Ralo, Atlanta rapper and 1017 Records affiliate, has been locked up at DeKalb County Jail since April 15 and faces two federal counts of possession with intent to distribute marijuana. While multiple bonds have been denied for his release, there is a change.org petition circulating online with over 10,000 signatures, making a case that the 23-year-old rapper is a community leader and should be released on bond ahead of his July 30 court date.
“We hope to bring Ralo home as we know he is not a threat to the community,” Ralo’s manager, Queen, tells Complex. “It only makes sense that he should be able to come home and stand trial while still being able to run his record label and be able to provide for his family.”
According to Ralo’s team, they believe the arrest in April was an illegal search of an airplane in which he was flying in—a detail that has not been public. Furthermore, Ralo’s team clarifies when police raided his apartment in April he was only arrested for marijuana possession, and speculation that they were more severe charges (he was arrested for drug conspiracy charges after-the-fact) just fed the rumor mill. The judge denied his bond the first time, saying he violated probation on a prior arrest and was a convicted felon. The second time, prosecutors presented evidence that alleges he’s still running a drug empire while behind bars.
Ralo, whose real name is Terrell Davis, was arrested in April when agents searched a cargo hold of a plane heading from Georgia to California and found over 440 pounds of marijuana inside. Agents allege Ralo and his gang, Famerica, were responsible for shuttling over 900,000 pounds of marijuana worth nearly $2 million on planes charted by him.
Part of the petition reads, “It’s obvious that Mr. Davis is being selectively prosecuted and denied bond in prejudice.” And Queen strongly believes it is because Ralo is “young, black, Muslim, and successful.”
“Those are four types of people that America does not like,” she explains. “The government started looking into Ralo because he is Muslim and they tried to say that he was an extremist. His primary song that was climbing the charts at the time of his incarceration was titled '12 Can’t Stop Shit,' which I feel led to a predisposed prejudice against him, even though the song was made for entertainment purposes.”
In comparing N.W.A.’s “Fuck the Police” and the harassment they received from authorities after the song gained nationwide attention, Queen says Ralo was also targeted because of “12 Can’t Stop Shit” and his outspokenness.
If Ralo is found guilty, he must turn over 20 units of apartments he owns in Atlanta, five properties, and other possessions connected to the crime, including nine cars, money, and two guns, according to a federal grand jury indictment as reported by 11Alive.
But Ralo has kept his spirits high. Among the celebrities who have showed support through social media and personally reached out to him are Future, Young Scooter, Deon Sanders, Pacman Jones, Kevin Gates, Trouble, Shy Glizzy, 21 Savage, Lil Durk, Quality Control CEO Pierre "Pee" Thomas, YFN Lucci, Derez De'Shon, Money Man, and Meek Mill.
“I try not to put too much of my confidence into worldly things. I put all my faith in God. I still remain humble, patient, and focused,” Ralo says.