Ronald “Banga” McPhatter’s Family Blames Troy Ave for Bodyguard’s Death
Last spring, Troy Ave was involved in a shooting at Irving Plaza that ended in the death of his security guard, Ronald “Banga” McPhatter. In the aftermath of the tragic shooting, the Dope Boy Troy Vol. 2: NuPac artist created an annual $2,000 scholarship for graduating students at New Utrecht High School. While it's an ostensibly reverential gesture, McPhatter's family sees it as more of an exercise in exploitation than a heartfelt tribute, and they've recently asked for his name to be removed from the fund.
In an interview with DNAinfo, Jaime Albert, who's McPhatter's sister, blamed the Brooklyn rapper for her brother's untimely death and explained that neither she nor her family had even heard about the fund until seeing it on the news.
“We hold him responsible for the death of our brother,” she explained. “My family is not trying to stop kids from getting money, but we don’t want him to use our brother as a publicity stunt. We didn’t get a call, none of us were aware of it until we saw it in the news.
"We’ve done nothing to him, but he’s exploited our family and this tragedy in such a negative way,” she continued. “He used our brother as a human bulletproof vest. Instead of apologizing, he bashes us and he disrespects and he talks down on us. We’ve been too gracious about some of the things that happened to our little brother.”
Since the shooting last year, the "Rikers Island" rapper has name-dropped McPhatter in songs, music videos and social media posts, and McPhatter's family sees the activity as a cheap way to enhance Troy Ave's street credibility.
They're not going for it, and according to Albert, the family was so disgusted by Troy's alleged attempts to use their brother's death for branding purposes that they had McPhatter buried in North Carolina. “We didn't want his grave to be a spectacle,” Albert offered as the reason for the move.
Last year New Utrecht High School head football coach Alan Balkan offered the first $2,000 scholarship to a student athlete, but he says he had no idea McPhatter's family didn't know about it. He says he's going to remove McPhatter's name from the scholarship.
“I had no idea of anything, I just knew that Ronald played for me and it was tragic to lose one of my guys,” he told DNAinfo New York. “I’m gonna respect the family’s wishes.”
Losing a sibling is never an easy situation, but the fact that McPhatter wasn't even supposed to be at Irving Plaza the night of the shooting adds a layer of pain for his family. According to Albert, McPhatter had tried to distance himself from Troy Ave after arguing with the rapper over money. She says he was only paid $200 a week.
Albert says she spoke with her brother on the day of the shooting, and apparently, he was trying to avoid the rapper.
“He told us he was not dealing with Troy Ave no more,” she said. “The day he died, I was on the phone with Edgar for two hours, and twice Troy Ave called and my brother sent the calls to voicemail.”
Apparently Troy Ave didn't get the message, and he eventually found McPhatter in East New York and urged him to come to Irving Plaza because Troy needed McPhatter to "have his back," Albert says.
Albert added that McPhatter always wore black when he was out on duty, but that he was wearing white on the day of the shooting because he had been planning on going boating.
McPhatter's family had been nearly silent about Troy Ave in the months since his shooting, but that didn't stop the rapper from calling the family out during a recent appearance on The Breakfast Club during the interview, Troy criticized the family for rejecting his offer to host a luxurious funeral for his former security guard and said they'd popped up out of nowhere to take his money.
Troy has since been ridiculed for calling himself "the second coming of 2Pac" and announcing his new street album Dope Boy Troy Vol. 2: NuPac. Banga's brother Shanduke even posted alleged text messages with Troy to Twitter showing the rapper saying he needs to know where Banga's plot is "regardless of how everybody feeling."
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