Close friends continue to publicly mourn and pay tribute to the late Brooklyn, New York rapper Lionel Pickens, 31, who performed under the name “Chinx.” Rapper French Montana, a record label mate and close friend of Pickens, posted an undated video early Wednesday morning of the two of them rapping in a recording studio.
Seemingly shot from Montana’s vantage point, the Instagram video showed Pickens reciting song lyrics as others looked on and nodded with approval. Pickens, who was gunned down May 17 in a drive-by shooting in Queens, New York, had mostly completed his debut studio album before his death.
— French Montana (@FrencHMonTanA) June 3, 2015
Pickens’ family and manager confirmed their plans to release the album, titled “Welcome To JFK,” to solidify the rapper’s legacy. The album is due out on Aug. 14, led by the first single “On Your Body,” featuring Meet Simms, according to a MTV report. A booklet given out during Pickens’ funeral service in Queens on May 26 contained a description of the album in Pickens’ own words.
“It’s like a plate of food: You got your steak, potatoes, greens – you’re gonna have everything,” said Pickens, who had previously made his name through the "Coke Boys" and "Cocaine Riot" mixtape series with Montana and other members of the Coke Boys Records stable. Although Pickens’ lyrical content has been noted by reviewers as dark – perhaps recalling a troubled past that saw the aspiring rapper serve time in prison for theft and drug possession – “Chinx” said glorifying violence was not his goal.
“These are my thoughts, my stories, my feelings – I just give you what my eyes see,” he said, according to the funeral service booklet. “I don’t have a style. I’m a student of hip-hop, always trying to figure out the next sound to make everybody bop. I just want to have fun with this music.”
Montana, whose real name is Karim Kharbouch, also paid tribute to Pickens over the weekend during a video shoot for Montana's song, “Off The Rip,” which features Pickens and was recorded before his death. However, the tribute was reportedly cut short after police found narcotics and guns on several people participating in the shoot. Five people were arrested last Saturday, including a set security guard.