Rapper Silento charged with murdering his cousin


February 01, 2021

By CHRISTOPHER BANKS (WTDN) - Rapper Silento, who's real name is Ricky Lamar Hawk and is known for his top five Billboard Hot 100 hit and viral dance craze “Watch Me (Whip/Nae Nae)" in 2015, was arrested Monday in Georgia's DeKalb County and charged with murder in the shooting death of his cousin, authorities said.

Hawk, 23, was arrested after DeKalb police investigated the recent death of 34-year-old Frederick Rooks. Hawk was booked into the DeKalb jail on one count of murder, police spokeswoman Michaela Vincent said in a statement. He was being held without bond late Monday, jail records showed.

Silento arrives at the BET Awards on June 26, 2016, in Los Angeles. The rapper, known for “Watch Me (Whip/Nae Nae)" and whose legal name is Richard Lamar Hawk, was charged Thursday, Sept. 3, 2020, with trying to hit two people with a hatchet in their home. Hawk is charged with assault with a deadly weapon and is being held in jail on $105,000 jail, the Los Angeles County district attorney's office said. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, File)

“Today, Ricky Hawk, 23, was arrested for the murder of his cousin Frederick Rooks, 34,” Georgia’s DeKalb County Police Department tweeted on Monday (Feb. 1). “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.”

On Jan. 21, police responded to a 3:30 a.m. shots-fired call and found Rooks dead at the scene with multiple gunshot wounds, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

In this July 21, 2015 photo, rapper Silento poses for a portrait in New York. The rapper, known for “Watch Me (Whip/Nae Nae)" and whose legal name is Richard Lamar Hawk, was charged Thursday, Sept. 3, 2020, with trying to hit two people with a hatchet in their home. Hawk is charged with assault with a deadly weapon and is being held in jail on $105,000 jail, the Los Angeles County district attorney's office said. (Photo by Drew Gurian/Invision/AP, File)

Silento was also arrested in August for assault with a deadly weapon after being accused of walking into an unlocked stranger’s home in the Valley Village area of Los Angeles and swinging a hatchet at the two people inside before one of them disarmed him. A day prior to that arrest, he was held on domestic violence charges at a Santa Ana, Calif., home. In October, he was arrested for allegedly driving 143 mph in DeKalb County.

Billboard named Silento’s biggest hit, “Watch Me (Whip/Nae Nae),” as one of our 100 Songs That Defined the Decade in 2019, thanks to it starting a viral dance craze and whipping all the way up the Hot 100 to No. 3.

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Cover Photo: DeKalb County Sheriff's Office

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