The news of the arrests for the murder of Chinx rocked hip hop culture and social media. While it seemed sudden, it was many months in the making. And all the while, as Chinx’s brave and beautiful wife Janelli Caceres told me in an exclusive interview, she kept her hope alive on her long journey for justice.
A Fox 5 camera was the only one on hand as NYPD detectives brought in Quincy Homere, 32, and arrested him for the murder of Chinx, whose real name was Lionel Pickens, on May 15, 2015, in Queens when his Porsche was stopped at a light. Minutes later, they brought in suspect No. 2, Jamar Hill, 26. He was also charged with murder.
For more than two and a half years, NYPD detectives were relentless in their search for the killers, no matter what the obstacles, according to Queens South Homicide Lt. Richard Rudolph.
Janelli told me that during the many months when it seemed like nothing was going on, detectives from the 107th Precinct and Queens South Homicide kept her informed privately.
For Chinx’s legion of fans, and the hip hop culture, long accustomed to unsolved rapper murders, the arrests came as a shock, according to Vanessa Satten, the editor-in-chief of XXL magazine.
Lt. Rudolph said that in 2009 Homere and Chinx had a beef over a gang-controlled phone on Rikers Island that left Homere seething. In between felony arrests, Homere tried his hand at rap under the name Qwality, and even had a song out called “IDK Nothing,” with a reference to the same type of gun allegedly used in Chinx’s murder.
On April 24, 2015, after a show at the Sound Garden Hall in Philadelphia, where rising star Chinx was performing with French Montana, Homere’s hate and jealousy ignited. Sources said Chinx called him out as a snitch. For the next three weeks, law enforcement sources said, Homere hunted Chinx like an animal.
The courtroom was packed with Chinx’s family and friends, and security was tight in Queens County Criminal Court as Homere and Hill were brought before a judge. They were arraigned on murder and other charges and pleaded not guilty.
It was the first time Janelli saw the men who allegedly took away the love of her life and father of their children.
It is still too early to tell whether the suspects will go to trial or take a plea, but Janelli said she will be in court every time.
Over the years, Janelli has focused on raising her three children as a single mom, pursuing her college degree in business management, working and handling her husband’s music business. She said she will continue to pursue her own goals as an example to the kids to move forward despite tragedy.
LISA EVERS, Host and Executive Producer, Street Soldiers https://twitter.com/lisaevers
VANESSA SATTEN, Editor-in-Chief, XXL Magazine https://twitter.com/VSattenXXL
DARRIN PORCHER, PHD, Former NYPD Lieutenant, Criminal Justice Professor, Security Consultant https://twitter.com/DrDarrinPorcher
KENNETH MONTGOMERY, Criminal Defense Attorney, Law Professor, Former Prosecutor https://twitter.com/EsqMontgomery
LT. RICHARD RUDOLPH, Commanding Officer, Queens South Homicide https://twitter.com/NYPDQueensSouth
JANELLI CACERES, Widow of Chinx
This is the season for giving and giving back. But some people do it all year round.
Hip hop is leading the charge. Hip hop artist Phresher is once again playing Santa with help from street soldiers to kids at a school in his East New York neighborhood. At Thanksgiving, he organized a deluxe feast for homeless neighbors.
He says there is nothing he’d rather do than give back. It warms his heart, he says. His career took another leap up being featured on Eminem’s new album. Phresher believes giving back is really keeping it real.
And hip hop personality Queenzflip’s video giving his coat to a stranger in need went viral.
But it’s not just hip hop. The Catalog for Giving funds 15 city youth-oriented programs that make a real difference in thousands of lives. Executive Director Florance Wiener says those from under-served neighborhoods really need those services to help level the playing field.
Those in uniform take on different duties this time of the year. NYPD officers made the holidays happy for children at St. Joseph’s School for the Deaf in the Bronx. And since 1947, the U.S. Marine Corps tackles a different mission in December: the Toys for Tots program.
The flip side of this is that there are many people looking to get donations. Charity funding experts like Florence Wiener say do your research before you give away your hard-earned money.
With more people involved in helping others, is it really becoming a way of life? The Street Soldiers panel—Phresher, Pastor Mike, Queenzflip, and Pat Robinson—tackled that topic.
