Chi Ali Griffith, who rapped as Chi-Ali, was arrested March 5 in the Bronx, New York, more than a year after fleeing a murder charge, according to a spokesperson for the borough’s district attorney’s office.
Griffith, 24, was busted for alleged marijuana possession and criminal possession of a weapon (a loaded 9 mm pistol) at approximately 6:30 a.m. in an apartment in the Parkchester section of the Bronx.
The former rapper, who released his only album, The Fabulous Chi-Ali, in 1992, allegedly shot and killed Sean Raymond, the brother of his then-girlfriend, in the southeast Bronx on January 14, 2000. Griffith was charged at the time with second-degree murder, illegal firearm use, assault, reckless endangerment and criminal possession of a weapon. He had escaped arrest until last week, despite appearing on the television program “America’s Most Wanted” twice in the past year.
Griffith is being held without bail, following his March 6 arraignment in Bronx Criminal Court. His next hearing is set for March 30 at Bronx State Supreme Court.
His lawyer in the case, Anthony Martone, could not be reached for comment.
Griffith was the youngest, if slightly tangential, member of the Native Tongue posse of early-’90s conscious hip-hop artists that included De La Soul and the Jungle Brothers, among others. He first appeared — at the age of 14 — on “Pass the 40,” from Black Sheep’s hit 1990 LP, A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing. The duo’s Dres returned the favor, rhyming on The Fabulous Chi-Ali, which also featured cameos by De La Soul’s Trugoy and A Tribe Called Quest’s Phife Dawg. Production on the album, which was released when Griffith was 16, was handled by top Queens, New York, duo the Beatnuts. It contained the hit single “Age Ain’t Nothin’ but a #.”