The DNAinfo archives brought to you by WNYC.
Read the press release here.

Say It To Our Face: Family of Slain Troy Ave Pal Shrug at Instagram Apology

By Noah Hurowitz | April 17, 2017 5:58pm
 Jamie Albert, in an undated photo with her brother Ronald McPhatter, who was killed in a shooting at Irving Plaza on May 25, 2016.
Jamie Albert, in an undated photo with her brother Ronald McPhatter, who was killed in a shooting at Irving Plaza on May 25, 2016.
View Full Caption
Courtesy of Jamie Albert

BROOKLYN — Troy Ave, the rapper currently facing attempted murder and gun charges in connection to the fatal shooting of his friend and sometimes bodyguard in Irving Plaza, took to Instagram on Sunday to apologize for bashing his friend's family — but they're not buying it.

In an Instagram caption alongside an undated photo of himself and and the slain man, Ronald "Edgar" McPhatter, Troy Ave — whose legal name is Roland Collins — issued a mea culpa to the family and begged them to let him help pay for a headstone for his fallen friend. But not before including a plug for his new album “Nupac,” which trades on his recent brushes with death to compare himself to Tupac Shakur.

“I just want 2 respectfully say Ms McPhatter, When everything 1st happened I was hospitalized & incarcerated, with very limited contact 2 anyone let alone u,” he wrote. “Tbh, I didnt know how 2 approach u with my condolences.”

But the public pronouncement didn't go far with his dead friend's family.

Rosetta McPhatter and Jamie Albert, McPhatter's mother and sister, say they still haven't gotten an in-person apology after the rapper accused them in a radio interview of "coming out of the woodwork" for money and preventing him from parading the slain man's body through Brooklyn in a horse-drawn carriage.

“I believe he had no other choice but to respond that way, especially after he bashed my family,” McPhatter's mother said Monday. “If he was sincere i think he would have tried to reach out directly. I would like to speak to him, because he could resolve a lot of mysteries I have about my son’s death.”

Albert, who previously accused Troy Ave of "exploiting" her brother's death, was more blunt.

“How was my mother supposed to see that when she doesn’t have Instagram?” Albert asked.


Pardon the delay on #NuPac Yall it's droppin 2mor! aint wanna drop it on a day considered to be Jesus's resurrection, feel like Any day that's considered Holy need to be only that. I can't say Ma like all my friends call my moms, I would love to but we never met in person & know u may feel a great deal of animosity towards me for that and u are 100% entitled to your feelings. Im a very prideful person but Im puttin all of that 2 tha side because the Love I have 4my boi Bang is stronger than any pride. And the Love that I know he has 4 you is more important than that as well. I don't wanna be all dragged out, I can't even really find the words 2 say cause I never been thru this type of thing before; I just want 2 respectfully say Ms McPhatter, When everything 1st happened I was hospitalized & incarcerated, with very limited contact 2 anyone let alone u. I was in a position where I was unable to properly mourn for the loss of my friend and still had to fight 4 my freedom at the same time. In that time I only heard & felt negativity coming from all angles. Tbh, I didnt know how 2 approach u with my condolences. Im still hurtin now from the loss of Bang, but I jus want u 2 know that me & your son traveled the world & really really enjoyed life to the fullest! His friendship is a blessing, he may not have had quantity time on earth unfortunately but he definitely had a whole lot of quality time. Bang is my brother 4 life & I jus want to do what's right by him and his name. I understand that you being immediate family have all say so. I respect that, all I want to do is at least be able to contribute a head stone to my boys burial something he would like. I reached out to Trife twice & it didn't go weIl, not sure if u were aware, so I figured by writing a open letter to you knowing you're a deeply spiritual woman, that the Love you have for Edgar is stronger than any feelings that you have towards me & I hope the Love will override it and let u allow me 2 do that. I kno that if the roles were reversed Bang would do anything to help bring comfort or some type of closure 2 my mom & I wanna do the same thing for his. Trife has my# and U have my moms # let's do this 4 him

A post shared by Troy Ave (@troyave) on

► See Also: Troy Ave 'Exploiting' Our Brother's Death, Slain Bodyguard's Family Says

Nearly a year after McPhatter's death, his loved ones are reluctant to trust the man they say was responsible for his being in the line of fire to begin with. Albert said she was willing to accept money from Troy Ave if her mother said so, but said she hoped he would stop using her brother to boost his street cred.

“If my mother agrees to take money from you for the headstone, I don’t want you to ever mention it in public again,” she said. “You should do this because it’s right, not for publicity. If you have an apology for my mom, make it personal, not something for the media.”

Rosetta McPhatter, an outreach pastor who lives in Boerum Hill, recalled her son as a fitness-loving and friendly man who always wanted to make his loved ones smile. But he had also seen his share of trouble, including a shooting in the Flatiron in 2015 that left a bystander injured and landed McPhatter in jail for six months on charges of assault and weapons possession.

He had been released on $100,000 bail just weeks before the fatal shooting in May 2016 at Irving Plaza, and McPhatter's mother said her son was trying to get on the right path and stay out of trouble. That included doing his best to steer clear of Troy Ave, for whom he worked as an all-around fixer, marketer, and bodyguard for just $400 per month, according to Albert.

“When he came home he promised his family that he would do better, and he told all of us that he wasn’t dealing with Troy Ave no more,” she said.

McPhatter was killed on May 25 when gunfire erupted at a T.I. concert at Irving Plaza in Union Square in a shooting that injured three others, including Troy Ave, who was shot in both legs. Troy Ave was arrested the next day on attempted murder charges after police released video of him letting off at least one shot inside the club as panicked onlookers dove for cover. Eight months later, Taxstone, a podcaster with a history of beef with Troy Ave, was busted for bringing the gun into the club, according to prosecutors.

No one has yet been charged with McPhatter's murder.

It wasn’t until April 5, when Troy Ave criticized the family’s handling of McPhatter’s funeral arrangements in an interview on The Breakfast Club, that the quietly simmering feud between the McPhatters and Troy Ave erupted into the public eye. 

Speaking with DNAinfo New York following that interview, Albert and her sister, Shanetta McPhatter, blasted Troy Ave for “exploiting” their brother’s death and using it to boost his own street cred.

“[Troy Ave] keeps saying he wants his life back," she said, "but my brother can’t say that from six feet under."

Troy Ave did not respond to a request for comment.