Dip Set Byrdgang member Stack Bundles was killed early Monday morning (June 11) in his hometown of Far Rockaway in the New York City borough of Queens. He was 24.
Police said that the rapper was shot in the head and neck as he entered his apartment building. The shooter or shooters fled, The New York Times reports, and no arrests have yet been made. Authorities said the case remains under investigation. DJ Envy at New York radio station Hot 97 announced on the air Monday morning that Stack had been shot to death. Envy also reported that Stack was seen at New York nightclub Stereo as late as 4:30 a.m. on Monday.
"The Dipset/Byrdgang family is deeply saddened by our loss," ByrdGang manager Yandy Smith said in a statement. "Not only did we lose a member but we lost a brother and a friend. Rayquon Elliot, a.k.a Stack Bundles, was a joy to be around, charming, very intelligent, compassionate and concerned about the upliftment and enrichment of his community and the people in it.
"We cannot stress enough that a young star's light was put out before he had a chance to shine in front of the world," the statement continued. "We would like this to be a lesson to the rap game ... too many of our talented artists are losing the battle of life before their voices have a chance to be heard."
While he hadn't yet attained widespread popularity, mixtape fans have been aware of Bundles' lyrical skills for several years. The rapper, who also led his own Riot Squad crew, first began attracting major attention as a member of DJ Clue's Desert Storm family. His work on freestyles alongside more established MCs, such as then-camp members Fabolous and Joe Budden, let the scene know immediately he could hold his own weight.
While he worked to secure a label deal, Stack released a myriad of solo mixtapes and appeared on Clue's street CDs. Last year, he popped up on Jim Jones' M.O.B. (Members of Byrdgang) mixtape (the same mixtape that introduced Jones' monster smash "We Fly High"), along with the currently incarcerated Max B.
Jones told MTV News last year that Stack had approached him one night in a club, and the only thing he liked more than Stack's audacity was his skill on the mic. Jones planned to not only release Stack's solo debut, but also to highlight him on Byrdgang releases as well.
On Monday morning, MTV News reached out to a grieving Jones, who said he needed some time to get his thoughts together before speaking on the death of his friend and artist.
MTV News will have more on this story as it develops.
[This story was originally published at 11:12 a.m. on 6.11.2007]