Wu-Tang Clan affiliate Shyheim Franklin has seen his fair share of ups and downs since releasing his debut album AKA the Rugged Child 20 years ago, but, now the 36-year old is facing serious charges in the wake of a hit-and-run accident that left a man dead.
Shyheim turned himself in to police on Wednesday following a New Year’s Day incident in Staten Island, New York, which left a 29-year old man dead. He will face a charge of leaving the scene of a fatal accident, which is a class D felony, according to a report on the Staten Island Advance’s website.
With his mounting trouble, the embattled rapper posted a viral video on YouTube to garner financial support to help fight the charges against him. “Yo, to all my family, friends and fans reaching out in support, I’m in a lot of trouble right now and I need help with my legal defense so I can have a fair shot in court,” he said into an unsteady camera before asking for monetary donations made payable to his lawyer. “Thank you for your love, loyalty, respect, trust and honor.”
According to reports, Franklin, who found modest success with his “On and On” single in 1994, was driving a friend’s 2003 Volvo S80 when he ran through a stop sign and slammed into the victim’s car. Franklin allegedly took off on foot, leaving the car that he was driving behind with his blood on the driver’s side airbag.
At the time of the accident, the rapper was out on bail following an April 2013 arrest on gun and drug possession charges.
Shyheim emerged onto the rap scene on the heels of Wu-Tang’s success. Though he wasn’t signed to the Wu or their de facto leader RZA directly, he enjoyed benefits of the affiliation. Method Man made a key cameo in his first music video and has collaborated with various Wu members and Jay Z.
Franklin also landed some notable acting roles in TLC’s “Waterfalls” music video and films like “In Too Deep” with LL Cool J and Omar Epps and “The Preacher’s Wife” with Denzel Washington and the late Whitney Houston.