Wu-Tang Affiliate Shyheim Released From Prison After Serving Five Years

In August 2014,  Shyheim was hit with a 14-year sentence, serving the manslaughter and gun and drug charges concurrently.

Wu-Tang affiliate Shyheim Franklin — better known as Shyheim the Rugged Child — has been released from prison after doing a five-year bid.

READ: Popa Wu, Mentor to the Wu-Tang Clan, Passes Away

Shyheim made the announcement on his Instagram, posting photos with his family, including his daughter.

Shyheim was in prison for a series of incidents. In April 2013, he was arrested after police found heroin and a .32 caliber revolver in his house. Then, on New Years 2014, Shyheim was driving a friend’s 1996 Volvo S80 when he blew through a stop sign and slammed into a car, killing Felipe Avila of Staten Island who was inside. He then ran off, leaving the scene.

Shyheim pled guilty to second-degree manslaughter and previous drugs and weapons charges. In August 2014 he was hit with a 14-year sentence, serving the manslaughter and gun and drug charges concurrently.

READ: “Understanding The Wu-Tang Story Is Understanding An American Story:” ‘Of Mics And Men’ Celebrates The Legacy Of Wu-Tang [Recap]

Shyheim is best known for being one of the youngest rappers ever affiliated with the Wu-Tang Clan. In 1994, at just 14, he released his debut album AKA the Rugged Child. That album, which had a song produced by RZA, peaked at #7 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop albums chart thanks to the success of the lead single “On and On.”

He also appeared on stage with The Notorious B.I.G., Tupac, Big Daddy Kane, during the iconic Madison Square Garden freestyle in 1993.

Despite being highly regarded as an MC, and doing collaborations with the likes of Big L, Big Daddy Kane, JAY-Z, Method Man, Raekwon, and more, Shyheim would never be able to recreate the momentum he had with his debut. He would release The Lost Generation in 1996, led by “This Iz Real.” And then released three other albums independently, Manchild (1999), The Greatest Story Never Told (2004), and Disrespectfully Speaking (2009), while fighting various criminal charges


Dimas Sanfiorenzo

Dimas Sanfiorenzo is the Managing Editor for Okayplayer. He specializes in coverage centered around music, pop culture, and politics. Email:

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