At 27-years-old, New Orleans rapper BTY YoungN appeared on the rise amid a troubled life. He had been in and out of court and jails over the years, including once on a second-degree murder charge, but record labels were calling, a deal appeared ready to be inked and his life seemed ripe for a change, friends said.
Late Saturday night (April 29), just days before friends said he was to meet a lawyer to consider signing with famed local label Cash Money Records, BTY YoungN was shot dead at a Shell gas station in Hollygrove. So it ended a hip-hop career started when he began crafting rhymes 13 years ago.
"He had reached the point in his life that he became so free," Michael "Mista Maena" Patterson, a mentor to the young rapper, said Sunday morning. "A lot of people were counting on this guy. He had a good heart."
New Orleans police found BTY YoungN, whose given name is Desmone Jerome, shot several times beside a gas pump in the station around 11:15 p.m. in the 9200 block of Airline Highway. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Jerome had a history of drug and weapon related arrests, court records show, including on a charge of attempted second-degree murder for which he pleaded guilty to a reduced aggravated assault charge in 2013. Police have not indicated a motive or suspect in Jerome's killing.
He leaves behind a nearly two-month-old daughter, Patterson said.