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Atlanta rapper Silento banned from leaving the UAE


Free Silento?

The Atlanta rapper has been stopped from leaving the United Arab Emirates because of a business dispute.

According to the Associated Press , the rapper legally known as Ricky Lamar Hawk, has been ordered by the court in the city of Al Ain to pay a local promoter $81,500 because he failed to perform two scheduled shows.

A Feb. 20 judgment placed a travel ban on the rapper behind the 2015 breakout, “Watch Me (Whip/Nae Nae),” and ordered him to surrender his passport until the case is settled.

The report says Silento was supposed to play in Al Ain and Abu Dhabi on Feb. 18.

A representative for Silento in the Middle East, Jenna Kadhum, told the AP that the promoter, Abdel Halim, failed to live up to his end of the agreement.

“Silento did not cancel any shows at all,” Kadhum said.

Halim countered that Silento, “didn’t show up…I just want to get my own money back. ... I don't want to ruin his reputation."

Silento performed at a Dubai nightclub into the early hours Thursday and said, “I can’t even leave the UAE but I’m still in the club.”

The rapper posted a photo with his fans on his Twitter account, along with the message, “I miss my bed.”

A GoFundMe page has been established to raise money for Silento’s release. The description reads, “Bring Me Back to America Again #SilentoMob.”

At posting time, no donations had been made toward the goal of $100,000.


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Atlanta Journal-Constitution staff writer Melissa Ruggieri covers music and entertainment news for Atlanta Music Scene blog on