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Popular Young Black Rapper Murdered In New York

A popular young rapper has died a painful death after being killed in a drive-by shooting in East New York on Friday.

NY Post reported that Kennedy Noel, 23, who performed under the name KJ Balla, had a huge Spotify following where some of his music had been streamed more than 80,000 times and he had racked up more than 100,000 unique listeners each month.

He also has more than 35,000 Instagram followers.

He was struck once in the chest as a hail of bullets flew over Bradford Street Friday night from a passing car.

Noel’s grieving family was left stunned by his death, his aunt, Jacqueline Smith, said.

“We’re just going through the motions right now, the ups, the downs. It’s just hard right now, it’s very hard,” she said late Saturday.

KJ Balla had just released a music video on YouTube with fellow rapper Jay Gwuapo for a song called “Back to Back.” Another tune on YouTube, “Cookin’ Up,” had reached a whopping 1.8 million views.

Noel was pronounced dead at Brookdale Hospital. A second man was hit five times, but survived, authorities said.

No arrests had been made late Saturday, police said.

Photo Credit: KJ Balla/Facebook

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