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Pop Smoke, Nick Blixky and KJ Balla
Pop Smoke, Nick Blixky & KJ Balla


Violence plaguing NYC rap scene: KJ Balla killed in drive-by shooting

There’s been a lot of sad news coming out of NYC lately, with the latest being the death of up-and-coming drill rapper KJ Balla.

KJ Balla, born Noel Kennedy, was only 23 when he was killed Friday evening in a drive-by shooting. He passed away at Brookdale University Medical Center.

Just recently, KJ Balla was featured in the “Back to Back” video alongside Jay Gwuapo. The single was released on April 23. Sadly, his lyrics might have fueled the decision to take him out:

“I’ll put the gun in his face, maybe you dyin’ today / I keep it tight when I ride in the street, I cannot die in the street.”

The Nothing Records co-founder is the third New York City rapper to pass away in the past four months following the murder of Pop Smoke on Feb. 19 in Los Angeles and Nick Blixky’s murder on May. 10 in Brooklyn.

Nick Blixky, born Nickalus Thompson, was 21 years old at the time of his death. On the day he was killed, just a few hours before the shooting, Blixky took to Instagram to announce his first mixtape would be dropping on June 3. The caption read: “JUNE 3RD 🤯‼️ I’m dropping my first Tape ever LOCK IN THE DATE 🗣… DIFFERENT TIMIN 🌀 ( COMMENT A 🖤 IF YOU READYYYY ) #BG4L #HOMETEAM #TWIRLWITME”

Nick Blixky’s last official release was also his only official drop of 2020. “Spinning,” released on April 23, featured him alongside Lil Laddin and Bin Stiller.

Our condolences to the family and friends of the victims.

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