Prosecutors are asking a Baton Rouge judge to revoke Louisiana rapper Kentrell Gaulden's probation — on the heels of his out-of-state arrest on kidnapping and assault charges — and make him serve a suspended 10-year prison term for his role in a nonfatal 2016 drive-by shooting.
The 18-year-old Gaulden, who performs under the name YoungBoy Never Broke Again, is "a threat to society and the safety of others," East Baton Rouge Parish Assistant District Attorney April Leon alleges in court documents.
Gaulden was booked in early 2017 on two counts of attempted first-degree murder and pleaded guilty in May to a reduced charge of aggravated assault with a firearm in the November 2016 drive-by shooting on Kentucky Street.
At his sentencing in August, when state District Judge Bonnie Jackson gave him a suspended 10-year prison term and put him on active supervised probation for three years, Gaulden told the judge he made a mistake and had learned from it.
Jackson warned Gaulden that "failure is not an option."
Then came Gaulden's Feb. 25 arrest this year in Tallahassee, Florida, on a fugitive warrant from Georgia on a domestic violence-related kidnapping charge. An affidavit shows Gaulden was arrested on aggravated assault with a weapon and kidnapping. Leon, in a motion, asked Jackson to revoke Gaulden's probation and order him to serve the suspended 10-year sentence.
One of the special conditions of Gaulden’s probation in Louisiana is that he remain arrest- and conviction-free.
Gaulden's attorney, James Manasseh, said Monday he has been in contact with Georgia officials.
"It's serious, but it's not nearly as severe as it's been made out to be," he said, adding that revoking Gaulden’s probation would not be appropriate. “There’s no kidnapping. There’s no weapons involved.”
Leon is asking Jackson to conduct a probation revocation hearing on May 18, the date on which the judge already was scheduled to review Gaulden's probation. The prosecutor is asking that Gaulden be held in custody until such a hearing is conducted.
The probation revocation motion says the kidnapping arrest involved “domestic violence against a dating partner.”
Another special condition of Gaulden’s probation is that he perform 250 hours of community service or, in lieu of that, record a public service announcement against the promotion of violence in rap music.
“This contradicts the court’s intentions of having the defendant speak out against the promotion of violence in rap music and, furthermore, the objectification of women in rap music and by rap artists,” Leon, in her motion, said of Gaulden’s recent arrest.
“It has become apparent to the State that the defendant has chosen to not abide by the conditions imposed by this Honorable Court,” the prosecutor added.
Manasseh said Gaulden remained in custody Monday in Georgia.
Jackson noted at Gaulden’s August sentencing that the popular Baton Rouge rap artist now lives in New Orleans.
Gaulden has lately seen success with singles such as “Outside Today” and “No Smoke,” which have appeared on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart.