Posted on March 5, 2021

Street Violence a Bad Rap for Atlanta’s Music Industry

Bill Torpy, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, February 24, 2021

Two weekends ago, a Grammy-nominated rapper driving a Bentley said some gunmen chased his vehicle, shooting at him and causing his vehicle to overturn. They got out, he said, and apparently tried to finish him off although the targeted man, known as Cyhi the Prynce, scrambled away.

Last weekend, an armed crew fired 20-plus shots at those filming a rap video in an Atlanta scrapyard, causing people to run for their lives. Two men were shot and survived.

The rappers, Roddy Ricch and 42 Dugg, were not harmed.

And this week, Atlanta rapper Killer Mike is pleading for sanity after his barbershop in South Fulton was shot up.


{snip} Last year, Atlanta had 157 murders, up from 99 in 2019. It continues unabated. So far in 2021, there have been 15 homicides, compared to eight during the same period last year. And it’s not hot yet.

Killer Mike was talking to his fellow Atlantans, but he might have added a side note to those in the music business here to be really, really careful.

I checked the numbers: Last year, at least six rappers and one music producer were shot to death in Atlanta. Also, another six people who were with them, or were at a music shoot, were killed. On top of that, two rappers were charged with murder.


It’s a combination of the financial toll of the pandemic, jealousy toward those who seem to have done well, and rivalries connected to their old ties to the street.


The carnage started June 13, when a truck drove by a crowd in the Edgewood neighborhood where a video was being filmed. The truck’s occupants opened fire, killing a musician named Christopher Weaver, 25, and Semaj Jones, 17. Five others were shot.

On July 11, a rapper named Rudolph Johnson, known as Lil Marlo, was shot to death as he drove on I-285. On July 22, two men were killed at a music studio on Donald Lee Hollowell Parkway. Cepada Hilton, 39, an aspiring producer who was out on bond on a murder charge, was the intended target.

Gary Turner, 31, who happened to be near him, also died.

Two days later, 18-yearold rapper Raezion Boyd, who went by Rae Rae and had just been signed to Motown Records, was shot to death outside a house party. Weeks earlier, he had just dropped a song about having a big “bankroll.”

One magazine called him “part of the new generation hip-hop wave filled with artists narrating street stories through their youthful eyes.”

In October, Anthony Lamar McIntyre, 28, who called himself Marley- Maxx, was killed on West Peachtree Street. He had a college degree in public health communication and moved to Atlanta, he wrote, to enlarge his fan base and spread his brand.

In November, the Chicago rapper King Von, aka Davon Bennett, 26, came to Atlanta to party after releasing an album.

He got into a fight outside a club with a Georgia rapper’s crew and was shot to death, as was Mark Blakely, also from Chicago.

December was a violent month. On Dec. 1, Herman Gibbs, 32, known as Baby Boy, was shot to death outside a studio on Campbellton Road. Andre Majors, 29, an upcoming comedian who was with him, was also killed.

On Dec. 12, a man named James Adams, who was a friend of rapper YFN Lucci (Rayshawn Bennett), was killed by a shot to the head. Police say Adams was a triggerman in a drive-by shooting, and Bennett was the driver.


And finally, on Dec. 15, Azal Lockett, a budding rapper who moved to Atlanta and called himself Chase Billiano, was shot to death in his car on Campbellton Road.