Los Angeles Police Chief Michael Moore said Tuesday that the gunman who killed BNP Rock at the Roscoe House of Chicken and Waffles in south Los Angeles requested jewelry and other valuables before engaging in a fight with the rapper and opening fire.
Moore said Monday’s attack occurred shortly after the rapper was flagged online as being at the restaurant, and police are investigating whether that was the cause of the attack.
Rock, 30, whose real name is Rakim Allen, was at the restaurant with his girlfriend, who posted a photo of the site’s teacher in a since-deleted Instagram post.
“He was with his family–with his girlfriend or some kind of friend–and while they were there, enjoying a simple meal, [he] She was brutally attacked by someone apparently [came] to the site after posting it on social media,” Moore said.
Police Captain Kelly Muniz said a suspect brandished a firearm at the restaurant and demanded items from the victim. Sources told The Times that Rock was targeted because of his jewelry.
Moniz said the assailant shot the rock almost immediately during the burglary.
“He shot the victim and ran through the side door of the getaway car, then fled the parking lot,” she said.
Muniz said the victim was taken to hospital and was pronounced dead at 1:59 p.m.
According to a law enforcement source, Los Angeles Police Department investigators are checking a security video from inside the restaurant to identify the shooter. They are also checking surrounding businesses to see if security systems have taken any pictures of the attacker leaving on foot or in the car.
Moniz said investigators processed the evidence on Monday night. She declined to comment on what was found.
Rock was born on December 9, 1991 in Philadelphia. He told Paper magazine that he was inspired to make music at age 19 after hearing Drake’s decade-old set album “Take Care.”
Rock’s ability to blend melodies with his rap made him a natural fit for the next evolution of hip-hop. Gaining nationwide fame with his 2015 single “Fleek,” he turned Vine’s viral video into an anthem for women making their appearances across the country. He continued to collaborate with a range of artists, including Ed Sheeran and Chance the Rapper on “Cross Me”.
One of his biggest moments came alongside Atlanta rapper YFN Lucci, when the two united in 2016 for the triumphant national anthem “Everyday We Lit.” The song peaked at number 33 on the Billboard Hot 100, the highest charting single for any of the artists.
“It’s like, what would you classify yourself as, when you’re still rapping in your songs—?” He told Paper Magazine in 2017. “People can’t say I’m a rapper, but I don’t feel like a singer either. I don’t get very high pitches and I go crazy. I can’t sing you Chris Brown. You just got me good tunes.”
The song “Selfish” reached number 51 on the Billboard Hot 100. Rock released his latest song “Luv Me Again” on September 2.
Roscoe released a statement Monday expressing her shock over the murder at her restaurant.
“We are deeply saddened by the passing of Rakim Hashim Allen (aka PnB Rock), a wonderful artist in Los Angeles and everywhere,” the chain said in an Instagram post.
“His death represents a huge loss for each of us. Our deepest condolences, thoughts and prayers go out to the Allen family at this difficult time. The safety of our staff and guests is our top priority. We have and will continue to keep our workplace as safe as possible.”
Rock’s death comes as authorities say they oppose the rising trend of “housekeeping” burglaries and other violent incidents.
In February 2020, Brooklyn rapper Bob Smoke, real name Bashar Baraka Jackson, was killed during a house break-in in the Hollywood Hills.
Authorities believe social media posts, including a black gift bag bearing his address, led the attackers to his site.
The Los Angeles Police Department’s Southeast Community Police Station, which covers the area where Monday’s shooting occurred, had 34 murders this year through Sept. 3, compared with 35 during the same period last year.
The statistics also indicated a 25.2% increase in burglaries during that period, from 373 to 467.
Rock spoke about previous robbery attempts in Los Angeles during the September 2 episode of the podcast Off the Record with DJ Akademiks.
The rapper said he went out with his girlfriend and daughter on Fairfax Street “middle of the pandemic” when people tried to rob him.
“Where I come from, we love deceptive criminals,” said Rock. “In Los Angeles… they were bold.”
Rock and the host talked about how robberies targeting rappers are becoming more common.
“I’ve never been robbed in my life,” said Rock. “I will never say never because I do not like to say never. I am not a superstitious person, but I have not been robbed.”
“That’s why I feel like I’m in scary L.A., man,” Academics said. “It’s very bold. I see crazy videos, like they don’t even do it at night. Maybe like night, but in broad daylight, that’s when they really do it.”
Rock said that after his older brother was murdered, he changed – and became more tense and aware of how a situation could suddenly turn deadly.
“It was something inside of me that let me know, like this real life,” said Rock. “I’ve seen people die. I’ve been around people who have died….anyone can die.”
Some community activists expressed shock at the killing.
“I want to see the community recover. A longtime gangster fixer in Los Angeles, Skip Townsend, said there needs to be a more comprehensive strategy to make it clear that taking physical things like an expensive watch is not worth more than a life.”
He said the gunman could have killed a lot of people in the lunch crowd.
“This happened while he was actually eating, which is really tragic,” Townsend said. “Arrests do not stop violence. Arrests do not close families. We need to implement a long-term strategy that prevents anyone from contemplating such actions.”