WEST ENGLEWOOD — Friends and family of slain rapper Joshua Davis, known as JayLoud, say the 18 year-old was not a "gangbanger" but did rap about it.
Davis was gunned down on the 2000 block of West 69th Street Christmas night following an altercation on a bus with several men, according to police.
Davis' family members say at the time of his death, Davis was wearing a hooded sweatshirt honoring his friend, slain Englewood rapper Joseph "Lil JoJo" Coleman.
Coleman, also 18, reportedly was feuding with rapper Chief Keef before his death, but it was not clear if Davis' death was related to that dispute.
Rick Pearson, 29, said he had managed Davis' rap career for about a year. Pearson said he and Davis, 18, had known each other for years and that Davis "looked up" to Pearson.
"He was chasing the Chief Keef dream," Pearson said. "The Englewood rapper. Everyone want to be a rapper."
Pearson said Davis was not actively in a gang but rapped about it because he thought the association would make him famous.
"I'm like, 'Man, you ain't about that life, so don't act like it,'"Pearson said. "But he thought that was the thing to get the money and it blew up in our face. It's shocking to see that happen."
Police said Joseph Coleman was affiliated with the Brick Squad faction of the Gangster Disciples, but it was not clear if Davis was connected to the gang.
Pearson said Coleman and Davis were school friends. He said that after Coleman was killed, Davis was very vocal about supporting Coleman.
"He felt like he had to, you know, step up and all that," Pearson said.
On Dec. 17, a tweet from Davis’ Twitter handle @JayLoud93 stated “I wear my #JOJOWORLD hoodie everywhere f--- ah opp.”
“Opp” is slang for opponents, rival gangs.
Pearson said based on what he has heard from Davis' close friends, Davis was not killed simply because he was wearing a "JoJo World" hooded sweatshirt but said it probably played into the altercation.
Pearson said the sweatshirt "pinpointed" Davis for opposing gang members.
"He got caught in the wrong place at the wrong time," Pearson said. "He wasn't a gun-toter, none of that."