The city is mourning the loss of two aspiring hip-hop artists after a double-homicide on Saturday in Queen West.
Shots rang out just before 8 p.m., killing 28-year-old Ernest Modekwe, known as Koba Prime, and 21-year-old Jahvante Smart, known as Smoke Dawg. A woman in her 30s was also injured in the shooting, but is expected to survive
Police confirmed their identities on Sunday.
“Smokey’s a great kid and he didn’t deserve to die,” said Kareem Griffin, who was a basketball coach at East Commerce Collegiate, where Smart attended school for two years.
“Smokey had a smile that could warm up the room. He was very playful. His personality was very very bright. Always joking around. If you had a bad day, you could go to Smokey you could forget all your troubles because he’d do whatever it takes to make you laugh,” he said.
Friends say Smoke Dawg was working on a new album.
Just three days ago, he released a new music video, and in 2017, he went on tour with Drake – who posted a photo of the two of them together on Instagram on Sundays.
Fans have called his death a huge loss for Toronto’s music scene.
“He was one of my favourite rappers in Toronto when I moved here two years ago. I’ve been listening to him ever since,” said Edison Ramirez, one of Smoke Dawg’s fans.
“There’s just so many memories,” said one of Smart’s closest friends, who attended elementary and high school with him. He didn’t want to be identified out of fear for his safety.
“So many memories,” he went on to say. “That’s one thing that will stay forever. His physical body may not be with us right now, but the memories is something we’ll hold on forever and ever.”
Friends are also remembering Modekwe on Twitter, as a great and caring friend who will be dearly missed.
Police are still searching for the suspects, who witnesses say fled the scene in a black SUV. They are appealing for any witnesses to come forward as they continue their investigation.