Teen rapper Silento is best known for his hit single “Watch Me (Whip/ Nae Nae),” and that single has granted him the opportunity to perform all over the world.
Recently he was booked to perform over in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), however he has been prevented from leaving due to a business dispute.
According to the Associated Press, a court ruling issued in the city of Al Ain, orders the 19-year old to pay a local promoter a total of 300,000 dirhams ($81,500) after he reportedly did not perform two scheduled shows on February 18th.
The judgment, which was made on February 20th, placed a travel ban on Silento, whose real name is Ricky Lamar Hawk. It orders him “to surrender his passport to the court until the case is settled.”
Jenna Kadhum who is representing Silento over in the Middle East has reportedly argued the allegations against the rapper, and claims the promoter failed to live up to his end of the agreement.
She said, “Silento did not cancel any shows at all.” She also added that he did not learn about the travel ban until Wednesday.
Makki Taj El Sir Abdel Halim, who owns event organizer Mackie Entertainment, said in an interview, “He didn’t show up. “I just want to get my own money back. … I don’t want to ruin his reputation.”
On Friday Silento tweeted, “To All My Fans And Friends I’m Okay. Thanks For The Love & Support. No Need To Cry & Be Sad. I’ll Be Home Soon! God Is With Me.”
The National, a news outlet in Abu Dhabi posted a video from his performance Thursday night where he said, “I can’t even leave the UAE but I’m still in the club.”
Kadhum did not say if the rapper handed his passport over to authorities and did not discuss the next steps he will take legally. The U.S. Embassy in Abu Dhabi declined for a comment.