Abdul West was born on September 26, 1982 in Philadelphia, PA. AR-AB began his career as a battle rapper and went on to become a member of Cassidy's Larsiny Family, appearing as a featured artist on his mixtapes throughout 2007, notably 07-07-07 (Happy Birthday) and Put Ya L In The Sky. He continued working features for various rappers throughout this time span, until the release of his debut mixtape Welcome to Trap Street on May 1, 2008.
In 2008, Ab and Cassidy appeared on the Cocaine City street DVD, where the two collaborated on "City of Dreams" alongside a young French Montana. This would be Ab's first music video before concentrating on his solo career. He released his second mixtape I See Dead People on January 8, 2009, and his third mixtape Allegheny AB on May 26, 2010.
Ab began making waves following the release of his fourth mixtape Who Harder Than Me, released on February 13, 2011. In 2012, AR-Ab began working on his fifth mixtape Who Harder Than Me II, which was released on October 5, 2012. The record included features from fellow-Philadelphia rapper Freeway, and rapper/producer Swizz Beatz who was already a long-time producer and associate of Cassidy during the latter's stint with Ruff Ryders Entertainment. The collaboration, during which Swizz Beatz referred to Ab as "most important new artist in rap", prompted speculation whether he would be signed to his label.
The following year saw the release of his sixth mixtape MUD Musik on February 28, 2013. This would be his last release before his latest round of legal trouble, which saw Ab turning himself into authorities and promptly incarcerated, in March of that same year.
Abdul West grew up in North Philadelphia in Pennsylvania, where he currently resides. He claims to be a devout Muslim. In late 2010, Ab and Dark Lo formed their label and supergroup OBH (Original Block Hustlaz), which also includes his brother Lik Moss among other rappers. In 2012, Abdul's grandmother died in February, and his mother died the following month. He describes this as a traumatic moment in his life, having already lost an elder brother prior.
Abdul West has been embroiled in a spate of legal issues throughout his career, and prior to his involvement in the music industry, including charges related to drug trafficking, possession, and violent crimes. According to interviews, he has served time in jail on four separate occasions prior to his most-recent 2013 sentencing related to crack cocaine.
In 2005, AR-Ab was one of three men wanted by police in connection to an April 15 shooting that left one man dead and two others injured. Prominent rapper Cassidy was the main suspect, with Ab and a third unidentified man being wanted as accomplices. In a December 3, 2008, interview with PhillyHeatTV, AR-Ab revealed he was found "not guilty", having spent two years fighting the case. Cassidy had surrendered to Philadelphia police on the afternoon of June 17, 2005. The case took a turn when the primary witness withdrew his confession. On January 25, 2006, Cassidy was convicted of involuntary manslaughter, two counts of aggravated assault and possession of an instrument of crime for his involvement in the shooting. He was sentenced to 11 to 23 months in prison plus probation, and was credited with the 7 months he had already served. He was released after serving 8 months in prison, and went on to relaunch the Larsiny Family which included then-member AR-Ab.
On April 13, 2013, media outlets reported on a Tweet from rapper AR-Ab referring to a past crime which caught up to him. "3 years ago I got caught up in a big drug trafficking raid, it just caught up to me. Now I gottta pay da price. I'm doing my final show tonite", claimed the Tweet. Speculations were abound whether he would be going to jail soon. On April 26, videographer Gil Videos uploaded a video with Ab revealing he will be turning himself in to the authorities. Following his prison sentence, music videos from AR-Ab and OBH members prominently featured the "Free AR-Ab" slogan, and urged fans to write to Abdul West while he's in prison. He was released on parole in November 2014, having served 18 months. According to interviews, Ab was booked for charges related to crack cocaine and faced up to 3 years, which was hastened to 18 months through his participation in the boot camp program.
During an incident late-September 2011, AR-Ab survived being shot ten times. A Tweet dated September 24, 2011, showed a bandaged Ab lying in bed recuperating with the caption "10 shots couldn't stop me!!!" A previous Tweet confirmed he was in the hospital receiving treatment. He is reported to have suffered two shots to the stomach, two to the hand, five to the glutes and one shot to the thigh.
Drake referenced AR-Ab on his song "Back to Back" where he says "I waited four days, nigga, where y'all at? I drove here in the Wraith playin' AR-Ab." AR-Ab later appeared on VladTV in August 2015 saying that while he hasn't signed on to Drake's OVO Sound and sided with him saying he was disappointed in Mill's response. Mill responded on August 6 during a performance at Camden where he said "Fuck AR-Ab" and questioned his allegiance to an out-of-town rapper. "AR-Ab" responded by releasing his own version of "Back to Back" freestyle on August 8 which dissed Mill and also contained violent lyrics where he threatened to unleash his "shooters" upon Mill. In response, Meek's cousin Omelly released his own version of "Back to Back" freestyle which dissed AR-Ab and also contained violent lyrics. AR-Ab did another interview on VladTV where he said Mill was too scared to respond himself and Omelly was the "softest one on Dream Chasers". He also told that he won't respond to Omelly's diss because he's a "worker". In January 2016, AR-Ab revealed that he and Mill had talked it out and their feud was now over.Collaboration albums
Rich Gang 2: Flashy Lifestyle (with YMCMB) (TBA)
Welcome to Trapstreet (2008)
I See Dead People (2009)
Allegheny AB (2010)
Who Harder Than Me (2011)
Who Harder Than Me II (2012)
Mud Musik (2013)
Mud Musik II (2015)
Who Harder Than Me 3" (2016)
Protocol Vol 1 (2017)