A Brooklyn rapper was shot dead in a drive-by shooting less than a month after he boasted in one of his rap songs that he ‘cannot die in the street.’
KJ Balla, otherwise known as Kennedy Joseph Noel, 23, was shot in the chest when a gunman fired five rounds as he traveled by in a passing car on Friday night on Bradford St. in East New York.
The shooting happened just before 10pm according to the NYPD. The rapper was about a mile from his home when he was shot.
Rising rap star KJ Balla was killed during a drive-by shooting in Brooklyn
The killing happened around 9:45pm on Friday night. Pictured, Rapper KJ Balla from his Facebook page
The shooting happened on Bradford St in East New York, Brooklyn, pictured
He died at Brooklyn University Medical Center after being hit by one of the bullets.
No arrests have been made in the killing which occurred near New Lots Avenue.
In his most recent video, Back to Back, KJ Balla rapped with fellow artist Jay Gwuapo, where the rising hip-hop star could be heard boasting about how he couldn’t ‘die in the street.’
‘Keep a TEC when I ride in the street, I cannot die in the street, so I hop in the booth and I ride on the beat,’ he rapped.
23-year-old Balla, real name Noel Kennedy, was walking along Bradford St. Pictured, Rapper KJ Balla (center) from his Instagram page
Paramedics rushed him to Brookdale University Hospital where he died from a gunshot wound
KJ Balla co-founded his own label, Nothing Records. His songs were streamed on Spotify more than 170,000 times.
He is known for two hit singles, Switch the Game and Strangers. A 2017 music video Cookin Up has been viewed more than 1.8 million times on YouTube.
Many of his lyrics focus depict street violence and gunfights but his family say he was focused on his music career and was a born performer.
‘He used to dance on the trains when he was little, then he started rapping. He was very charismatic. He was really into his rap career, waiting for it to take off,’ said the rapper’s mother Valencia Smith to the Daily News.
KJ Balla co-founded his own label, Nothing Records. His songs were streamed on Spotify more than 170,000 times
KJ Balla is known for two hit singles, Switch the Game and Strangers. A 2017 music video Cookin Up has been viewed more than 1.8 million times on YouTube
She had a message for her son’s murderers as she denounced the killers as ‘cowardly’.
‘Jealousy and envy overtook your hearts and took a very important piece of my heart,’ she said.
On Thursday night, the rapper’s family had been together to celebrate his sister’s birthday.
‘We were always together, the family,’ aunt Jacqueline Smith said. ‘For this to happen, I can’t even imagine. This just hurts bad.’
‘They’re going to be found out,’ Smith said of the killer. ‘Witnesses say they saw someone in a dark hoodie fleeing.’
A 26-year-old man who was with the rapper at the time of the shooting was struck in the back, stomach and arm. He managed to get to Brookdale Hospital and is expected to survive.
Source: dailymail US