Silento Charged for Murder


By — Joey Hudson

On February 1, 2021, rapper Silento, who is best known for his song “Watch Me (Whip/Nae Nae),” was arrested and charged for the murder of his cousin Frederick Rooks. Rooks, who was 34, was found dead in Panthersville, Georgia with multiple gunshot wounds on January 21. 

Silento, who’s real name is Richard Lamar Hawk, was taken into custody at Georgia’s DeKalb County Police Department, who broke the news through Twitter stating, “Today, Ricky Hawk, 23, was arrested for the murder of his cousin Frederick Rooks, 34. On January 21, the DeKalb County Police Department investigated Rooks’ death after he was found shot on Deep Shoals Circle. Hawk is in the Dekalb County Jail charged with Murder.” 

Chanel Hudson, Hawk’s publicist, has recently started to try to tell Hawk’s story that ultimately led to his arrest. Hudson revealed that Hawk has been struggling with depression and anxiety since his song “Watch Me” went viral in 2017. The fast stardom took a heavy toll on Hawk’s mental health and Hawk felt an immense amount of pressure ever since.

 In 2019, Hawks went on the show, “The Doctor” to talk about his depression and was given an opportunity for treatment for his mental health, however Hawks never went through with seeking the help. Hudson has also stood by Hawks, telling the Atlanta Journal Constitution that she will continue to support him because he has supported her throughout their relationship. Hudson also announced that Hawk’s attorney and formal legal guardians are currently putting together a defense team for Hawks, his attorney saying that Hawk’s is in good spirits.  Hudson describes that Hawk’s mental health deteriorated even more during quarantine for the COVID-19 pandemic, leading up to a failed suicide attempt. 

This isn’t the first time that Hawks has been in legal trouble. Going back to 2017, Hawks fell into a business dispute in the United Arab Emirates. The court ultimately issued the rapper to pay 300,000 dirhams to a promoter after Hawks didn’t perform at two of his shows in Abu Dhabi and Al Ain. Hawks was also travel banned and had to surrender his passport.

 In August 2020, Hawks was arrested and charged for two counts of assault with a deadly weapon after entering a stranger’s home and threatening the occupants with a hatchet. He was also arrested by the Orange County Sheriff’s Department that same month for claims of domestic disturbance. In October 2020, Hawks was taken into custody by the same police department that took him into custody for the murder of Rooks because Hawks was driving at 143 mph. 

Silento still remains in custody due to his bond being denied by the court on Tuesday. Bernie Lawrence-Watkins, Hawks entertainment attorney, believes that Hawks needs to go through a psychiatric evaluation “as soon as possible.” Not much is currently known about the evidence that ultimately led to the arrest of Hawks.