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Smoke Dawg, 21, is 'killed in street shooting' as Questions swirl around Toronto rapper'


Jahvante Smart, right, also known as Smoke Dawg, is seen here in a photo with Toronto rapper Drake.(Instagram)

Jahvante Smart, one of the two men killed in what police are calling a "brazen" daylight shooting in downtown Toronto, was well known as the rapper Smoke Dawg, and some experts are suggesting his death may have been targeted.

"Everyone I've spoken to, everyone who is a musician or just involved in making hip hop music here in Toronto was really affected by this," said Jake Kivanc, a journalist who covers the Toronto hip-hop scene for Noisey and Vice.

Smart grew up in Regent Park, and established himself as a member of the Halal Gang, a group of four rappers. Kivanc says the rapper, who toured with Drake in Europe last year, hadn't reached "super international heights yet" but was "making pretty big waves" in Toronto.

"Halal Gang kind of established themselves in the last few years for putting out a lot of different types of music from artists from U.K. and Toronto; they're kind of known for their relationship to OVO and Drake," explained Kivanc.

The second victim of Saturday night's shooting is Ernest 'Kosi' Modekwe, who was part of a Toronto rap group called Prime.

Kivanc says Halal Gang were known as "really friendly" musicians and rappers, but admits that "it never really gets to these levels [of violence] unless there's other personal beefs happening."

Theories about the reason for Smart's death are circulating online — many in the comment section on the rapper's Instagram page.

Some of the comments suggest Smart was killed in retaliation for filming a section of a video for his song Fountain Freestyle in front of a rival gang's housing project, raising speculation that this video somehow sparked a neighbourhood war.

Some people are speculating on Instagram that a video shot on a rival gang's turf led to Smoke Dawg's shooting death. (Instagram)

"He fully shot a vid on an opp block and dissed dem," reads one comment.

"He dissed a whole gang and shot a music video on there (sic) block dissing them," reads another.

In the video, Smart can be seen in front of the sign for the Atkinson Housing Co-op, in a neighbourhood known as Alexandra Park, near Queen Street West and Augusta Avenue.

In a post on the online forum Reddit, one person suggests that for Smart to record his video in a neighbourhood other than his own could cause waves with local gangs.

"Somebody clearly got pissed off and … decided it would be better to send a bigger message and make an example of him," reads the post.

Toronto paramedics transport one of three victims of a brazen daylight shooting on Queen St. West near Peter St. just before 8 p.m. on Saturday. Two victims were rushed to hospital in life-threatening condition. (Victor Biro photo)

Ernest Modekwe, 28 (Toronto police handout photo)

Culled from CBC News

My view: What's wrong with some people, why not use your mouth to sing and hit back, instead of killing your opponent, it's terrible.