RICHMOND, Virginia (WRIC) – The career of a rapper from Richmond takes off behind bars. Deonte Gaines, also known as FNF Chop, produces, directs, and even appears in music videos from inside the Richmond City Justice Center.
Chops the single “Walk Down” was released in 2019 but it wasn’t until recently that the fast-tempo track blew up on TikTok and sparked a dance challenge, all while the rapper is in jail.
The “FNF” part of its name stands for Family Never Folds.
In a video tour of Richmond Jail, Chop said, “It kind of went viral on its own. Labels started calling, Columbia contacted, Alamo Records, Republic Records, Warner Records.
Chop, who is serving time for parole violation, says he recently posted a fan video. Dancers can be seen wearing shirts with the inscription #FreeFNFChop.
The shirts are a show of solidarity after he said he caught COVID-19 twice in prison.
While the 22-year-old couldn’t attend the video production, he called out the shots from his cell. He said, “It was a two to three day shoot and it just took off.”
Chop even makes a virtual appearance in the clip with his mom. The blow has amassed over 4 million streams on Spotify.
Chop isn’t the first inmate to appear in a Richmond Jail video. Chop says inmates are given tablets to use and that there are several videos or photos posted on social media showing other offenders posing or dancing inside the prison.
When asked if MPs were okay with this, Chop said: “We don’t fight, you know we don’t argue, we don’t swear, we don’t destroy anything.”
Chop says that with the pandemic inmates are not allowed to play sports or do anything else. Sheriff Antoinette Irving gave a similar response when asked about it last month.
“They are not breaking a rule because they are in a group taking a picture,” she said.
Irving also said in a statement:
“Tablets have become crucial to the well-being and daily lives of inmates at the Richmond City Justice Center during the pandemic so that they can maintain contact with their families and lawyers and thus continue to participate in education and advocacy. other programs that will help them meet their goal of returning to the community as citizen contributors. A family member of an inmate recorded a brief portion of a tablet visit, which was then edited outside the facility into a longer music video. This event posed no threat to the health and safety of residents or staff of the Richmond City Justice Center. “
The prison faces a serious staff shortage. The Richmond Sheriff’s Office lost 110 MPs.
“They just need a little help,” Chop said. “It’s overcrowded.
The rapper is warning others not to be fooled by these prison videos on social media. He says a cell is not a place to be. Once out, he wants to focus on his career and invest for his family.