BRIARWOOD, Queens (PIX11) — A shooting in Queens killed 31-year-old rapper Lionel “Chinx” Pickens and critically injured another early Sunday, police said.
Police responded to a 911 call in Briarwood around 4 a.m., where they found the two victims in a Porsche on Queens Boulevard and 84th Drive. Pickens was transported to Jamaica Medical Center with gunshot wounds to his torso, where he was pronounced dead.
Pickens collaborated with French Montana and NORE as part of the label Coke Boys Records. He posted a photo to his Instagram just hours before the shooting.
Pickens grew up in Far Rockaway, where “he was surrounded by a level of poverty that drove people into drugs, the ghetto and the streets,” he wrote in his bio. His management team and publicist issued a statement on the Legion Media Group’s Instagram.
“Chinx’s dedication, humor and vision will always be remembered,” they wrote.
The rapper’s fan and followers took to social media to express their shock at the his sudden passing.
The other victim, a 27-year-old man who was not identified by police, was shot in the back. He remains at Jamaica Medical Center listed in critical condition.
No arrests have been made. The investigation is ongoing.
During a raucous and predictably smoke-filled episode of Snoop Dogg’s web series GGN, 50 Cent had some not-so kind things to say about today’s new MCs.
“I miss how important authenticity was,” Fiddy said. “It was so important that you have your own style. Your own energy connected to those actual records. And we see some of those same vibes and things come out in decisions you make now creatively. So, we see it was your actual influence. It wasn’t something that was given to you. A lot of the artists… what I find now in our culture is that things are trending. So, they’re following what the last person just did. Instead of offering something new it’s the same thing.”
Speaking of money, Snoop also chimed in about the debt today’s rappers owe to Master P. (Yeah, Snoop and Fiddy were doing a sort of aggrieved grandfather thing during the episode.)
“If it wasn’t for No Limit it wouldn’t be no money in rap,” Snoop, who spent a couple years on the label, explained. “And mothafuckas can look at me like they crazy right now, but nigga, it was no money in rap until Master P came out. Nigga, I was on Death Row Records. We made more money than any of you niggas, all you rap labels. Suge had all the money. He gave us a little bit. But nigga, when Master P came out everybody on No Limit had money. We had money, guns, cars, everything. Thank you, Master P.” The entire episode is below:
In the diss track ‘Against All Odds,’ Tupac accuses Jimmy Henchman and Haitian Jack of setting up the infamous 1994 shooting outside of Quad Recording Studios in New York, in which Pac survived five bullet holes.
He also accuses Haitian Jack of being a government informant.
More than 20 years later, Haitian Jack — real name Jacques Agnant — addressed the shooting in an interview with Hip Hop Wired.
“Whenever it comes to ‘Pac it feels like I’m blamed. I know who’s behind it and we’ll get into that one-day,” Jack told Hip-Hop Wired. “But the person that’s behind it is serving life right now. Let me tell you man, whenever you go out of your way to get someone killed, put in jail and slander their character, all those things end up coming back to you; especially a person who has nothing against you or has done nothing to you.”
Jack also dismissed Pac’s lyrical claim he was snitching for the Feds.
“Well it’s funny, they all want to claim that I’m linked to the government, but if I was linked to the government I would be in America [now],” said Jack, who was deported back to Haiti back in 2007.
It had been reported that Henchman fessed up to ordering Tupac’s shooting during one of his many legal ordeals. Henchman has since denied that. But now Jack’s words give more credence to Henchman as the culprit.
Def Jam Recordings was founded 30 years ago by Rick Rubin and Russell Simmons in Rubin’s NYU dorm room. The label would feature acts such as Run DMC, The Beastie Boys, L.L. Cool J and Public Enemy, and brought the burgeoning genre of Hip Hop to the masses.
The early imprints of Def Jam’s records actually have Rubin’s college hall listed as the label’s address, and Simmons and Rubin even brought Rubin’s roommate on board as a credited intern.
Rick Rubin returned to his dorm room recently for the first time since 1984. In the Rolling Stone mag video Rick Was Here, the legendary producer discusses getting together with Simmons and creating what would become Hip Hop’s most important record label.
“I can’t believe it’s 30 years,” Rubin, who doesn’t look like he has shaved his beard since, says. “It’s really trippy. It doesn’t feel like that long. I’ll say I don’t normally look back very much, but when I come here, I think of the crazy parties that we had, being threatened to be kicked out for noise complaints, the adventures.”
Trinidad James may have been dropped from Def Jam last year but that hasn’t slowed the “All Gold Everything” rapper from putting out work. James recently released his Trips To Trinidad EP and is following it up with a photography book by the same title.
“This book is basically a coffee table piece showing you the culture of Trinidad from a raw and ghetto perspective,” James told XXL. “The book is all photography work and it took about two weeks to put together. I intend on never stopping when it comes to making books. Just wanna keep getting even more creative with them.”
Details about the book are scarce at the moment but it is available for pre-order on his website.
