Bobby Shmurda is happy to be home.
The Brooklyn rapper was released from New York’s Clinton Correctional Facility on Tuesday (Feb. 23) following his 2014 arrest on charges of conspiracy to commit murder, reckless endangerment, and gun and drug possession. He celebrated his first day out at a welcome-home party with family and friends including Quavo, who flew him home on a private jet. GQ met up with Bobby for his first post-prison interview at a two-story penthouse in Brooklyn’s Dumbo neighborhood.
Shmurda, who will remain on parole until 2026, was in good spirits as he reflected on the past six years. “My spirit’s always gon’ be up,” he said. “I used to sleep next to people who had 40 to life. People who’ve been in there for 30 years and haven’t laughed–I’d have them crying all day. When you got good energy, no matter where you at, you can bring a smile to someone’s face.”
The once-limber rapper is looking swole these days, thanks to his daily lifting routine. His right hand remains in a brace, a reminder of prison life. “You know what happened,” he responded when asked about the injury. “Jail is jail.”
While incarcerated, he received tons of letters from fans include one that hit home. “It was 2016, I was in the box. A six-year-old girl wrote to me; she said I was her favorite rapper… That just let me know the kids are watching me, and I have to be a role model,” he said.
That’s when he knew he had to take his music career seriously. “I didn’t really care too much for it until I went to jail and I seen how the fans were loyal,” added Bobby. “I can’t name a week that I didn’t see at least 10 [pieces] of fan mail, throughout the whole bid.”
At one point during the interview, he received a FaceTime call from Meek Mill and the two commiserated over their shared experiences. “I’m done with that [jail] shit,” he told Meek, adding, “I’ll be light-skinned in Jamaica before I go back.”
Quavo, who has remained one of his most loyal friends, started planning for Bobby’s first day out six months to a year ago after one of their phone calls. “He had this dream: a jet, flooded out with his gang, his family, a couple vibes [read: women] for him,” said the Migos rapper. “It’s like his birthday today. Whatever he wants to do, we’re doing it.”
While in prison, Bobby started reading books about real estate, which has become his new obsession. “I only want to talk about real estate now. Ask anybody. [This morning] I said, ‘Quavo–real estate!’ and he’s like, ‘Chill, you just got out.’ They made me a monster now,” said Bobby. “You’re like an animal in a fu**ing cage. And you’re mentally a monster. Physically a monster. Spiritually a monster. They aren’t going to know what to do with you.”
Additionally, Bobby recalled the last conversation he had with Nipsey Hussle, which took place just one month before the Crenshaw rapper’s death. “I only had four or five conversations with cousin,” he said. “His mind was different. He was saying all the things we were going to do when I got out.”
New music is also on the way. While he wouldn’t confirm an album, he told GQ that “projects” are in the works. Plus, he hinted at a potential collaboration with the late Pop Smoke, saying he “has something cooking.” And don’t be surprised to hear a Shmurda feature on Migos’ forthcoming album Culture III.
Now that he’s out, Bobby has no plans on going back. “I know what y’all like. I know what y’all don’t like. Y’all don’t like to see young, Black rich ni**as. So I’m going to get real rich on y’all. I’m going to make it legit, though. They want to see you ni**as back selling crack. You know what I mean? Going to jail and shit. And I’m going to make it legit now.”