Toronto's News, Free Daily News from the Toronto Star, Globe and Mail, Toronto Sun, National Post, CP24, CTV, Global, 640toronto, CFRB, 680 News
Monday, July 2, 2018
Drake's ties to slain Toronto rapper Smoke Dawg, and more
One day after Drake released his latest album,Scorpion, one of his proteges — up-and-coming rapper Smoke Dawg (real name Jahvante Smart,) along with his producer-friend Koba Prime (real name Ernest Modekwe) were gunned down in the heart of Toronto’s downtown early Saturday night at Queen and Peter outside Cube nightclub during what’s been described as a “running gun battle.”
Drake, scheduled to play three dates at Toronto’s Scotiabank Arena (formerly the Air Canada Centre) Aug. 10-12, but has yet to announce his annual OVO Fest (although Eventbrite has it listed as Aug. 5-6 at Budweiser Stage,) sent out his condolences via Instagram.
“All these gifts and blessed souls and inner lights being extinguished lately is devastating. I wish peace would wash over our city. So much talent and so many stories we never get to see play out. Rest up Smoke.”
Drake likely won’t say more on the matter. An email to a communications representative of his parent record label on Canada Day got no response by press time.
Here’s a look below at the recently deceased and others that have had ties to Drizzy:
– Smoke Dawg, 21, and his group Halal Gang, last year opened on Drake’sBoy Meets WorldEuropean tour. Just days before the fatal shooting, he released his new songFountain Freestyle,ahead of his debut albumStruggle Before Glorydue out later this year.Sunsources say he was tied to Regent Park’s Halal Gang — involved in a deadly war with the Sick Thugz gang.
– Koba Prime was a member of the rap collective Prime, founded by Jimmy and Donnie Prime and Jay Whiss. They’re known for working with artists like Murda Beatz and coining “The 6″ nickname for T.O. — which Drake regularly uses — according to Noisey. Prime Collective regularly collaborates with Halal Gang to form the supergroupFull Circle, again says Noisey.
– Quinton “Pressa” Gardiner, 21, was one of the alleged leaders of the Jane and Finch gang, Young Buck Killas, andtoured with Drake in England last year while on bail for chargesfrom a shootout at a Toronto condo and subsequent kidnapping for ransom-torture-sexual assault of two 17-year-old boys.
– Anthony “Fif” Soares, Drake’s 33-year-old pal who was in attendance when Drizzy opened his OVO store in Yorkdale in 2017, was gunned down by two men in Scarborough last fall in the early morning hours while waiting to be buzzed into a Toronto highrise. In an effort to identify the killers, police released shocking video of the murder. Drizzy expressed his condolences over the shooting of Soares, who he describes as a “friend.”
– No arrests have ever been made in the Aug. 4, 2015 shootings of Brampton native Duvel Hibbert, 23, who had a criminal past and police believe was targeted, and innocent bystander Ariela Navarro-Fenoy, 26, of Toronto at Drake’s OVO Fest after-party on the back patio of Muzik, a now shuttered nightclub at Exhibition Place. Sources say Drizzy never spoke to the cops but did issue a public statement 10 days later offering condolences to the victims’ families.
– Travis Savoury, aka Baka Not Nice, 39, was signed in 2017 to Drake’s record label, OVO Sound. As a longtime member of Drake’s entourage, he has a decade long criminal record including pleading guilty in 2015 to assaulting a 22-year-old woman and being given a six month prison sentence.