Trinidad James became an industry spark plug in 2012 following the massive success of his viral hit “All Gold Everything” and the subsequent Def Jam deal. The series of events became a source of controversy amongst hip-hop fans and industry execs but there’s no denying that the Atlanta rapper changed the game. MC’s like Bobby Shmurda and O.T. Genasis have followed similar paths– riding a huge viral hit to a deal whether they were ready for the limelight or not.
James recently sat down with Buzzfeed to discuss the formula and how dangerous it is for a young rapper to follow a similar path. “[Labels are] preying on the young children,” explained James. “They’re not giving them a chance to fully develop. Their songs that are popping, they already popped in the underground and the clubs — that’s what the DJs are playing. They’re already turnt up. So what they need is just a good investor, not a major label, just a respectful, loyal, worthy investor, somebody who gets what’s going on and let them be the label…
“I think that’s a problem with hip-hop. I don’t really see it happen like that with singers and overseas artists. In my entire life I had never heard one ounce of news about Lorde, and then she came out of nowhere and had the hardest summer ever and been turnt up ever since,” he continued. “She went from nothing to Taylor Swift in one summer. But when you look at the background, they’d been coaching her and teaching her and nurturing her to be ready for it. I feel like that doesn’t happen with young hip-hop artists that get signed. They just expect us to be already fully military-trained and drop us in the middle of Afghanistan. Come on.”
7even Up recalls being a member of the Hoodstars rap group with Nicki Minaj, Safaree Samuels, and Lou$tar.
Prior to joining Lil Wayne at Young Money Records and releasing three studio albums, Jamaica, Queens rapper Nicki Minaj was a member of the Hoodstars rap group, along with former boyfriend Safaree Samuels, Lou$tar, and 7even Up.
7even Up recently spoke with Forbez DVD Radio about the group, his relationship with Nicki Minaj, and more. In regards to his relationship with Minaj, the rapper revealed that shortly after she linked with Young Money, she pretended not to know who he was.
7even Up made another bold reveal during the interview when he stated that Minaj was once on the run for attempted murder.
“When I saw her she acted like she didn’t even know me. That’s how I felt,” 7even Up said, according to AllHipHop.com. “I was like at least acknowledge me. It hurt more than anything…Sometimes people give you money to get rid of you. So now I can’t say she didn’t do nothing for me. I didn’t even wanna take the money. That was not the purpose…She was on the run for attempt murder. Facts. I’ll keep it a buck. I ain’t saying nothing wrong. She stayed at my crib at the time.”
Prior to speaking on being ignored by the Young Money rapstress, 7even Up recalled the early days of Hoodstars. According to the former Hoodstars member, Minaj “wasn’t even rapping” when the group was first formed.
“She literally wasn’t even rapping at the time,” he said. “She just started out like that day prior. We met and we knocked out a record that day. And then Safaree came along…She’s always been aggressive and hands on. And I ain’t with it. It was more like a brother/sister relationship. You know who we used to get compared to? Da Band. Making The Band…We just grew apart, man…We all had our issues. Me? I couldn’t stay outta jail at the time. So, that was my downfall. Nicki used to mess up all the time. We’ll be doing shows. She’ll mess up.”
Fabolous returns with another #FridayNightFreestyle.
Coming in a few minutes late, Fabolous returns with another one of his #FridayNightFreestyles. Last week, we heard Fab take on Mad Lion’s “Take It Easy” instrumental, and now this week he’s jumping on Mobb Deep’s classic smash “Shook Ones”.
Keeping his 90’s flow intact, Fabo flexes his lyrical muscles and delivers another braggadocious freestyle that fans can vibe with. Highlighted by his effortless flow & slick analogies & references, “Shook Ones” is another dope freebie that fans should instantly throw in their playlists. It serves as the 4th freestyle in as many weeks from Fab, following “Told Y’all”, “The B.A.S.” & “Take It Easy”.Take a listen and let us know what ya think!
The iconic Eric “Eazy-E” Wright passed away 20 years ago yesterday. In this DX Exclusive, DJ Quik, Krayzie Bone, DJ Speed, David Faustino, and Steve Lobel remember “The Godfather Of Gangsta Rap.”
Eric “Eazy-E” Wright passed away on March 26, 1995 due to AIDS-related complications. Widely considered “The Godfather Of Gangsta Rap,” Eazy-E was co-founder of legendary rap group,N.W.A. Other members included Ice Cube, Dr. Dre, DJ Yella, MC Ren, and Arabian Prince. He is also co-founder of Ruthless Records with Jerry Heller. He’s sold millions of records both as an N.W.A. member and a solo artist, but his truest legacy is perhaps best described by those closest to him.
HipHopDX spoke with Eazy-E’s best friend and longtime deejay, DJ Speed, Bone thugs-harmony’s Krayzie Bone (which signed to Ruthless in 1994). We also spoke with the iconic DJ Quik who grew up in Compton with Eazy, David Faustino who Eazy befriended through the historic Ballistiks nightclub, and Steve Lobel, Bone thugs’ manager. Rest in power, Eazy-E.