16-Year-Old Rapper 23 Rackz Shot and Killed in D.C.

16-year-old Justin Johnson, a rising DMV rapper known as 23 Rackz, was shot and killed last Thursday (May 26) in Southeast Washington, D.C. The family of Johnson revealed that after posting his location on Instagram, Johnson was shot and killed.

23 Rackz signed with MGE in 2020, and he got support from various figures in the hip-hop world, including DJ Akademiks and Wale, who paid tribute on Twitter. Last Thursday, Wale shared a post that featured photos of 23 Rackz on stage with him and backstage at his show, which he captioned, ” I don’t even know what to say . I’m so sorry little brother. Heart just feel exhausted ..I don’t even know no more man . This shit hurt so bad.” Wale added, “It’s throwin me off . That boy was so young . So much in front of him . I remember just hangin all day when he came to LA. He ended up bein the last voice u hear on this last album . I can’t believe this.”

Michael Johnson, 23 Rackz’s father, opened up to FOX 5 about trying to get his son off the streets, stating, “Nobody could get him to stay off the streets. 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. 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.”

23 Rackz’s sisters also spoke about their late brother, and they hit back at claims that he was skipping school and in the streets. Jamesa Hall stated, “He was an honor roll student. They skipped him a grade. Like he was street smart and book smart. He was well before his time. 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. It was never 23 Rackz in the house.”

... More