Details were still surfacing Tuesday about the moments before Lionel Pickens, a Queens rapper who performed under the moniker Chinx Drugs, was killed early Sunday morning in a drive-by shooting. Although police questioned two men in connection with Pickens' death, those who last saw the rapper on the night of his death helped friends and family piece together his final hours.
Pickens, 31, appeared at the one-year anniversary of Club Red Wolf in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. Nearly two hours before the fatal shooting, Pickens went on stage at around 2:30 a.m. "He was very good," Luis Lopez, manager of the club, told the Music Times. "He was here with four or five guys. Then he left. He didn't fight with anyone."
The night's event was promoted to feature Domincan bachata singer Henry Santos, as well as the lesser known hip-hop acts La Mega Supreme, Jumpin J, Manny Mills, Styles and Lil' Jay. Irvington, N.J.-based rapper T-Bird told a blogger for hip hop DJ Funkmaster Flex's "In Flex We Trust" website that he'd seen Pickens moments before the show let out Sunday.
"I took this pic with my brother at 3:55 AM and 65 minutes later you were taken away," T-Bird captioned an Instagram photo of himself and Pickens. "I woke up to tons of missed calls because people were making sure I was ok... they thought I was in the back of the car with Chinx."
â€” @SkyyhighBirdy (@SkyyHighBirdy) May 18, 2015
Pickens began rapping when he was in middle school in the Far Rockaway neighborhood of Queens, according to a New York Daily News report. He had to put his career on hold to serve four years in prison after pleading guilty to theft and drug charges. After his release from prison, Pickens developed ties to the Khloe Kardashian-linked rapper, French Montana. He made a name for himself through the "Coke Boys" and "Cocaine Riot" mixtape series with Montana and other members of the Coke Boys rap crew.