It’s with great sadness that I write this. I actually had to take a couple days to gather my thoughts because when I first heard the news I was not only shocked but angered. The saddest thing about the death of Bankroll Fresh is that this a narrative and script all too familiar in the black community. Young black male, doing something productive, shot and killed for no apparent reason. What this incident speaks to is not just the violence, but the “crabs in a barrel” culture that has come to characterize black people.
This story made national headlines—CNN, Rolling Stone, TMZ, and other media outlets couldn’t wait to cover the story. I had to wait, because this isn’t just another rapper who got shot, this touches close to home. This deeper than rap.
I’ve had the privilege of working with some of Atlanta’s hottest artists, but before they reach the mainstream. What the mainstream can’t report is how deep Bankroll’s reach extended. If you really know Bankroll then you know about the Street Money Worldwide team. See, even without the label, Bankroll was really out there. We’re not talking about one of those transient, out-of-towners, who moved here and lived here long enough to claim Atlanta. No, this is pure bred ATLien straight out of Zone 3. We’re talking about an 80’s baby who knew Atlanta before ’96. The last of a dying breed. And you could tell from his music that even though he came out of the “New Atlanta”, he’s a definite product of the Real A. There’s a difference.
I say, “Last of a dying breed” and nowadays that’s becoming more than a cliché. See, everyday this happens. Bankroll Fresh is yet another Black Martyr. I hope that from his death we can see the bigger picture. A lot of people forget that Atlanta is a cesspool for the Black Market. And in a society that glorifies money and murder, people will kill for little to nothing. Atlanta is starting to set another trend and if you’ve been paying close attention you’ve noticed. OG Double D was enough, the Hood Legend Pnut killed, But even Wayne’s tour bus getting shot up, Rick Ross’ studio getting shot up, and now this… THE HATIN’ HAS TO STOP!!!
The city has been rocked! And it needs to mourn. I was trying to avoid comparisons with Tupac but Bankroll had that same type of rugged charisma that you knew and loved. And his death, on a local level, feels just as heavy as Tupac’s. This loss symbolizes something that right now I can’t completely put into words.
My truest heartfelt thoughts go out to the close family and friends, the entire Street Money Worldwide Team, everyone at Street Execs, all the other artists and producers who knew him and worked with him, Zaytoven my heart goes to you, for it was you introduced us to that “Yung Fresh” original sound to begin with, all the day one fans, and all the new fans.
Even before his death, his last album was a classic in my book. Now, it’s a hip-hop classic; this is hip-hop history. I need the city to pay homage. I need the industry to pay homage. I need the streets to wake up.