𝕄𝕪 𝕓𝕝𝕠𝕘 𝕙𝕒𝕤 𝕓𝕖𝕖𝕟 𝕓𝕝𝕠𝕨𝕚𝕟𝕘 𝕦𝕡 𝕗𝕠𝕣 𝕒 𝕣𝕖𝕒𝕤𝕠𝕟 𝕀 𝕒𝕞 𝕟𝕠𝕥 𝕪𝕖𝕥 𝕨𝕚𝕝𝕝𝕚𝕟𝕘 𝕥𝕠 𝕒𝕔𝕔𝕖𝕡𝕥!
In 2018 I posted a blog on an up and coming Toronto rapper – who since, has gained the love and respect of many a fan … to the tune of nearly 20,000,000 downloads on Spotify ALONE! His first album Hou I Am was pure fire! EVERY SINGLE SONG IS A BANGER!
He was chosen as Apple Music’s Artist of the Month, Hou Woulda Thought, took the #5 spot on Apple Music and was shown a lot of love from major playlists like Northern Bars. He was collabing with the likes of Tory Lanez, Killy and co-signed with Nav, in addition to his regular crew. He modelled for Off-White and they posted it to their Instagram earlier this month. He just launched his latest project, a five-track EP titled underGROUND, in March 2020. He was going places. He was the Don of the underground scene. He was one of the top 20 artists to watch out for in 2020. He was doing it – he was making it, getting out of Toronto – his fan base crossed international borders. Earlier this week, that blog post was quoted in an article entitled “Houdini Dies at 21: Rapper Shot & Killed in Downtown Toronto” by Heavy.com and it landed traffic back here, to my interview with Houdini.
I wish I was blowing up for any other reason but this one 😭.
As you well know Houdini (Dimarjio Antonio Jenkins) was shot and killed on May 26, 2020, in an act of brazen gun violence in the Entertainment District of Downtown Toronto. According to police, the suspects were waiting in a parked car for him, before they got out and opened fire on the rapper, who collapsed and later died from injuries.
Hou was back in the city after shooting his latest video in L.A. with Killy and from what was back due to issues renewing his artists Visa and was unable to return to L.A. due to COVID-19 and travel restrictions. His targeted murder has been all over the local and national news. On TV, social media, paper press. There’s no escaping it and I’m still so shook. When I “interviewed” Hou he was living in in Toronto. I use the term “interview” lightly … truth is, I knew him. He was dating someone in the family.
** I am not going to comment about gun violence in the city, ‘hood politics … that’s a whole bigger issue in society that I am not prepared to enter at this time. I am commenting about the person that I knew him to be. If you didn’t know him personally, if you’re just reading the dribs and drabs that the media or your privilege allow, I implore you to look deeper – do some research and you’ll see quickly the truer version of who Houdini was … there are posts from ad execs, record labels, restauranteurs, fans, young up and comers for whom he was making a real difference. Watch his interviews online. Look at the man – not just the image or the circumstances. Please do the research before you form an opinion on a life you know nothing about – that’s all I’m asking **
The last message I got from Hou was last July, he wished me a belated happy bday – we share the same – July 23.
What can I say? In the years that I’ve known Dimarjio (I always called him by his legal name), he had an insatiable zest for life, the kid just wanted to LIVE, to make a difference. He was strong in his convictions, strong enough that he denied repeated records deals, choosing to stay in his own lane and have control over his music 🎶I don’t need you all I need is myself, I wasn’t asking nobody for help🎶
“I stand on that, because when you’re signed, people expect way more from you. Like, your numbers got to be up there, you have to make sure you maintain the way you look, maintain just your whole aura. Everything. But when you’re underground, you’re more in control. You’re still kind of in the field and making music, so you could do shit. You could drop a tape and if it flops, no one really cares. But if you’re signed and you drop an album and it flops, that’s a big deal”.
~ INTERVIEW WITH ALEX NINO GHECIU FOR COMPLEX CANADA
He was an enormous talent, was full of love and loved to joke around.
At times he created lyrical genius while sitting at restaurants for breakfast or dinner. Once we were out for breakfast at Cora’s he grabbed a napkin, asked me if I had a pen in my purse and start writing lyrics to a track because something came to him. Or, the one time we were out for dinner at one of his fave Italian places in Vancouver and he’d sit there and listen to beats that he was dropped to try and figure out his next big blow up. When I was visiting them out in Vancouver, he’d ask me to drop him off at the studio for hours and hours on end.
The video for Late Nights with Burna Bandz was actually shot in my Land Rover (which I no longer own). LOL, I remember, I was pissed at them because they had it for days to shoot the video and I needed it back so I could get to work – seems such small potatoes now 😦
Hou was clear that he had a target on his back. They wouldn’t have his rise – to get out of the city, to be the superstar he was destined to be. The city has hardly been accepting of its up and comers. There’s no need to look any further than the stats on rapper deaths in the city THIS year ALONE! Jealousy breeds hatred. Success breeds hatred. They wanted take you out Hou. And they did 😦 Crabs in the bucket!
