PROVIDENCE, R.I. — The police think the young rapper murdered in the West End on Wednesday was targeted by the killers.
Davon Taylor, 20, was driving his 15-year-old sister Destiny down Wendell Street around 4 p.m. when someone opened fire on their car. Davon died and Destiny was seriously wounded. She remained hospitalized Thursday at Hasbro Children’s Hospital, where the police said she was recovering.
Maj. David Lapatin said investigators had leads on two or three young men who were suspected in the double-shooting. The suspects fled in a dark-colored car. No detailed descriptions were given.
Lapatin didn’t say why Taylor would have been targeted. Taylor was from Manton Heights, where a local gang, Manton Heights Block or MHB, has been involved in violence. The major declined comment on possible gang involvement.
Taylor was the sixth homicide in Providence this year, and the second young man murdered this month. Francis Rodriguez, 22, had survived a shooting on New Year’s Day, only to be shot to death in Elmwood two weeks ago. His killing is still unsolved.
As rapper Splashy Roc, Taylor recorded music videos about gunfire, drugs and fast money, often flashing wads of cash and, sometimes, handguns. He tweeted a month ago: “I aint a Rapper i just talk about how im Living keep it truthful.”
The music videos are at times prophetic. “You could die any given Sunday. Prov City. It’s a gun range,” he rapped over shots of downtown Providence in “Prov City.”
In “Gettin’ Money,” Taylor boasted about money and the risks: “Even God can’t stop the Glock from spinning.”
In “Respect the Shooter,” Taylor rapped, “I’m strapped up so I’m ducking the law. Killers round here, I [expletive] with them all.” He criticizes other men “taking the stand, pointing your fingers and ratting” on others. Interspersed in the video are scenes from movies of young men being killed in drive-by shootings.
That video ends with a scene from “Friday,” a movie made the year after Taylor was born. An older man confronts his son, played by Ice Cube, who he finds is carrying a gun for “protection.”
The father tells his son, “You kids have been nothin’ but punks. Sissified. So quick to pick up a gun.”
He raises his fists and tells his son that “when I was growing up, this was all the protection we needed. You win some, you lose some, but you live to fight another day.”
The father tells his son to put down the gun and put up his fists, and the son does what he’s told. “Now you’re a man,” the father said.