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Rapper KJ Balla Killed In Drive-by Shooting

KJ Balla | Image: Facebook/Daily Mail

A fast-rising rapper KJ Balla has been killed in a drive-by shooting in New York.

KJ Balla whose real name is Noel Kennedy was shot in the chest when a gunman fired five rounds from a moving car on Friday night.


The shooting happened just before 10 pm according to the NYPD. The 23-year-old rapper was about a mile from his home when he was shot.

Police found Kennedy with a gunshot wound to his upper torso as they arrived on the scene. He was subsequently rushed to Brookdale University Hospital where he later died.

“He’s never coming home,” Kennedy’s mother Valencia Smith cried to the New York Daily News. “He was my only son!”

She added: “Jealousy and envy overtook your hearts and took a very important piece of my heart.

“I’m so heartbroken. It’ll never be the same for me. 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.”

Another man who was with Balla was also shot, but he was taken by private means to Brookdale. He reportedly took bullets to his abdomen, arm and back and is currently in stable condition.

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.

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.

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