Chinx, the New York rapper who won a growing following by turning his bleak experiences as a drug-dealer into verse, has been shot.
The 31-year-old rapper – whose works included a series of mixtapes with the prophetic title Hurry Up and Die – was driving a Porsche in the early hours of Sunday in Queens when another motorist opened fire, police say.
Chinx, whose real name was Lionel Pickens, was pronounced dead at a hospital where another passenger was being treated for bullet wounds.
Police didn’t immediately arrest a suspect or describe a motive for the shooting, which reportedly came after Chinx drove from a hookah lounge.
“Chinx was one of the most talented, professional and determined rappers this industry had to offer,” publicist Chanel Rae said in a statement confirming his death.
The rapper became a breakaway success in the hip-hop world with his 2012 song I’m a Coke Boy recorded with his mentor French Montana, the Moroccan-born rapper and label chief.
A remix of the song featured rap giant Sean Combs, best known as Puff Daddy. Chinx collaborated more recently with Young Thug.
Superstar Jay Z – who also grew up poor in New York – mourned Chinx and pleaded for an end to street violence.
“We are seriously under attack like never before,” Jay Z said at a concert for his Tidal streaming service.
“And we (are) still killing each other. We need to understand that we are kings and queens.”
French Montana paid tribute to Chinx, saying that his killing showed: “The devil comes in all shapes and sizes and he’s ruthless. Life here is temporary.”
Suggesting that “jealousy” could have been a motivation for the killing, French Montana said: “They will kill you for this lifestyle.”