James Baker, also known locally as Blocboy JB, was arrested overnight on one felony charge of being a felon in possession of handgun, speeding, possession of drug paraphernalia and drug possession.
He walked out of the Shelby County Jail with his lawyers at 4:40 p.m. Friday and performed a concert at the Beale Street Music Festival at 7:20. He paused for a moment in the middle of his Beale Street performance to mention his day didn't start as planned.
"I ain't going to lie, I just got out of jail," he told the crowd.
On Thursday, officers said they were conducting surveillance on Baker's home in the 4800 block of Forest Hill Irene following a drug complaint. During the operation, officers said they saw several individuals standing outside the home passing around marijuana.
At some point, Baker was seen getting into a Ford Fusion and speeding away from the scene. Officers eventually pulled him over for speeding at Forest Hill Irene and Highway 385, at which time officers recovered a gun from inside his car.
Being a convicted felon, Baker is not allowed to be near weapons and a search warrant was obtained for his home. Inside, authorities said found four loaded guns, ammo, drugs and a black scale.
Baker told police he knew the guns were inside his home. He said they were going to be used in a video shoot and that he didn't know they were loaded.
In June 2018, Baker pleaded guilty to selling marijuana and having a gun on school property, police said.
Timothy Lee is a contractor working on a home in the Forest Shadows subdivision who saw the investigation taking place Thursday.
"Cops everywhere. Police from here all the way down to there,” he said.
Lee said 40 officers swarmed the neighborhood focusing on the house next to the one where he's working.
"I know it’s normally loud over there when I come in to work and this is a normally super quiet neighborhood, as you can see. So eventually police gonna be over there regardless,” Lee said.
Officers said they knew the man renting the home was Baker.
"Only thing that sounded all right to me is the is the marijuana charges. Leave him alone for that," Lee said. "The rest of it, lock his *** up.”
BlocBoy’s lawyer at 201 Poplar earlier Friday said it would be a tight turnaround to get him to the concert, but he planned for his client to be at the festival performing in his hometown.
He did not comment on the charges against him.