DeKalb County, GA – Atlanta-bred rapper Silento — widely known for his 2015 single “Watch Me (Whip/Nae Nae),” was arrested and charged with the murder of his cousin on Monday (February 1). DeKalb County police believe he’s the man responsible for the killing of 34-year-old Frederick Rooks.
But according to a statement from his publicist, Silento’s off-the-rails behavior in recent years is the result of severe mental health issues. Shortly after news of his arrest broke, PR Manager Chanel Hudson shared her thoughts on one of her Instagram Stories and pleaded with his fans to stand behind him.
“Please send my client Silento some positive vibrations,” she wrote. “Over the past several years, Ricky has been suffering immensely from a series of mental illnesses. We will continue in his efforts of treatment, but we ask in the meantime the public uplift him and his family in immediate prayer & positive energy!! 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. God bless.”
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On Monday afternoon, the Georgia DeKalb County Police Department fired off a tweet announcing the arrest that read, “Today, Ricky Hawk, 23, was arrested for the murder of his cousin Frederick Rooks, 34. On January 21, the DeKalb County Police Department investigated Rooks’ death after he was found shot on Deep Shoals Circle. Hawk is in the DeKalb County Jail charged with Murder.”
The arrest follows a string of legal troubles for the viral rapper. Last August, he was arrested twice in two days for assault with a deadly weapon and domestic violence. As reported by Fox 11 Los Angeles at the time, Silento (real name Richard Lamar Hawk) was taken into custody on August 28, 2020 for inflicting corporal injury on a spouse or cohabitant.
The following day, Los Angeles Police Department’s Officer Mike Lopez confirmed he was picked up again near Burbank Boulevard in Los Angeles after he was found wielding a hatchet and threatening people.
Silento was then arrested in October 2020 for reckless driving after DeKalb County officers clocked him going 143 miles per hour in a 2020 BMW X3.
Police caught up to him on Interstate 85 — a 65 miles per hour zone — and asked him why he was going so fast. Silento, who’d just left a club where he was promoting his “DXB Money” single, claimed he “had the right” to drive at a high rate of speed, explaining he was essentially too famous.
He reportedly told the officer, “If there is like 10 cars following me, I can do 143 because I am not a regular person.”
Fame likely won’t get him out of a murder charge so for now, he’ll have to remain behind bars as he awaits his next court date.