He was 35
Big Freedia’s brother was shot late Wednesday night in the Central City neighborhood of New Orleans. He passed due to the incident shortly after.
Freedia, who grew up in the neighborhood, confirmed that the victim was her “only blood brother“ in posts to social media. She shared the news of his death via a series of emotional Instagram posts.
“My heart is so heavy right now,” Big Freedia wrote on Thursday morning. “They took my baby brother from me … now he is in heaven with my Mama.”
She posted another tribute to her brother, saying that she couldn’t sleep because she was wracked with grief over the tragic news.
“Up can’t sleep my lil brother really gone they took him from us,” she wrote. “Please pinch me so I can wake up from this dream missing him like crazy my only blood brother !”
Big Freedia released an official statement on top of the social media postings. Freedia cancelled several shows scheduled for this weekend that coincided with the beginning of parade season in New Orleans. She wrote,
“My younger brother, Adam Ross, was fatally shot last night in a senseless act of violence in New Orleans. As the magnitude of this situation sinks in, I am cancelling any shows this weekend (Jan 26-28). Thank you for understanding this very difficult time for me and my family. We are truly heartbroken.“
According to the New Orleans Police Department, the shooting occurred at 10:20 p.m. near the intersection of Martin Luther King Jr Boulevard and Magnolia Street. The Picayune’s descriptions of the area around the home indicate that nearby homes were probably abandoned.
Police have not released a name of any suspects or motive for the shooting. The victim, Adam Ross, was 35.
During Freedia’s rise to fame, she has lost a boyfriend to gun violence and her mother to cancer. While the bounce artist’s profile continues to grow beyond her hometown, back home there’s still a fair amount of tragedy for the rapper to deal with.
Big Freedia had further issues when she was charged with defrauding the Housing Authority. The rapper was charged with receiving $35k worth of housing benefits that she wasn’t entitled to due to her increase in income.
Freedia accepted the blame and pleaded guilty to the charges, saying that it was an oversight on her part due to living her entire life without money and suddenly having a fair amount.
“I quickly found myself in a new economic structure and, frankly, knew little about how to handle my money,” she wrote in a statement. “It wasn’t until recently (after I had stopped receiving housing vouchers) that it became very clear I had received assistance to which I wasn’t entitled.”
New Orleans has a gun violence problem, and Ross’ death isn’t the first time that it’s touched the hip-hop community. Birdman-affiliated rapper BTY Young’n was gunned down in front of a Shell station in the Hollygrove neighborhood, which is perhaps best known for being the home of Lil Wayne.
Darryl J. Bannister, Jr. was arrested last May and charged with second-degree murder in relation to the shooting of 27-year-old rapper.
Young’n’s death is just one in a line of New Orleans rappers who have fallen victim to gun violence, including Messy Mya ― who was famously sampled on Beyonce’s “Formation” ― and Magnolia Shorty, who was killed in a double homicide while sitting in her car in front of her home in New Orleans East.
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