Today in Hip-Hop R.I.P. Chinx (December 4, 1983 – May 17, 2015)
On this day, May 17, in hip-hop history...
2015: Queens rapper Chinx was murdered in the early morning hours of May 17, 2015.
Born Lionel Pickens in Far Rockaway Queens, Chinx started off his rap career as a member of the Rockaway Riot Squad before becoming a member of French Montana’s Coke Boys crew, and signed to French’s record label of the same name. Chinx dropped his debut solo mixtape, Hurry Up & Die Vol. 1: Get Ya Casket On in 2009 followed by Vol. 2: From The Cage To The Stage and Hurry Up And Die Riot Regime Vol. 3 in 2010. Chinx made a name for himself in Coke Boys among French, Max B, Flip and Cheeze for his gruff, laidback vibe. In 2013, Chinx's official remix to "I'm A Coke Boy" featured Rick Ross, Diddy and French Montana and put Chinx on the map beyond his hometown region. The Queens upstart was getting all the right looks in the industry.
In the early morning hours of May 17 around 4 a.m., Chinx and Coke Boys affiliate Yemen were in Briarwood, Queens after Chinx finished a club appearance at Club Red Wolf in Brooklyn earlier that night. The two men were parked in Chinx's Porsche when a shooter unloaded over ten shots into the car, hitting both Chinx and Yemen. Chinx was transported to Jamaica Medical Center in Jamaica, Queens with gunshot wounds to his chest and torso but was pronounced dead soon after arrival. He was 31 years old.
Chinx's untimely death sent a shockwave through New York's hip-hop community and many rappers mourned the loss publicly and online. In August of 2015, Coke Boys dropped Chinx's posthumous debut album Welcome to JFK. Six months after his death, Fox 5 revisited the investigation into Chinx's murder only to find that the case still remained unsolved. In December 2017, though, investigators finally caught a break.
On Dec. 14, 2017, a 32-year-old man by the name of Quincy Homere was arrested and charged with Chinx's murder. That same month, 26-year-old Jamar Hill was also arrested for his role in the killing, which, according to the NYPD, involved stalking the 31-year-old rapper after his performance at Brooklyn's now-defunct Red Wolf Lounge.
Lt. Richard Rudolph, who acts as the Commanding Officer of the Queens South Homicide Squad, said Homere was the shooter. while Hill helped him plan the killing and accompanied him on the night of the attack. According to him, Homere and Chinx were involved in a serious fight when both were imprisoned in Rikers Island on Sept. 27, 2009. Lt. Rudolph explained that Homere housed resentment toward Chinx years after their scuffle, and that that was ultimately what led him down the path to exacting his revenge.
Homere and Hill have been charged with second-degree murder, second-degree attempted murder, first-degree assault, and two counts of second-degree criminal possession of a weapon. Both face 25 years to life in prison.
In an interview with Revolt, Chinx's widow, Janelli Caceres-Pickens, said the arrests of Homere and Hill brought her closer to getting some closure on her husband's death.
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