Troy Ave, aka Roland Collins, of Brooklyn, New York is a special kind of nitwit. He's indicative of the types of people that make the NYPD feel its "secret" Hip-Hop police task force is necessary.
These are the types of knucklehead that make it hard for people to celebrate the basic tenets of hip-hop; peace, unity, love and having fun. The initial details of what happened on Wednesday, during a highly publicized event headlined by T.I. at 17 Irving Plaza in New York, were a bit sketchy at first, with some speculating that the rapper had accidentally killed a member of his entourage.
But with the light of day comes a bit more clarity.
According to reports, rappers Maino and Uncle Murda were finishing up their set and T.I. was about to take the stage when the shooting began in the green room, which is upstairs. Police say the incident began as a fistfight and quickly escalated into a gunfight. The green room is supposedly a relatively safe area. As a lifelong attendee of hip-hop concerts, I can tell you with certainty that whenever a gun appears inside a venue with security checkpoints, the offender is usually the talent or his/her entourage.
The video shows Troy Ave walking into the green room with a gun, firing a shot. Then, he attempts to manipulate the weapon again before chasing someone off camera. These are the types of things that give proponents of racial profiling wet dreams.
Four people were shot that evening, one fatally. Police are still trying to determine everything that went down that night. However, though he clearly shot a patron and himself, ballistics have yet to determine who else he struck with his reckless actions. He is being charged with attempted murder and two counts of criminal possession of a weapon.
There were 950 people stuffed into 17 Irving Place that evening. 950 people that paid their money and expected at least a moderate amount of security, and we have a rapper seduced by his own perverted idea of machismo.
And now a person is dead. Times like these make me thankful that I was able to enjoy hip-hop when a shoot out at a venue was a rarity rather than an expectation.
Police believe there may have been more than one shooter and are awaiting more evidence. Back in 2013, Troy Ave was considered the "next" big thing out of New York City hip-hop, and even earned major shine as one of the 2014 XXL freshman class.
No one knows who shot first at this point. However, simply carrying a firearm in New York City is an automatic felony and extended jail time. We will keep you posted as this story unfolds.