“𝘞𝘩𝘦𝘳𝘦𝘷𝘦𝘳 𝘺𝘰𝘶’𝘳𝘦 𝘧𝘳𝘰𝘮 𝘺𝘰𝘶’𝘳𝘦 𝘩𝘢𝘵𝘦𝘥 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘮𝘰𝘴𝘵. 𝘔𝘰𝘴𝘵 𝘳𝘢𝘱𝘱𝘦𝘳𝘴 𝘥𝘪𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘪𝘳 𝘰𝘸𝘯 𝘤𝘪𝘵𝘺 𝘮𝘢𝘯, 𝘪𝘵𝘴 𝘢 𝘧𝘢𝘤𝘵. 𝘠𝘰𝘶 𝘬𝘯𝘰𝘸 𝘺𝘰𝘶 𝘩𝘢𝘷𝘦 𝘩𝘢𝘵𝘦𝘳𝘴 𝘸𝘩𝘰 𝘸𝘢𝘴 𝘪𝘯 𝘴𝘤𝘩𝘰𝘰𝘭 𝘸𝘪𝘵’ 𝘺𝘰𝘶 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘺 𝘮𝘢𝘥 𝘣𝘦𝘤𝘢𝘶𝘴𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘺 𝘸𝘢𝘴 𝘪𝘯 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 3𝘳𝘥 𝘨𝘳𝘢𝘥𝘦 𝘤𝘭𝘢𝘴𝘴 𝘸𝘪𝘵’ 𝘺𝘰𝘶 𝘣𝘶𝘵 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘺 𝘥𝘰𝘯’𝘵 𝘩𝘢𝘷𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘴𝘢𝘮𝘦 𝘩𝘶𝘴𝘵𝘭𝘦 𝘢𝘴 𝘺𝘰𝘶. 𝘠𝘰𝘶 𝘬𝘯𝘰𝘸 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘺 𝘩𝘢𝘵𝘦 𝘺𝘰𝘶 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘯𝘰 𝘳𝘦𝘢𝘴𝘰𝘯. 𝘛𝘩𝘦𝘺 𝘩𝘢𝘵𝘦 𝘺𝘰𝘶 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘺𝘰𝘶𝘳 𝘴𝘶𝘤𝘤𝘦𝘴𝘴. 𝘐𝘧 𝘺𝘰𝘶 𝘸𝘢𝘴 𝘢 𝘭𝘰𝘤𝘢𝘭 𝘳𝘢𝘱𝘱𝘦𝘳 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘥𝘪𝘥𝘯’𝘵 𝘩𝘢𝘷𝘦 𝘮𝘶𝘤𝘩 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘺 𝘸𝘰𝘶𝘭𝘥 𝘭𝘰𝘷𝘦 𝘺𝘰𝘶. 𝘠𝘰𝘶 𝘥𝘦𝘷𝘦𝘭𝘰𝘱 𝘩𝘢𝘵𝘳𝘦𝘥 𝘪𝘯 𝘺𝘰𝘶𝘳 𝘰𝘸𝘯 𝘤𝘪𝘵𝘺.
~ Boosie in an interview with VLADTV
Hou was a natural and was taken from us MUCH TOO SOON! I’m ridiculously sad over this. He did not deserve it. No one does. No one deserves to be stalked, targeted and taken out in the prime of his life/career. Shit Hou, you still had so much to do fam 😭
While the majority of the coverage/social media is largely supportive and is in shock (I just saw a video of his Houligans 🎩 placing flowers and candles down at Blue Jays Way in memoriam) what’s eating me up inside (I’m an empath) is the negative press – the trolls – those who write with such conviction of what they don’t know. As if their presumptions are facts and they spew hate with such conviction. No matter the side of the coin you’re on, we can all agree that no one deserves to be murdered.
And then there’s this POS!
What the hell is this Toronto Sun? We all know you are trash media, but this is flipping sick. Making fun of his death? For headlines? To the great peoples credit, they took to social media to backlash this outrageousness. This shit from The Sun has to stop. For all media outlet and from everyone – violent death is not trivial. I posted my disgust to Instagram it was mentioned in two separate posts. I hope our collective disgust prompts action from The Sun (and since they’re a trash paper, I will not hold my breath).
From: Director X at wwetv_worldwide
“Houdini is a 21 year old rapper from the city who got shot dead the same day as George Floyd, downtown Toronto, beautiful sunny day, a 15 year old kid was also shot, apparently it was a friend of his, and a 27 year old woman that was just a bystander. Toronto is in a crisis of gun violence. There are young people getting shot and dying constantly in this city and a lot of bystanders. So I can understand Toronto Sun being the equivalent of your racist uncle at Thanksgiving. I can understand they don’t that they don’t care about a young rapper getting shot. But, you also don’t care about the innocent people just walking around? You don’t care about that? You don’t care that that could have been your daughter? You don’t care that that could have been your friend? That that could have been you? You don’t care about that either? It’s all a big funny joke to you because the person who did die was a rapper, a 21 year old? You can’t see past your own prejudice to see that a 21 year old kid losing their life as their life is really getting on track, you don’t see the tragedy in that? ….. Toronto Sun, whoever wrote that headline, approved that headline – the staff that works there that saw that headline on the front page and thought it was ok, that is sociopathic. You have an inability to feel compassion for people outside of your circle. It’s a problem. And,I wonder if I’m gonna hear something from the mayor, from the city, from the police … about a newspaper that thinks its ok to crack jokes about the gun violence crisis we have in our city”
I CHOOSE to ignore the haters – cause the haters gonna hate and post nothing but LOVE for Hou …. this is just a small snippet of the thousands and thousands of posts on social media.
This is a blog I never wanted to write, and I’m not sure I would have had all that traffic had not been redirected here.
My thoughts and prayers and deepest condolences go out to the entire Jenkins fam: his mom, dad, sisters, brother and rest of the fam for the loss of dadda. To his friends and Houligans — #LLHou
Rest in power Dadda 💔 Love you kid!