New York Daily News & Police Bureau Chief: An aspiring Bronx drill rapper, lured to his death last weekend by a phone call, was likely gunned down over the name-dropping lyrics in his music, a police source confirmed Wednesday.
Detectives believe the killing of 17-year-old Jordany Aracena was retaliation for the content of his songs — although it was unclear whether any of the five ski-masked men who came to kill the youth this past Sunday night were mentioned in his recordings, the source said. No arrests were made in the slaying.
City Councilman Oswald Feliz, a childhood friend of the victim’s older brother, said the teenager apparently mentioned the names of slain gangbangers and drill rappers in his lyrics, unwittingly setting the deadly events in motion.
“He was very new to drill and said the wrong thing in a song,” said the Bronx elected official. “That may have made him a target. In my district, we’ve seen that pattern over and over.”
The NYPD cited the drill rap culture earlier this year for inflaming gang tensions, with the rappers often taunting rivals in their lyrics and videos — leading to lethal results. Mayor Adams even suggested some social media companies ban drill performers’ videos after the slayings of two aspiring rappers in Brooklyn.
Fellow Bronx Councilwoman Diana Ayala echoed the mayor’s complaints about businesses allowing violence-related content on their platforms.
“It’s not even just the drill music itself,” she said. “It’s the threats, the drugs. The stuff that young impressionable people are idolizing.”
But family members of the young murder victim told the Daily News they believe the killing was a robbery gone wrong despite suggestions the shocking slaying was tied to the “diss lyrics” in some of his songs.
“Yes, he was a rapper,” said the victim’s cousin Odales Lenus, 61, who helped raise the teen after the boy’s mother died four years ago. “But he was happy and had a lot of friends. … It wasn’t his music, it was a robbery.”
According to cops, Jordany was on Beekman Ave. near E. 141st St. in Mott Haven when the bullets starting flying around 6:15 p.m. on Sunday. Jordany took a fatal gunshot to the chest, and was pronounced dead at Lincoln Hospital, authorities said.
“He was never violent, except for his music,” said Eric Scott, 21, a boxing trainer, friend and neighbor. “He’d be lying [in his raps] about what he did and was going to do, like lots of dudes. It’s a shame.”
Detectives on the scene located four shell casings left on the street after the lethal quintet, all dressed in black, ran off.
While a local man who saw the aftermath of the shooting suggested a gang-related beef as the motive, Scott described Jordany as someone on the verge of landing a record deal.
“He was on the rise,” said Scott. “He had A&R people interested in him … He was a really nice dude, always laughs and smiles.”
Motive aside, the slain teen’s ailing father was crushed by the violent death of his son, the youngest of his four kids.
“My wife died, and now our Jordany — he wasn’t the same after that,” said dad Jordan Aracena, 62, who landed on disability after a pair of massive coronaries. “He was a good son, I loved him with all my heart. Now that my son is dead, I can’t be happy any more.”
His cousin Lenus recalled the 11th-grade student at Discovery High School had stopped going to classes and was hanging out with a crowd that she described as not “good people.” She heard the gunshots last Sunday and ran outside to find the dying teen.
“He was faceup, bleeding,” she said. “Jordany was shot in the chest, in the arm. He said, ‘Oh my God.’ When we got to the hospital, my daughter said, ‘He’s dying.’ Then the doctor said, ‘He’s gone.’”