The 10-Year Anniversary Of When Bobby Shmurda and Jabari Parker Went From Next Up To Forgotten Legends

Rapper Bobby Shmurda and former Milwaukee Bucks player Jabari Parker were rising stars in the lucrative worlds of rap and the NBA back in 2014.

Parker was the McDonald’s and Gatorade Player of the Year coming out of high school in 2012 and went on to play at Duke under legendary Coach K before becoming the No. 2 overall pick in 2014 by the Milwaukee Bucks.

Schmurda rose from Vine Sensation — when he spit his low-quality “Hot N*gga” single, in which he does the infamous “Shmoney Dance” over a free internet beat — to being signed by Sha Money XL and then landing a record deal with Epic Records at a time when it was probably harder to get a major label deal than it was to get a gun into the White House.

Where Are Bobby Shmurda and Jabari Parker Now?

These days, Parker is no longer in the NBA and is playing in Europe, finding a different way to love the game, forgetting the injuries and heartbreak that forced him out of a league he had intentions on rising to superstar status in.

Parker is currently playing for FC Barcelona in the Spanish Liga ACB and the EuroLeague. He signed a $2 million one-year deal with Barcelona for the 2023-2024 season.

He says he’s having the time of his life in the Euroleague. 

“Basketball is bigger than the NBA. Basketball is global,” Parker said in an interview.

“I Love Euro League, it’s very competitive.” 

Shmurda, whose real name is Ackquille Pollard, hit a bevy of well-publicized legal problems and was sentenced to seven years in prison in 2016. Police said Shmurda was “the driving force” in a gang also known as GS9 (standing for “Grimey Shooters,” “Gun Squad” or “G Stone Crips.” The viral artist was freed on parole on Feb. 23, 2021. 

His first show back was at Rolling Loud Festival in Miami, Florida on Friday, July 23, 2021.

In 2022, Shmurda released his EP titled “Bodboy,” which features the summer bop “Hoochie Daddy. After a lukewarm return and years of requests, he was finally released from Epic Records that same year. 

Bobby hasn’t reached the fame he acquired after his hip-hop classic dropped prior to his prison stint of over four years. He was definitely next up, now he’s just a one and done who lost his musical connection to the public and his value to corporate hip-hop. He never got his shot to see how far he could really ride the wave of his first single that has been streamed close to one billion times.

The last Shmurda sighting was on IG on May 17 as he joined the band of celebrities condemning P.Diddy and hip-hop’s misogynistic culture. 


y’all OdEeeeing 🤣🤣🤣🤣😂😂😂😂 nah yall Niccas is moving dusty this sh-t gotta stop ain’t no female worth yah freedom and ladies it should be no amount of money worth your respect 🫡 I seen one of my fav celebrities do some straight dayroom sh-t smh ( Prevention Before Cure ) #PBC young bulls These been day room a real one won’t ever you don’t see us in those positions smh leave the 🐱before you beat the 🐱 #shmurdaphilosophy

Though he was quickly reminded that his music isn’t offering any solutions to help break generational curses and society’s ills. 


Your music destroy kids too . So be a example of what u preach . Or be the change for everyone !!🔥🔥🔥

Both have to live with what could have been. Parker appears to be at peace. Shmurda doesn’t give the impression that his life is back on course.

How Did Bobby Shmurda Rise To Top Of Rap Game?

At 20 years old Shmurda became an overnight sensation; the epitome of a one-hit wonder and a sign of the times as Internet popularity dictates the cash flow of record labels struggling to stay relevant in a global and evolving hip-hop scene.

Shmurda was the equivalent of a baby in the game. He started rapping at age 10 and in 2014 his song peaked at No. 6 on the Billboard Hot 100 and the industry showed much respect as the song was remixed and performed by a plethora of artists, including Lil’ Kim, French Montana and Juicy J. 

The “Hot N*gga” video posted on YouTube that August and immediately received tens of millions of views, and Shmurda performed the song for a national television audience on ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live.”

“My music is straight facts,” Shmurda told New York Magazine. “There are a lot of gangsters in my ‘hood.'”

With one hot joint and some social media love, he flipped a hard-nock Brooklyn Zoo life into mainstream fame and a future bright with limitless potential.

