June 3, 2023

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Portland songs scene mourns ‘bright star’ DeAndrae Stephens, acknowledged as prolific rapper Drae Steves

DeAndrae Stephens might have acted hard on phase, but buddies and relatives keep in mind the 30-12 months-aged Portland rapper for his smiles and beneficial power.

Tributes have poured in from Portland’s songs scene due to the fact Stephens, who performed less than the identify Drae Steves, was uncovered shot lifeless in the city’s Goose Hollow neighborhood just before dawn Tuesday.

“I really do not know what a indicate mug on Drae appears to be like outside of what he does in his music movies,” mentioned Malcolm Hubbard, a Portland podcaster and rapper who recorded a music with Stephens earlier this year.

Hubbard, who goes by Macc Milliaon at the mic, said Stephens’ songs had aided solidify the however-forming Portland hip-hop audio. The two had been organizing to movie a songs movie for their observe, but “now all I have remaining is an mp3,” Hubbard stated.

Portland seem engineer Michael Berglund, who goes by the identify Zebulon Dak, stated Stephens would drop by his studio nearly the moment a week, filling the producer’s difficult generate with hundreds of songs, most of which have not nonetheless been released.

“When he was younger his studio periods were being additional like get-togethers,” Berglund wrote in an electronic mail to The Oregonian/OregonLive. “But in the latest several years it was generally just me and him, and you could see how he’d matured both as a person and as a recording artist.”

A enthusiasm for tunes runs in Stephens’ loved ones. His father raps beneath the name Manic Lok, and his uncle performs as Awesome Nutz. As a kid expanding up with 4 sisters in Northeast Portland, Stephens would rap gospel lyrics at Highland Christian Middle and later on attended Grant Higher University, recalled his cousin LaQuay Kennedy.

Stephens’ killing is one of a few homicides in the city given that Saturday, pushing Portland’s murder rely this calendar year to a document 85.

His family members is even now in mourning, claimed Kennedy, but hopes to established up a fundraiser to assist help Stephens’ 6 small children.

“The partnership he has with his family members is unmatched,” she explained. “He wouldn’t want us to be unhappy, he would not want us to mourn much too extended. He would want us to think beneficial.”

Tragedy has struck the relatives before.

Ervaeua Herring — the mom of Stephens’ son, DeAndrae Jr. — was killed in 2014 just after 6 armed gunmen burst into her Southeast Portland apartment while searching for Stephens, police mentioned. Herring, 21, was pregnant when she was fatally shot. A person was later on sentenced to more than six a long time in jail following admitting to killing her and remaining convicted of manslaughter.

Court files submitted in a different situation in 2017 explained Stephens as a member of the Woodlawn Park Bloods and recommended he was involved in the gang’s extended-functioning feud with the Hoover Crips.

“It’s a war out here,” Hubbard stated.

Berglund acknowledged that Stephens may have gotten caught up in the cycle of road hostilities but reported the violence did not define his close friend.

“He was a brilliant star with a solid gravitational pull,” Berglund said. “People were being captivated to him, for much better or for even worse. I only hope that this could possibly in some way be a catalyst for adjust in this city.”

— Zane Sparling [email protected] 503-319-7083 @pdxzane