FEATURED CAST: LISA EVERS, Host and Executive Producer, Street Soldiers https://twitter.com/lisaevers
QUEENZFLIP, Humanitarian, Podcast Host, Social Media Influencer https://twitter.com/QueenzFlip
REV. MICHAEL “PASTOR MIKE” WALROND, Senior Pastor, First Corinthian Baptist Church https://twitter.com/MikeWalrond
PATRICIA “PAT” ROBINSON, Director Operations, Hot 97/WBLS/WLIB https://twitter.com/RadioHRlady
PHRESHER, Hip Hop Artist, Humanitarian https://twitter.com/PHRESHER_DGYGZ
From hip hop royalty like Jay-Z and Beyoncé to the British royal family, love and marriage go hand-in-hand. At the same time, the trend of open relationships is growing.
But can they really work? What’s really going on with our modern relationships?
LISA EVERS, Host and Executive Producer, Street Soldiers https://twitter.com/lisaevers
JACOB BERGER, Actor and Social Media Influencer
DION METZGER, M.D., Psychiatrist, Couples Therapist and Author
GRAFH, Hip Hop Artist
It’s dangerous and even deadly, and it’s flooding our neighborhoods…..From the city to the suburbs and beyond, Fentanyl is turning up in heroin and illegal pills….and it’s fueling a surge in overdoses.
Grammy-winning producer and rapper Timbaland shocked many in a new Rolling Stone interview by revealing he overdosed on prescription pills three years ago. This comes as the music industry and fans are reeling from the drug overdose death of up and coming Soundcloud sensation Lil Peep. He was 21 years old. One of the fatal pills may have been tainted with Fentanyl, a synthetic opiod 50 times more potent than heroin.
It’s been a quiet revolution but make no mistake about it—male grooming and body makeovers have exploded: from the barber shop to Botox, body sculpting to surgery, and mani-pedis to waxing. But are some men going too far?
Multi Grammy Award-winning artist Pharrell Williams says he keeps his youthful looks by “Exfoliating like a madman.” That’s a facial treatment that requires more than the hot towel you get at the local barber shop.
For a growing number of stars and regular guys of diverse ethnic, racial and generational groups, spa visits are key.
Sean Steele, the manager of the luxurious Living Fresh Men’s Spa, says they do massage, manicure, pedicure, facials, hair removal, and even laser procedures.
Some stars like Ryan Seacrest are capitalizing on the trend. He has his own men’s skincare line called Polish.
Cosmetic procedures and plastic surgery are on the rise for men, too—up 80 percent over the last 10 years, according to Dr. David Shafer, a plastic surgeon.
“Some men might come in because they want liposuction for their belly, they might want liposuction for their chest, a little liposuction under their chin,” Dr. Shafer says. “And while they’re here they say, ‘Do you do that Botox?'”
In October, the FDA approved the use of Botox for forehead lines. That opened the door for a celebrity pitch to a new group of potential users. Deion Sanders, the NFL hall of famer, does commercials for Botox.
We took our camera into men’s night at Dr. Shafer’s office. M.J., a business executive, allowed us to show you his treatment of a filler called Vollure and Botox.
Some men do take body makeovers to the extreme, like the man known as the Human Ken Doll. But in hip hop, super-buff super stars like 50 Cent and LL Cool J do it the old-fashioned way—by working out.
If you do choose treatments or surgery, Dr. Shafer says safety is key.
“Do your research. You want to make sure you’re going to a board-certified plastic surgeon, and you want it to be from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons,” Dr. Shafer says. “You don’t want to have somebody who’s calling themselves a ‘cosmetic specialist’ or ‘aesthetic specialist.'”
Now men are finding out what women have known for a long time: that all that maintenance comes at a price. Spa mani-pedis can go for $100 or more and Botox and fillers can run from the hundreds to thousands of dollars.
Do you think men are going too far? If so, are we creating the new double standard? Hear what our panel has to say on the topic. –
LISA EVERS, Host and Executive Producer, Street Soldiers https://twitter.com/lisaevers http://www.hot97.com/lisaevers
ROLLING STONE P, Hip Hop Artist https://www.instagram.com/rollingstonep/
JENBKLYN LE, HOT 97 Host and CEO of Next Jeneration https://www.instagram.com/jenfrombk/ http://www.hot97.com/blogs/air/jenbklyn
PLEM LAWSON, Fitness Coach and Adjunct Professor https://www.instagram.com/brolicplem/
GREG DAVIS JR., a.k.a. KLARITY, Actor, Comedian and Social Media Influencer https://www.instagram.com/klarity/
DAVID SHAFER, MD, FACS, Plastic Surgeon http://www.shaferplasticsurgery.com
SEAN STEELE, Manager, Living Fresh Men’s Spa http://www.lfmensspa.com