French “Afro-Trap” rapper MHD has been sentenced to 12 years in prison for the murder of a young man by a violent mob.
On Saturday, MHD and five other defendants were convicted in the death of 23-year-old Loic K., who was killed on July 5, 2018 after being rammed by a black Mercedes and then surrounded by more than a dozen people, punched and stabbed on him, according to The Guardian.
MHD, whose real name is Mohamed Sylla, has repeatedly denied being at the crime scene and in his final statement to the court he said: “From the beginning I have maintained my innocence in this case and I will continue to do so . “Innocence.”
Although the rapper claims he was not present at the murder, which took place in Paris’ busy 10th arrondissement, video footage from neighbors who witnessed it helped identify the black Mercedes as his vehicle.
Viewers could also recognize MHD by his haircut and his Puma brand sweatshirt. The rapper previously served as an ambassador for the German clothing brand.
A day after the attack, the car was found burned and abandoned in a parking lot.
Authorities believe the dispute was a fight between rival gangs.
MHD and the other defendants have ten days to appeal the court’s decision.
The rapper is an important figure in the French Afro-trap genre, which combines hip-hop and traditional African music.
Since becoming famous, MHD has continued to regularly visit his former neighborhood, the Cite des Chaufourniers, a multicultural working-class neighborhood in the French capital.