By Teresa Ambord
Which comes first, the violent nickname or the violent tendencies? That's a good question. But when an entertainer calls himself "Gunplay," he just might make a career of living up to that image. That could be what happened to thirty-year-old rapper, Richard Morales Jr.
Morales is a member of the Maybach Music Group (MMG) and is known as a protégé of Def Jam rapper, Rick Ross. In early October, Morales turned himself into authorities based on the advice of his attorney. Morales became the subject of a warrant after an attack at a tax office last spring. If convicted, said his attorney, he could be looking at life in prison.
So what happened?
Morales and a friend of his, Randy Jones, entered a tax preparation office and, for reasons that have not been revealed, he exploded in a fit of rage. As surveillance cameras rolled, he was seen pulling a gun on an accountant who was seated behind a desk where there was no visible way to escape. In addition to wielding a firearm, Morales is accused of stealing a cell phone and a gold chain during the same confrontation. He was later charged with armed robbery, aggravated assault, and assault with a deadly weapon. In spite of the evidence, the rapper managed to evade arrest throughout the spring and summer months.
Then came the 2012 BET Hip Hop Awards, and once again he was caught on tape in a brawl. Morales claimed that while he was separated from his security crew, he was assaulted by rapper 50 Cent and members of G-Unit. Atlanta police broke up the brawl by pepper spraying some of the participants, including Morales. Morales was then handcuffed and led away by Atlanta police. Later he talked to reporters about the fight, but declined to mention 50 Cent by name, "cause I ain't going to ruin a career already ruined." Instead, he referred to 50 Cent as the "donkey of the day." Although his account of the brawl suggests he was attacked, some reports list him as the instigator.
With new legal attention focused on Morales, his attorney Mike Grieco advised him it was time to surrender to the authorities. Accompanied by friends and loved ones, Morales arrived at the Miami-Dade Police Department in an SUV. Grieco told reporters, "Gunplay voluntarily surrendered today without incident. There's been an open arrest warrant for armed robbery with a firearm." He is being held without bond.