Dex Osama / Photo by Anastacia Campbell for Noisey
Dex Osama, the 21-year-old rapper ascending to become the next big thing from the Midwest after co-signs from both Meek Mill and DeJ Loaf, was killed in front of a Detroit strip club early Monday morning.
Detroit station WDIV reported that Osama, whose real name is Byron Cox, was shot in the chest outside of the Crazy Horse, following an altercation over a woman. He ran to a nearby gas station, asked an attendant to call 911 and then collapsed. He was pronounced dead at Detroit Receiving Hospital.
A mutual friend of Dex's named Ed confirmed over text message to me in the early morning hours that "Dex is gone. He was killed."
Calls to Detroit Police, the Wayne County Medical Examiner, and Dex Osama's manager were not immediately answered Monday morning.
News of the rapper's death spread quickly via social media, including Meek Mill's Instagram account. The Philadelphia rapper posted a solemn message, lamenting the ills of succumbing to street life:
Damn RIP YOUNGIN..... Had a lot of talks with you about getting out them streets and chasing ya dreams! I really believed in you and seen you putting on for Detroit! RIP @dex_osama for all my fellow young kings coming up tryna make it out, take ya time and think about where you want ya life to go! MAY GOD BLESS HIS SOUL! Never let them streets shatter ya dreams!!!
Mill co-signed Osama earlier this summer, as did fellow Detroit rapper DeJ Loaf, who brought him on stage to perform with her during Summer Jamz 18 in June. The two Detroit rappers also performed a duet in the remix for "Lifestyle Pt. II" by Oba Rowland.
Others claimed responsibility for the shooting death of the up-and-coming talent, including, one Instagram user, who claimed he had "video of me shootin Dex head off."
Dex Osama came to fame after releasing raw, unabridged rap about Detroit street life specifically from his crew's point of view known as the Choppa Boyz. I first met him earlier this summer at the same strip club where he would later be killed, the Crazy Horse, at an after party for the Nicki Minaj Pinkprint Tour stop in Detroit.
We would later hang out again a few weeks ago for a profile piece I was developing about the rapper. He was friendly yet very paranoid, with a teddy bear-like physique and an aloof smile. One of his latest releases "Death on Me" found him speaking candidly about his mother's view on his actions, "My mama said I got death on me / The reason why I got this vest on me / These niggas want me then come get me / I ain't hiding nigga I'm in the city."
UPDATE 9/8/15: According to Wayne County Medical Examiner Ryan Bridges, Byron Cox a.k.a. Dex Osama, died yesterday at age 21, just six days shy of his 22nd birthday. The police incorrectly identified he was 26 years of age at his time of death yesterday. Autopsy is on the docket for later today.
Max de la Garza is a writer living in Detroit. Follow him on Twitter.