Silento’s Publicist Releases Statement Following Rapper’s Arrest for Murder
UPDATE (Feb. 2):
Silento's publicist spoke with XXL this afternoon and provided an additional statement on the recently incarcerated rapper.
"I have been in contact with the family and their thing right now is just, they're asking the world to uplift their family in prayer," the rep explained. "I've gotten a lot of backlash from that statement, it's almost implying like I'm telling people he did it. When you know a client suffers severely from mental health, when you've been around the client, when you have... Last year, Silento tried to commit suicide during the pandemic. No one cared about that story."
She continued: "They cared about the story when he ran into the house, but they didn't know that he was having a bipolar episode. They didn't know that he was mentally going through a severe mental attack. When I said that, it wasn't to make reference to the case. I don't wanna talk [about] the case, the case is heavy enough dealing with his family. On one side, you have the family dealing with a death and the other side, they're dealing with an accused murderer. So it's not win-win for anyone. I made that statement specifically to humanize him."
The rep added: "At one point, he was on top of the charts and no one knows that the music industry screwed him over. No one knows his story. I just, essentially, would like people to just speak from a place of compassion and empathy."
Silento opened up about his struggles with mental health in the past. During a 2019 episode of The Doctors, the rhymer revealed that when he was born, there were drugs in his system such as marijuana, cocaine, heroine and pills. He also candidly shared that he's been battling depression and has witnessed family members fight and also try to kill each other during his childhood years.
He went on to say that he was given Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) pills as well as sleeping pills, but was never officially diagnosed with ADHD. Silento also said that when he was 14 years old, he went to live with a great aunt, which is when things went downhill. Eventually, the rapper ended up in a juvenile detention center.
As far as his fame, Silento said on the show that it was "great," but it didn't last long. "Pressure doesn't leave you when you become famous," he said. "It just adds more pressure. And, while everybody's looking at you, they're also judging you."
He added: "I don't know if these demons will ever go away."
Check out Silento speak on his struggles with mental health below.
On Monday evening (Feb. 1), shortly after news broke that the 23-year-old artist, born Richard "Ricky" Lamar Hawk, was taken into custody for the Jan. 21 murder, Silento's rep spoke out about her client via Instagram. She revealed that he has been battling mental health issues for some time.
"Please send my client Silento some positive vibrations," her statement began. "Over the past several years, Ricky has been suffering immensely from a series of mental health illnesses. We will continue in his efforts of treatment, but we ask in the meantime the public uplifts him and his family in immediate prayers & positive energy!!."
His publicist added, "Ricky is a beautiful soul, and we hope that the same people who came up whippin’ and nay naying with him, continue to support him and lifted in prayer!!."
As previously reported, Silento, known for his hit song "Watch Me (Whip / Nae Nae)," was arrested and booked at the DeKalb County Jail yesterday evening for felony murder. He was taken into custody by the DeKalb County Police Department, who confirmed via Twitter that the 34-year-old man that was killed was Silento's cousin, Frederick Rooks.
Law enforcement says that Rooks sustained multiple gunshot wounds to his face and arms. There were also eight shell casings found where Rooks' body was laying in the roadway in the Panthersville-area of Georgia.
The incident took place on Jan. 21, just two days before Silento's birthday on Jan. 23.
Last September, Silento was arrested for a domestic dispute in Santa Ana, Calif. The next day, he was taken into custody by the LAPD after entering a random home wielding a hatchet while looking for his girlfriend. He fled the scene but was apprehended blocks away from the home.
The following month, Silento was arrested on numerous driving-related offense in Atlanta after getting pulled over for speeding over 140 MPH.
In 2019, Silento ppeared on the TV show The Doctors to discuss his battle with depression for 21 years. He admitted on the show that he was born with the drugs weed, cocaine, heroine and pills in his system. The rapper said he witnessed family members talking to walls and try to kill each other. "I have felt like I been depressed my whole life," he said on the show.
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