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Ty Dolla $ign faces 15 years in prison: Are Black artists unfairly targeted?

Although 2018 is winding down, there appears to still be some tricks up its sleeves.

36-year-old musician, Ty Dolla $ign, is reportedly facing up to 15 years in prison on charges of felony possession of cocaine, felony possession of THC and misdemeanor possession of marijuana.

Earlier this year on Sept. 5, he and six others were stopped after a police officer said he smelled marijuana coming from his van near downtown Atlanta area. A police report says a search of the vehicle yielded marijuana and cocaine.

Even though he was traveling with other people, of which including world-renown DJ Skrillex, they were released without charges under the suspicion that the drugs belonged to the singer.

Fulton County grand jury indicted the Beach House musician on Nov. 30, giving Ty,  born Tyrone William Griffin Jr., quite an uncertain future.

If you’re wondering why such a tough sentencing, it took place in Fulton County, GA where drug laws are way stiffer than Cali. Since, Ty’s representatives made a statement saying,

“Ty maintains his innocence and there is no indication to the contrary. It’s also very important to note that Ty’s jewelry and cash seized from him upon his arrest in September 2018 was ordered returned to him last week … another clear sign that this matter is coming to a close soon.”

While that news sounds promising, the internet was not the least bit satisfied with the Ty Dolla $ign’s mistreatment and the oh too common narrative of a Black star being put in cuffs.

Almost as soon as the story broke, questions of Demi Lavato’s ability to evade arrest and the failure to find Mac Miller’s dealers arose. And while these may very well be reaches and false equivalencies, it still indicates unrest to nature of Ty’s arrest.

And they might have a point.

As reported, Skrillex was apart of  Ty’s entourage where the drugs were found, why is it that only Ty$ was arrested? Similarly, how do they recover someone who’s overdosed and not indict them on what they overdosed with? There is a lack of consistency in the case of Demi and Ty Dolla, though happy for her recovery.

With Meek Mill shedding light on the injustices of the criminal system and advocating for reform, it does put a spotlight on these types of situations.

Meek was pinned on a crime he didn’t commit as a minor because he was coerced into pleading guilty, which is different from what Ty Dolla is facing but does make one hyper-aware to the fact that these entrapments do happen.

The sad part is that a big part of Ty’s motivation for all of his success is too free his brother TC who is incarcerated in a maximum security prison in California. He even named his debut album Free TC and released this doc to create awareness.

It’s hard to say who deserves what and who doesn’t and that’s not any of our jobs. But what we can do is point out patterns that are tipped disproportionally to one side.

In hip-hop, we’ve seen 6ix9ine, Kodak Black, Meek Mill, and G Herbo be arrested or released this year alone; and I’m sure that doesn’t cover them all. Hip-hop is not the only genre or industry deep in drugs yet we don’t see as consistent an arrest across the board.

The rep for Ty Dolla also stated that this is just “the next mandatory procedural step in the process of resolving Ty’s case in that particular criminal justice system and one more step closer to finally bringing this matter to a close.”

We can only hope Ty Dolla $ign is able to settle this and continue his career. His fate, however, is in the law’s hands.