In a world where trusting the news is as unreliable as the 1996 Impala in your grandmother’s yard, it can be really difficult to separate what is true from what is not. Especially when we are constantly inundated by a flow of information, sorting out the rumors from the truth can really be hard to do. Such is the case with the rumors about YNW Melly’s death. In this article, we will explain a little bit about who YNW Melly is, how he rose to fame, and explore the truth behind these rumors behind his untimely demise.
So Who is YNW Melly?
For anyone who does not know, YNW Melly was born Jamell Maurice Demons to his mother, Jamie Demons, in May of 1999, but his professional artist name is YNW Melly. He adopted this as his stage name in 2016 when he and a few friends (Anthony “Sakchaser” Williams, Christopher “Juvy” Thomas Jr., and Cortlen “Bortlen” Henry) created a hip-hop collective called YNW.
The music he creates falls under the hip-hop, trap, and R&B genres, and he has actually released a couple mixtapes and a studio album. He has several claims to fame including collaborations with Kanye West and Fredo Bang on his second mixtape.
What Happened to YNW Melly?
While YNW Melly definitely has a claim to fame and his music has amassed several hundred million streams on platforms like Spotify, he is also no stranger to controversy. The artist was only sixteen years old when he was first arrested and convicted of aggravated battery, discharging a firearm, and two counts of aggravated assault. He served several months in prison for these charges and was released later that year.
While he was incarcerated, he spent several months working on his music, creating, writing, and changing lyrics to fit his style. He was truly developing his art. One of his more popular hits from his first release is a song called “Murder On My Mind” where he talks his listeners through what he was going through, how he was feeling, and what went through his mind sitting in a dark cell.
It was around this time that he really began to pour his mind into his work. So much of his music contrasts his experiences with his emotions, trying to mingle the two in a way that would allow him to reconcile what he was seeing with how it made him feel. So many of his songs create a blend of anger, pain, and love all in one that really capture the essence of his thought process.
Melly’s Musical Fame
As he continued to release music, he also continued to amass fame. His Spotify following has increased to over 10 million monthly listeners with over 200 million streams total. His most streamed song is in fact “Murder On My Mind” which was released as a single before being featured on his debut mixtape, I Am You. However, his fame did not stop there.
As he continued to grow and continued to get fans, he also attracted the attention of famous artists such as Kanye West, Juice Wrld, and Fredo Bang. In fact, his collaboration with Juice Wrld was a remix of the song “Suicidal”, released on March 13, 2020, and it was only Juice Wrld’s third posthumous feature. “Suicidal” peaked at number twenty on the Hot 100 list, and it was Melly’s second entry into the Hot 100 top twenty.
Melly’s Legal Troubles
As mentioned earlier, YNW Melly had struggled with the criminal justice system from an early age. From his convictions at 16 to the present, the artist has been in and out of jail several times, and his arrest in June of 2018 and January of 2019 for possession of marijuana were only the beginning of what was chasing him.
Tragedy in Melly’s Life
In October of 2018, tragedy struck the YNW collective as Anthony “Sakchaser” Williams and Christopher “Juvy” Thomas Jr. were pronounced dead at Memorial Miramar hospital after being involved in a shooting that took place shortly after the YNW group was recording together at a studio.
According to an article here on RapTV, Melly was arrested due to a connection with the alleged murder of two of his best friends. With him was Cortlen “Bortlen” Henry who was also arrested on similar charges. However, Melly is adamant that he and Bortlen had nothing to do with the shootings and that he was still very close with Sakchaser and Juvy. According to the website for the Broward County Detention Center, Jamell Demons is still being held pending trial on charges of premeditated murder. His friend Cortlen Henry was granted bond in May of 2020.
Throughout the whole legal process, Melly has maintained his innocence, claiming that he had nothing to do with the death of his friends. He posted to twitter, saying, “They took my brothers from me over JEALOUSY i know y’all watching over me…”. According to RapTV, he is doing everything right in order to beat the case. He turned himself in when he heard that police had wrongfully arrested someone with his likeness, there is no murder weapon, and there is no DNA evidence or motive to convict him at all.
Is He Still Alive?
Rumors began swirling that Melly was stabbed to death in prison in December of 2019. Rumors began on or around December 9th that he was, “found dead with a knife in his abdomen”.The rumors claimed that he was in critical condition and that he eventually died of wounds.
However, according to Snopes.com, these rumors are all fake. The rumors began as someone used a website that allows users to create fake headlines to prank their friends, and they decided to make up news about Melly to scare his fans. While Melly himself did announce that in April of 2020 he had tested positive for COVID-19, he is very much alive at this time. Both his mother and the Broward County jail system have either released statements to this end or have his records up to date; Melly is most definitely alive. His mother said on instagram, “Melly is fine. I just talked to him this morning. He has not been injured whatsoever. He’s fine, he’s in great spirits, and he’ll be home soon.”
So at the end of the day, no, YNW Melly is in fact not dead. He is still in jail, however, fighting both COVID-19 and the injustice of the criminal justice system. Hopefully he will be released soon, and according to his lawyer, Attorney Raven Ramona Liberty, there is little to no evidence to even support his client’s guilt. However, he also said that the Broward County detention center is struggling to handle the COVID-19 outbreak, saying that, “They know nothing, and there isn’t any sanitizer.” In any case, the hope is that Melly will be released and he will be able to get back to cultivating his art and his unique sound.