Ex-Child Prodigy Rapper Chi-Ali Wanted On Murder Charges

Bronx (N.Y.) police allege he and another man shot and killed Raymond Jones in mid-January argument.

NEW YORK — Rapper Chi-Ali, a former child prodigy who performed with members of De la Soul, the Jungle Brothers and A Tribe Called Quest on his 1992 debut album at age 14, is wanted on murder charges in the Bronx, police said Thursday (Feb. 10).

Chi-Ali, whose born name the police identified as Chi Griffith, and an unidentified man are alleged to have shot and killed Raymond Jones in a Jan. 14 argument near a housing project.

“Apparently it was a dispute over money … he owed [Griffith] $300,” said Sgt. Robert Jones of the New York Police Department’s 45th detective squad.

Police identified Griffith as a suspect in the shooting four hours after it occurred. They have yet to locate him, even though his last known address was in the Bronx, Jones said.

Griffith appeared on the Black Sheep’s first album, Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing (1990).

That helped land him a recording contract with Priority Records, which released his first and only album, The Fabulous Chi-Ali, in 1992.

That album included the minor hit “Age Ain’t Nothin But a #,” on which he bragged of his ability to get into clubs despite his age, as well as the track “Murder Chi Wrote.”

The album included guest appearances by Black Sheep member Dres, De la Soul member Dove and A Tribe Called Quest’s Phife.

Chi-Ali was the youngest member of the Native Tongues, a loose confederation of socially conscious, Afro-centric rappers who came to prominence in the early ’90s. The informal group included Black Sheep, A Tribe Called Quest and Queen Latifah.