Rap battles these days conjure images of two aspiring emcees exchanging bars on Freestyle Friday or at Fight Klub. That wasn’t the case in the Fort Worth, Texas rhyming contest that left one of the teenagers fatally shooting the other in the head.
According to the Houston Chronicle, a 17-year old high school junior, Christopher Smith, was shot last month after a rap battle escalated into fisticuffs. Witnesses informed Haltom City police that Christopher Smith and Samuel Jones, 18, met on September 15th for a rap contest in an open field.
"They knew each other, and they had an ongoing rap battle," said Sgt. Terry Stayer, Haltom City police spokeswoman. "They were involved in these impromptu raps that took place in parking lots, at someone’s house. They had ongoing back-and-forth issues, and they didn’t like each other."
Smith reportedly rapped first, and then Jones rapped and pointed a gun at Smith. According to the police affidavit, Jones then handed his gun to a bystander and Smith and Jones had a fistfight. When the fight ended, Smith was collecting his personal belongings when Jones allegedly shot him in the head. According to the affidavit, Smith had filed a police report about a week before his death accusing Jones of threatening his life.
Sgt. Stayer said police followed up the report but didn’t find enough evidence to charge Jones. Smith, a high school junior, had just recorded his second rap album and hoped to be a professional musician, family members said. Jones was serving eight years probation at the time of the shooting on drug and deadly conduct charges, according to Tarrant County criminal court records.