23 Rackz, a rising teen rapper out of Maryland, was shot and killed a week in Washington, D.C. Now, the family of the teenager is speaking out against the rampant gun violence ravaging the Washington Metropolitan region.
Local outlet Fox 5 News initially reported on the shooting death of 23 Rackz, real name Justin Johnson of Temple Hills, Md. Temple Hills is just outside of the Washington, D.C. city limits. Rackz was killed last month (May 26) in the southeast section of D.C. DJ Akademiks memorialized Rackz via an Instagram, explaining he had the teen out at a local showcase. Fellow DMV rapper Wale also took to Twitter when news broke of the loss to salute the young artist.
Fox 5 published a new report following up with the Johnson family, who explained that Rackz grew up as an excellent student. However, as the teen’s father notes, the lure of the streets proved was too powerful.
“I’d go to work, and he’d be gone when I come home. So we had a relationship of me trying to get him off the streets and him thinking, once he got money off his hands, he was gone,” Michael Johnson said to Fox 5. “And as far as guns on the street, he had been arrested one time for a gun, but D.C. won’t hold those kids. I begged the judges, P.O., keep him. Just keep him. But the next day, he was home. It’s so easy for these kids to get guns, it really is.”
The teen’s sisters also spoke with Fox 5, with one of his older sisters saying that Rackz was “street smart” and “book smart” while noting he was an honor roll student.
“A lot of people have different perceptions of him, but at the end of the day, with us at home, he was just a regular 16-year-old,” sister Jamesa Hall said.
A vigil will be held this Friday in Savannah Terrace near the location where Rackz was killed.
He was 16.