LAPD nab fugitive Toronto rapper wanted for murder

Top5’s five-month flight from justice ended Thursday when he was arrested in Los Angeles

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Toronto’s most-wanted rapper is now behind bars.

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Hassan Ali, better known to Toronto hip-hop fans as Top5, was taken into custody Thursday by the Los Angeles Police Department on a provisional arrest warrant.

Details of his arrest aren’t yet known.

Ali gained infamy by taunting investigators and regularly communicating with fans via Instagram Live while on the run from a murder charge, accused in the Jan. 31 shooting death of 20-year-old Hashim Omar Hashi.

Hashim Omar Hashi, 20, was fatally shot on Falstaff Ave. on Sunday, Jan. 31, 2021.
Hashim Omar Hashi, 20, was fatally shot on Falstaff Ave. on Sunday, Jan. 31, 2021. Submitted

Hashi, who police have said had no criminal record and no gang ties, was gunned down while driving into the parking garage of 40 Falstaff Ave., near Jane St. and Hwy. 401.

The getaway car used by the gunman was later found torched in Earl Bales Park, near Bathurst St. and Sheppard Ave. W.

Ali was originally charged in February with accessory-after-the-fact, and despite objections by both police and the Crown was released the next month with strict conditions, including an ankle monitor and orders to stay off social media.

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Shortly before police upgraded his charges to first-degree murder in May, Ali allegedly cut off his ankle monitor and skipped town — with rumours on his whereabouts ranging from Toronto to Western Canada.

He didn’t let being on the run interfere with his music career, however — releasing new music and even a music video while on the lam.

Ali made regular appearances on social media, including frequent broadcasts on Instagram Live, where he taunted both police and rivals alike, and also issued denials he was either on the run or wanted by police.

“I didn’t cut my bracelet off,” he said during a June broadcast.

“I’m not on the W, I don’t know why you guys think I’m on the W.”

We apologize, but this video has failed to load.

In a July broadcast, he demanded a sit-down with Toronto Mayor John Tory.

“Call John Tory and tell him I f—— want a sit-down for f—— 30 minutes,” Ali said to fans commenting about his legal woes. “I wanna spit my facts, and he’ll spit his facts. I run Toronto, you f—— goof.”

An Instagram Story posted on Top5’s account early Friday morning simply said, “The process has just started.”

Ali was an emerging and controversial figure in Toronto’s hip-hop scene.

His first taste of fame came in 2014 via a mention by Toronto hip-hop mainstay Drake, giving Ali a shoutout on Instagram for his song Shirt off Shawty.

In August, 2020, Top5 brought traffic on the 401 to a standstill while shooting a scene for a never-released music video.

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A video clip posted to Top5’s Instagram shows Ali performing in the live lanes of the eastbound collector lanes just east of Jane St. — with the Fallstaff community housing complex serving as a backdrop.

That stunt resulted in the OPP slapping Ali with a mischief charge.

bpassifiume@postmedia.com
On Twitter: @bryanpassifiume

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