20 March 2019

Kevin Fret, gay Latin trap rapper, shot dead

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The rising star was killed while riding a motorbike in San Juan, aged 24 reports citing Guardian.

Kevin Fret, a Puerto Rican musician who was one of the island’s only openly gay rappers, has been shot dead in the capital, San Juan, aged 24.

Fret was shot at eight times as he rode a motorbike, and declared dead after being taken to a nearby hospital. His death means there have been an average of more than two murders a day in Puerto Rico so far this year.

His manager, Eduardo Rodriguez, said Fret was an “artistic soul” and a “big-hearted dreamer”, adding: “There are no words that describe the feeling we have and the pain that causes us to know that a person with so many dreams has to go. We must all unite in these difficult times, and ask for much peace for our beloved Puerto Rico … He still had a lot left to do.”

Fret broke through in 2018 with his debut single Soy Asi, which shares the Latin trap sound with other flamboyant Puerto Rican stars such as Bad Bunny and Ozuna. Fret, however, was openly gay, a rarity in the scene. “I’m going to act like I don’t give a damn about what anybody has to say, with my blonde hair, my black nails, showing my stomach, glittery from head to toe,” he told Paper magazine last year. “Young gay guys or young lesbians … are looking at me now like a role model, like wow, if he did it, and he don’t care what anybody else has to say, I can do it.”

In June 2018, Fret was charged with aggravated battery in Miami, after he threw a metal bottle at a man he claimed was being homophobic towards him.

His death comes in a week when an FBI official, Douglas Leff, described a “crisis of violence” in Puerto Rico, and its congress member Jenniffer González requested increased law enforcement from US Homeland Security – Puerto Rico is an unincorporated territory of the US – to address a “sense of impunity and lawfulness” there. Gang activity, along with drug and human trafficking, is being blamed for the levels of violent crime, compounded by “high levels of absenteeism” in the Puerto Rico’s police force, according to González.

2019.01.12 / 17:38
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