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#ThirdCoastATL, Ep. 4: The dangers of the game

Bankroll Fresh was a promising young rapper before he was shot and killed outside a recording studio. But while his still unsolved murder shook the hip-hop community, his family said it comes with the territory of trying to make it. Now, carrying on his legacy and reaching success -- the ultimate revenge -- is more important than ever.

Trentavious White had dreams of becoming a big-name artist. To sell out shows and make bankroll, while he stayed fresh. Just like his nickname.

But instead of meteoric career, the 28-year-old became a victim of the rap game.

More than a year ago, in March 2016, he died after a shootout outside of the Street Execs recording studio on Defoor Place in northwest Atlanta. But even with surveillance video, Atlanta Police have not yet arrested anyone in connection to the shooting.

Atlanta’s hip-hop community proved to be tight-knit, and in the wake of the shooting, big-name artists affected by the loss took to social media...including Gucci Mane.

“It was painful, because I knew Bankroll Fresh,” Gucci said. “I watched him since he was, like, 17 years old. I was already hip to him and working with him. I was proud of him, and I never got a chance to see him at the level he was at because I was locked up.”

But for local rapper Quiktrip, Bankroll Fresh’s childhood friend and label-mate of Street Money Worldwide, the danger that claimed the life of Fresh is part of trying to make it in the game.

“This what come with it,” he said. “It’s crazy that we done been through so much in life that we never thought music could bring this much harm towards us.”

The rapper reflected on losing someone who was like a brother to him. But, unfortunately, it wasn’t the first time gun violence would hit so close to home.

“The people we sat on the wall with and cried with, about the stories of how we make and how we gon’ live it up, they’re not here no more,” Quiktrip said. “Walo. Money. And Fresh.”

Money, is Lil Money. Shot dead in a drive by shooting in November of 2016. Like Bankroll Fresh, he was also a member of Street Money Worldwide and died while protecting a 6-year-old prodigy, Bankroll PJ, Fresh’s nephew.

11Alive’s Neima Abdulahi asked QuikTrip what it was like for family and how they help make sure Fresh and Money’s legacies gets remembered.

“We’ll never let that die,” he said. “We’ll die, not to let that die. Put it that way.”

In Atlanta, there’s two degrees of separation in the city’s hip-hop scene. Somebody always knows somebody who knows somebody. Greg Street knows all the big names, and he knew Bankroll Fresh. He said most dangers in the rap game can be rooted down to jealousy.

“When you start to flourish and people start to look at you, people start to see your name, you start doing shows to make money. Some people that are around you, they’re really your competition. And they get jealous,” he said.

While Bankroll Fresh’s family waits for answers, they said it’s not about #RestInPeace but #LongLive. And that’s where Bankroll PJ comes in -- the 6-year-old who survived the drive by shooting that killed Lil Money.

PJ said it’s #LongLive because he wants to carry on their legacy. The rap prodigy said he knew he wanted to be a rapper the minute he met Fresh.

“When I first met Bankroll Fresh, and I got in his video shoot, I was like, ‘Yeah. I gotta be like him.’”

And it would seem the 6-year-old is on the fast-track to stardom. The young rapper has a strong social media following -- nearly half-a-million people are following him on social media platform Instagram. And each video post on his YouTube page, gets seen by millions of people.

Neima: “When your fans come up to you what do they tell you?”

PJ: “Every time I get on stage they pull me. They almost made me knock down speeding. They do that. I got fans like that.”

Neima: “So they almost knock you doing to hug you and show you love?”

PJ: “I don’t even have to say nothing. I get security.”

While PJ might be rising to the top quickly, 11Alive asked whether what happened to Bankroll Fresh and Lil Money has caused any hesitations, that maybe the rap life isn’t for him.

“It killed our spirit, but he’s so intelligent that he’s like, we’ve got to make it,” Quiktrip said. “We can’t fail Fresh and Lil Money.”

He said while his team started off as a 10-man crew, now they’re even more motivated to reach success, their choice for revenge.

“It’s blood, sweat and tears in it now,” he said. “First it was just sweat and work. Now, it’s blood, sweat and tears.”

#ThirdCoastATL Ep. 5 | Atlanta in the center of the hip-hop universe

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