top of page

Battle rapper Tsu Surf in custody on RICO charges

Das Bild zeigt Rapper Tsu Surf auf einer braunen Couch sitztend. Er trägt eine graue Hose und eine blau weiße Collage Jacke. Die Wand im Hintergrund ist rot.

Battlerap has the reputation of being a rather collegial environment with little real street reference - even if lyrical weapons are regularly drawn here. The violent death of Canadian battle rap star Pat Stay came as a surprise to most fans, even though it later became clear that the incident had nothing to do with his role as a musician. For other battle rappers, however, criminal activity doesn't just seem like fiction in their lyrics. Tsu Surf has now been arrested for alleged links to criminal gangs. The basis for this – once again the questionable RICO law, which allows authorities to charge people and confiscate their property without them actually being guilty of a crime. The supposed affiliation to a criminal organization is enough.

Tsu Surf in custody

Fox 5 New York reporter Lisa Evers confirmed that the New Jersey rapper was arrested by the US Marshals Service New York/New Jersey around 1:30 p.m. Thursday (10/13/2022). He was reportedly arrested on a RICO charge related to a DEA case. XXL has confirmed that Tsu Surf is currently being held in the Essex County Jail in Newark, NJ, awaiting his court hearing.

Tsu Surf, 32, was reportedly taken into custody at a home in Jersey City where he was staying with a woman. Witnesses say the rapper tried to flee the back door of the house, but law enforcement had already surrounded it. When he saw the police officers, he retreated back into the house and barricaded himself there. Tsu and the woman refused to come outside for about an hour, until a negotiator was called in, who convinced Tsu to surrender to the officers. He is scheduled to appear before a federal court judge in his hometown of Newark, NJ, today (Friday, 10/14/2022).

Little prospect of quick release

In May of this year, Young Thug Gunna and the YSL collective found out that the RICO investigators are no fun. Along with 26 others, the rappers were arrested at the height of their hype. When they will be free again is completely open. It seems to be the same with Tsu Surf. The rapper himself revealed on Oct. 6 via a friend's account that he may never step foot on stage again.

Let's hope he's wrong in his assumption. His friend and fellow rapper Qua seems to take a similar view of the situation, letting his fans know that when mentioning Tsu Surf's name, it might now be appropriate to precede it with "free".

Following a California court's recent decision to bar rap lyrics as evidence in the state, authorities in New York and New Jersey appear to be pulling out all the stops to pursue a number of RICO charges. Because the decision in the most populous state in the USA has a signal effect. This is a serious blow to RICO investigators, as connections to criminal gangs are often only revealed through references in the music. The prospect of success for future RICO procedures is therefore significantly smaller. Even the law itself, which is actually not a real law at all, but only an amendment to the law as an act, is in danger of being overturned in the foreseeable future. Many senators - also from New York - have already called for this several times. In addition, many black stars from film, sports and music are campaigning against the RICO act, since it - originally intended as a means against the mafia - is now primarily used to silence, dispossess and imprison black artists. We hope that, should the law actually be overturned, Thugger, Gunna, and even Tsu will benefit from this. If it becomes apparent how long the battle rapper will have to be in prison, you will – as always – find out from us first.

bottom of page