Brooklyn drill rappers Sheff G and Sleepy Hallow are among 32 people facing 140 charges in a New York criminal conspiracy indictment, according to the New York Times. Sheff G, whose real name is Michael Williams, is accused of bankrolling two NY street gangs, the 8 Trey Crips and 9 Ways, which are linked to 12 shootings and a murder.
Prosecutors say after one such violent incident, Williams treated the shooters to a lavish dinner at a Manhattan steakhouse in 2020 which was also attended by Sheff’s frequent collaborator Sleepy Hallow, real name Tegan Chambers. Hallow had just completed an eight-month sentence in prison for weapons possession. Although authorities say Williams used the profits of his rap career to fund his gang activity, Brooklyn district attorney Eric Gonzalez maintains that no lyrics were used in the indictment.
During a press conference covered by Rolling Stone Gonzalez said, “This is not an indictment of rap music. In fact, this investigation did not rely on a single lyric to prove any of the alleged crimes. But it is an indictment of how when someone does well for themselves and could do real good in our community, they use their fame and money to further gang violence.”
The use of rap lyrics in racketeering/conspiracy indictments such as this one has been a hot topic in the past year after Atlanta authorities indicted Young Thug and several members of his YSL label including Gunna using samples of their raps as evidence. The practice has been called racist by critics and several jurisdictions are considering legislation to ban the practice.
Sheff G and Sleepy Hallow both rose to stardom as part of the explosion of drill rap’s popularity in 2019 alongside fellow Brooklynite Pop Smoke. After his death, they were among the young artists who picked up the torch for drill in defiance of New York Mayor Eric Adams’ seeming crusade against the street movement.