A young Southern California rapper who went by the names of “Jew'elz” and “Inkyy” has been identified as one of five men in their early 20s who died in a suspected drunk-driving crash on Labor Day weekend.
The San Bernardino Sun reports that Erwin McKiness, 21, Tweeted the ironic and foreshadowing phrase “YOLO” — or “You Only Live Once,” popularized by Canadian rapper Drake — just before he and his friends died in what police believe to be an alcohol-related accident on Sunday, September 2.
“Drunk af going 120 drifting corners #FuckIt YOLO” wrote McKiness, just 20 minutes before the fiery 1:40 a.m. crash.
Drunk af going 120 drifting corners #FuckIt YOLO
— 2.7.5 Inkyy(@ink2flashyy) September 2, 2012
The vehicle, a 2005 Nissan Sentra, was reportedly being driven by 21-year-old Jonathan Watson, another young rapper who affiliates with Ontario rap crew Fly Rider$ on his Facebook profile. The car's three other passengers — 23-year old Marquell Bogan, 23-year old JaJuan Bennett and 20-year-old Dylan George — were likewise declared dead after the Sentra allegedly ran a red light and crashed into someone's backyard in suburban Ontario.
Sergeant David McBride with the Ontario Police Department tells L.A. Weekly that McKiness' online activity “did come across to the investigators, and is something they are looking at.”
In the media frenzy following the Sun's report, some hip-hop sites got Ontario, California, confused with Ontario, Canada, reporting that a Canadian rapper had been killed in the crash on South Haven Avenue at Creekside Drive.
McKiness' Twitter account has strangely been active over the last week — leading some followers to believe that the cops and the media had falsely identified him as a victim of the crash. But…
…user @CENNAZAVEH3AVY writes that the account is being monitored by McKiness' sister, who's merely defending the misinformation that her brother was the one driving. In fact, he was a passenger.
Jew'elz, listed on Facebook as a graduate of Valley View High in Ontario, was on his way up as a local rapper, his friends tell the Sun. His YouTube video for the track “Dreams,” posted five months ago, has racked up over 10,000 views.
The late rapper comes off as a slightly higher-pitched Notorious B.I.G. type, with heavy lids and a steady flow:
And here are the Fly Rider$, a couple of whom were in the car with McKiness, performing at the Key Club in Hollywood a few months ago.
R.I.P. to all.