Bobby Shmurda says his Epic Records deal ‘feels like prison,’ begs for release

Bobby Shmurda poses on the red carpet wearing a gold chain, black shirt and white sweatpants
Bobby Shmurda arrives at Power 105.1’s Powerhouse 2014 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
(Scott Roth / Invision / Associated Press)

Nearly one year after being released from prison, rapper Bobby Shmurda is still fighting to be released from his recording contract.

On Thursday, Shmurda expressed his pent-up frustrations toward Epic Records in an Instagram post he quickly deleted. He complained the label wouldn’t release him from his contract or let him put out the album he says is ready to be unveiled.

Bobby Shmurda’s friends and family were celebrating Tuesday after the rapper’s release from prison. He served time on weapons and conspiracy charges.

Feb. 23, 2021

“I got a 70 year old lady running my label and I lover her dearly but [she] doesn’t want to let me go,” he wrote, referring to Sylvia Rhone, 69, the chair and chief executive of Epic.


“I did six years in jail trying to get off this label before I came home,” he continued. “You name one person in the industry a label keeps signed in jail for six years?????? Yeah [I know] I made them more millions than they ever gave me!”

Shmurda, who signed with Epic Records in 2014, has been vocal about his frustrations toward the label in the past. Last December, the 27-year-old said he hasn’t been in control of his music since he was 19 and didn’t know when his debut album or other material would be dropping.

After being arrested in 2015 on gun and drug charges, he blamed the label for not paying his $2-million bail, which Epic’s then-CEO, L.A. Reid, responded to by saying, “We seriously don’t make the money we used to make.”

Shmurda was later sentenced to seven years behind bars on murder-conspiracy charges, famously taking a harsher plea deal so his friend and fellow rapper Rowdy Rebel would spend less time in prison. Since Shmurda was released early from prison in February 2021, he’s dropped several singles and in August signed a management deal with Roc Nation.

“This is not a cry for help this is a message and understanding for my fans that they stopping my music and prolonging my career,” he wrote Thursday in his deleted Instagram post. “I been holding s— down doing everything on my own since I been home it’s been a year now I still feel like I’m in prison.”

L.A. Times has reached out to Epic Records for comment.