Erwin McKiness, a promising Southern California rapper also known as Jew’elz and Inkyy, died in a suspected drunk-driving crash after reportedly tweeting the phrase “YOLO” – “You Only Live Once” – a phrase popularized by rapper Drake’s song “The Motto.”
Another tweet reportedly posted by McKinness was about drinking and driving. The tweet read, “Driving tweeting sipping the cup f*** yolo I’m turning it up.”
McKinness was accompanied in the car by Marquell Bogan, 23, and Dylan George, 20, Jonathan Watson, 21, and JaJuan Bennett, 23.
Bogan died at Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in Fontana, Calif., while the others were pronounced dead at the scene, reports CBS News.
The 2005 Nissan Sentra ran a red light, lost control and slammed into a wall. The car wound up in the backyard of a home.
“They’re certainly looking at that because it will be a vital part of the investigation, but it’s too early to give an opinion as to whether it (drunken driving) was a cause or contributed to the crash,” Ontario police Sgt. David McBride told The Sun.
Despite McKinness’ tweets, police reported that it was actually Watson who was behind the wheel.
The police are still investigating the incident, but officers said that there was a high likelihood alcohol was involved, based on the statements made before the crash.
McKinness, who had aspirations to be a rapper, had either been signed or was about to sign with a major label, his friends said.
“He was trying to go out in the music business and he was getting there,” McInness’ cousin Keith Conner said. “He was up there. He already had a couple of songs and then this stuff happened.”
Edward Baker tweeted that the crash may not have happened if McKinness was with him Sunday night.
“I told him ain’t (expletive) to do in the hood but get in trouble,” he said.
Friends and relatives of five men gathered Tuesday at a makeshift memorial at the crash site on the southwest corner of Creekside and Haven. Candles and posters with messages were set up near the fence.