Of Pooh Shiesty

(AP Photo/Steven Senne)

I confess, part of me wanted to write this story simply for the reason that I can’t type “Pooh Shiesty” without giggling. The charges the rapper (whose real name is Lontrell Williams) is facing, however, are no laughing matter. The 21-year old is being held without bond in Florida after a federal grand jury indicted him on robbery and gun charges.

According to the Department of Justice, the indictment stems from an incident last October, when Mr. Shiesty and a couple of his colleagues allegedly shot two men over marijuana and sneakers.

According to an indictment returned by a federal grand jury and an earlier-filed criminal complaint affidavit, on October 9, 2020, Williams, along with 21-year-old Bobby Brown of Memphis, Tennessee and 20-year-old Jayden Darosa of Pembroke Pines, Florida, drove to a Bay Harbor Islands hotel to buy marijuana and a pair of high-end sneakers from two other men.  It is alleged that during the transaction, the defendants shot the sellers with semi-automatic weapons.  Then, Williams, Brown, and Darosa drove away from the scene, taking with them the sneakers and marijuana they had not paid for, according to the court documents.  The shooting victims survived.

The indictment charges Williams, Brown, and Darosa each with one count of conspiring to possess firearms in furtherance of a crime of violence, conspiring to commit a Hobbs Act robbery, committing a Hobbs Act robbery, and discharging a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence.

Shiesty/Williams was first arrested not long after the shooting, and local media provided some additional details regarding the shooting at the time.

According to an arrest report, one of the victims said they had met Williams at the location to sell the rapper a pair of Air Jordan 4 shoes. The other victim said they were meeting with the rapper to sell him marijuana and receive a payment for a lime green McClaren they had rented to him, the report said.

One of the victims said he was speaking with Williams in Williams’ car when two men got out of another vehicle and approached the car with guns, the report said.

The victim said Williams told him to get out of the car and as he was getting out, he was shot in the buttocks, the report said.

The second victim said he was walking ack to his car when he heard two shots and fell to the ground, the report said.

“Victim 2 stated that he turned and looked at Pooh Shiesty who was in the driver’s side of the McClaren and Pooh Shiesty pointed an assault rife at him and said ‘Don’t try it, don’t try it,’ before driving away,” the report said.

The rapper was originally facing state charges in connection with the shooting, but the feds picked up the case at some point along the way. Pooh Shiesty is, however, facing more charges in Florida district court over the shooting of a security guard at a strip club back in May.

Shiesty’s biggest hit was 2020’s “Back in Blood,” an ode to retaliatory violence that features lyrics like:

Bout twenty some shots, left up in the K, fifteen still in the Glock (the glizzy)
Keep my door unlock, and stop (stop, stall)
I like gettin’ on feet, park the car, blrrd (park the car, blrrd)
We gettin’ up close, do him dirty, I ain’t showin’ love (no)

Gun control activists love to demand that Hollywood needs to quit “glorifying” gun use in movies and television shows, but I’ve never once seen a member of Everytown’s Creative Council or any anti-gun celebrity level any criticism against artists like Mr. Shiesty, who’s made an awful lot of money off of promoting violent crimes in his music.

Similarly, there’s no shortage of handwringing in the media about “gun culture”, but those complaints typically focus on the messaging of Second Amendment groups like the NRA and not the culture of violence that’s documented and promoted by stars like Pooh Shiesty.

Now, I’m not calling for a ban on gangsta rap or government censorship of song lyrics; but a simple acknowledgement from the gun control lobby that criminal “gun culture” is very different than the culture of responsible gun ownership embraced by tens of millions of Americans of all races, colors, and creeds would be nice. Of course that’s not going to happen. For anti-gun activists, Pooh Shiesty’s a victim of circumstance and not an alleged perpetrator of violent crime, and the “gun lobby” is somehow to blame for the two men who were shot over drugs and sneakers.