April 20, 2021 – The Block will miss him. But the long arm of the law doesn’t much care for accolades or stature on the street.
Philadelphia drug lord and rapper Abdul (AR-Ab) West, boss of the Original Block Hustlaz narcotics organization, was sentenced to 45 years in federal prison last week by U.S. District Court Judge Michael Baylson. The length of the sentence was a shock to many in the Philly hip hop and dope boy scene.
West, 48, was convicted in 2019 of running the “OBH” drug empire in North Philly. OBH doubled as a music label and was founded by West and his second-in-command Daryl (Shady) Baker back in 2002.
Baker oversaw weekly shipments of cocaine, heroin, meth and marijuana coming from California, per court records. The shipments of drugs were stored in upscale residences purchased in Philly’s posh Center City, Rittenhouse Square and Packer Park neighborhoods.
In the early 2000s, West and OBH engaged in a rap beef with Philly rap superstar Meek Mill. West survived being shot 10 times in 2011, posting photos on his social media accounts from the hospital as he was being treated and during his recovery.
Although he’s never been charged with any acts of violence, both state and federal authorities in Philadelphia believe West ordered the 2017 gangland slaying of former OBH affiliate, Robbie (The Bull) Johnson. One of the hit men in the Johnson murder, OBH enforcer, Dontez (The Tazmanian Devil) Stewart, pleaded guilty to the crime and became a witness for the government. “Taz” Stewart points the finger at West for putting the contract on Johnson’s head for his bad-mouthing of the OBH crew and allegedly skimming drug proceeds from OBH stash spots and trap houses.
On the night of October 14, 2017, Johnson was killed by Stewart and a West confidant known as, “OBH Berto,” according to Stewart’s 302 debriefing documents on file with the FBI and DOJ. Stewart admits to setting up the hit, lulling Johnson into a sense of security by taking him out partying at a nightclub and getting him drunk and high so he would lower his guard. West’s Iphone showed rap lyrics referencing Johnson’s execution (written in the phone’s “notes”) being penned in the hours after Johnson was shot to death.