In a pivotal legal development, rapper A$AP Rocky, whose real name is Rakim Mayers, made a court appearance in Los Angeles as a judge assesses whether he will face trial for an alleged shooting incident in November 2021.
The rap star, facing up to eight years in jail if convicted, arrived at court donned in a distinctive black suit, matching face mask, tie with white dots, and a floral brooch.
The 35-year-old, known for his collaborations and fatherhood with Rihanna, has pleaded not guilty to two felony counts of assault with a semi-automatic firearm.
The charges stem from an alleged altercation with a former friend and collaborator, Terell Ephron, also known as A$AP Relli.
Prosecutors contend that on November 6, 2021, Mayers pointed a gun at Ephron, leading to a confrontation where shots were fired, resulting in minor injuries.
Ephron testified about Mayers holding a gun to his stomach and issuing threats before discharging rounds.
The relationship between the two, once teenage friends and part of the A$AP collective, reportedly soured as Mayers’ fame grew, leading to business ventures falling apart.
Surveillance video presented by prosecutors purportedly shows Mayers with a gun, though his defense denies the firearm’s use.
Mayers was initially detained in April last year upon returning to LAX airport from Barbados.
He was released on $550,000 bail, and officers later executed a search at his LA home, seizing evidence.
The preliminary hearing aims to determine if there’s sufficient evidence to proceed to trial.
Represented by Joe Tacopina, the same lawyer handling Donald Trump’s New York criminal case, Mayers faces a critical juncture in his legal battle.
This court appearance follows his involvement in promoting a Puma collaboration in Las Vegas alongside Rihanna.
As the legal proceedings unfold, A$AP Rocky remains a prominent figure in the music industry, with recent reflections on collaboration and family life making headlines.
The court’s decision will undoubtedly shape the trajectory of this high-profile case.