Atlanta-based rapper Silento, who rose to fame as a teenage rap sensation with his hit song "Watch Me (Whip/Nae Nae)," that also spurred a viral dance move, was arrested on Monday in DeKalb County and charged with murder in the shooting death of his cousin, according to authorities.
Silento, whose real name is Ricky Lamar Hawk, 23, was taken into custody on Monday following an investigation into the recent death of 34-year-old Frederick Rooks, as reported by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Hawk is being held without bond at the DeKalb jail on one count of murder, according to jail records.
Rooks' Death and Investigation
On Jan. 21, police responded to reports of shots being fired at around 3.30 a.m. at a local intersection. When officers arrived, they found Rooks with multiple gunshot wounds to his face and his leg. He was pronounced dead at the scene. Authorities also found at least eight shell casings at the scene.
In addition to the shell casings, responding officers obtained surveillance camera footage from residents nearby, according to the incident report. The video showed several cars fleeing the scene at high speeds, and the footage captured at least one gunshot. At the time, investigators believed Rooks knew the residents at one of the houses on Deep Shoals Circle, where his body was found.
However, after a thorough investigation, detectives identified Hawk as Rooks' cousin, and the person responsible for Rooks' murder.
Silento's Rap Sheet
This is not Silento's first run-in with the law. In September 2020, he was arrested following a domestic dispute. He was charged with inflicting corporal injury on a spouse or cohabitant and later released.
One day after the arrest, he was taken into custody again after he stormed into a stranger's house wielding a hatchet, claiming to be looking for his girlfriend. He was charged with two counts of assault with a deadly weapon and received a bond for US$105,000. The bond was then revoked after he missed his scheduled court appearance.
He was arrested twice in one week in August on domestic violence and gun charges. In late October, he was arrested and booked into the DeKalb jail for speeding at more than 140mph on the I-85.