Jabari Parker Was Destined For Stardom From Childhood

In similar rising comet fashion, as a 6-foot-1 fifth-grade guard Parker had five D-1 scholarship offers. By 19, he was a projected future NBA star.  

In 25 games as a rookie, the former Duke Blue Devil averaged 12.3 points (second among rookies) and 5.5 rebounds (third) in 29.5 minutes per game (third) while helping the Bucks to a 13-12 record. He scored in double figures 17 times, including a career-best 23 points at BK — the highest-scoring game by a Bucks teenager in franchise history at the time.

Parker played a career-high 76 games the next year, averaging over 14 points per game.

In 2016-17 he started 50 games and averaged a career high 20.1 ppg. That was clearly his peak as Parker played 64 games in 2018-19 splitting time between the Chicago Bulls and Washington Wizards, and he never played more than 38 games again as he bounced around to Atlanta, Sacramento and Boston to end his NBA career, playing a combined 44 games his last five years. 

There was also some question about his style of play when he signed with his hometown Bulls, which he addressed in an interview, saying: “They don’t pay players to play defense.” 

Parallel Universes, Different Cultures

Shmurda and Parker were raised in contrasting parental environments and undoubtedly taught different values by their parents. Parker’s dad embraced everything that was golden about his South Side Chicago hood and ran a recreational sports organization for kids. That’s where Jabari and his brother Christian developed a passion for the rock and the rim.

While Shmurda’s pops was incarcerated and he grew up raised by the violent, criminal and influential street culture, Parker’s street corner was the basketball court at his local LDS Church meetinghouse in the Hyde Park community area, where he balled in order to avoid the hazards of urban playgrounds. Parker is also a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the son of former NBA player Sonny Parker.

The two youngsters flexed totally different styles but were in the same position as far as being “next up.” One kid had big dreams, but they were little in scope. He wanted to be the reincarnation of Tupac/T.I. Another was quoted as wanting to be an example for Black males from Chicago’s infamous South Side.

“Everything in my city is negative,” Parker once said of how he feels his hometown is portrayed in national media . “[The media] try to bring it down so much with the violence and I’m an African-American male in my community … going to college, and that’s big time. I want to represent them in the best form, the best manner, just to keep them close to my heart so they can see that there’s a young [guy] out on the South Side doing big things.”

Both of these guys were getting ready to embark on a legit journey for complete domination of their respective crafts, but the twists of fate are shifty and cruel. The future of a rising star can get washed away in the blink of an eye and with the force of a tsunami’s rolling waves. 

Both Lives Went Left In The Same Week: Parker Injured, Schmurda Arrested

Jabari Parker suffered a torn ACL left knee during the third quarter of a Monday night game in Phoenix on Dec. 15, 2014.

It was an unfortunate and premature ending to what was shaping up to be a Rookie of the Year season for young Parker on an upswing Bucks squad.

Shmurda, who had his share of run-ins with the law but was changing his life in light of his musical success, was arrested two days later (Wednesday) during a sting involving multiple shootings and drug trafficking in New York City. He was taken into custody by investigators as he sat in his car outside Quad Recording Studios on Seventh Avenue — the same studio that Tupac got blasted in back in 1994.

Law enforcement sources said Shmurda was under surveillance by police.

Two rising rockets struck down in one week. One by his own stupidity and ego and another by circumstance. Both rocked the social media monitor and Twitter and Facebook exploded with commentary on the rise and temporary fall of both torch-carriers.

Knee injuries are as prevalent in NBA culture as dunks and free throws. Getting arrested and stunting the growth of a potentially lucrative career is a common pitfall for rappers of all ages. It didn’t stop with Shmurda.

In both instances, it hurts a bit more when the person suffering the loss is a caterpillar. A vibrant symbol of the future. Older heads didn’t care for Shmurda’s complete lyrical package, but nonetheless they were all bopping their heads to the song and able to embrace the thug-popiness of “Hot N*gga.”

The “Shmoney Dance” was and still is a staple dance in hip-hop history; a combination of the’80s-famous “Wop” and “Smurf” dances. I give Bobby some credit. He drove his PR campaign like Earnhardt in the last lap of the Daytona 500. Problem is he forgot to step off the pedal when he got off the stage. He’s still making music, looking for that hit to take him back to the top.

Hopefully he stays out of prison and moves with purpose. Parker is still balling with a purpose.

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