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Crime

Half Ounce, Inglewood Rap Artist, UPS Employee and Father of Three, Shot and Killed In Koreatown

2:59 PM PDT on October 4, 2022

    via HalfOunce500 on Instagram

    Less than ten days after the shooting death of Kee Riches in Compton and 21 days following the murder of Philadelphia rapper PnB Rock during a robbery at a South L.A. Roscoe’s Chicken & Waffles, another up-and-coming rap artist has reportedly been shot and killed in our city’s streets.

    Multiple news reports claim that a 33-year-old man named Lataurissha O'Brien, also known as the Inglewood-affiliated rapper “Half Ounce,” was shot and killed last night in Koreatown, amid reports of multiple shots being heard around 11:30 pm.

    According to CBS, the police had difficulty finding any victims of the shooting upon arrival at the 700 block of South New Hampshire Avenue until finding O’Brien in an apartment building’s planter with multiple gunshot wounds. The man was pronounced dead on the scene and later identified by his wife. The pregnant woman told police she had been speaking on the phone with O’Brien, a father of three, as he was walking on the street following a shift at his job with UPS.

    Law enforcement claims that two people in a dark SUV are suspected of driving up to the victim, before an adult male passenger exited the vehicle to open fire on him, before getting back in and fleeing the scene. Another SUV on the scene had its window shattered in the crossfire. Surveillance footage is being sought from nearby buildings and businesses.

    As Half Ounce, O’Brien has been posting his music and videos to Instagram and YouTube for over five years, gaining a social media following of over 14,000 followers on the former. His songs and self-image revel in an L.A. gangster lifestyle, heavy on Bloods-affiliations, with the perpetual flashing of Piru tats and Phillies’ “P” hats, gang signs, tags and placas, and rattling off the supposed offenses of nicknamed associates in songs and videos.

    In an early track titled My Whole Life, Half Ounce rapped, “Fucking with the M.O.B. since I was 19, n**gaz hit me with a job, turn it to a crime scene, I was out catchin’ bodies while you was playin’ ball,” a lyrical stance that stays consistent through multiple songs and albums. Collaborations include a track called “Gangbangin’” with rapper P. Thrizzle, aka Baby Halfpint, a local musician said to be the first Filipino-American member of the large Neighborhood Pirus gang.

    Half Ounce was set to release a new single, called Drop the Ball” in ten days. An online search reveals a person with his same birth name running into frequent trouble with the law in Sherman Oaks. In one photo, O’Brien is seen posing with Mike Conception, an early co-founder of the CRIPs, influential community activist, and music producer. “Chopping game with Unc,” Half Ounce writes while posing next to Conception, who knows the deadly debts of gang-banging all too well, having been paralyzed himself by a shooting in the late 70’s.

    Tributes are pouring in for Half Ounce on his Instagram, with a mixture of tributes from friends, fans, and net-bangers alike, including “Long Live Half Ounce!” and “Blood this one hurt!” and even the usual monitor-quarterback asking, “Way the hell he walking around where MS 13 or 18 street gang be at in Koreatown and he a blood from Inglewood Nobody did it tell him to stay away from there.”

    Police say they are currently investigating the murder, which has disturbingly taken out yet another L.A. son, father, working man, and artist prematurely. Los Angeles remains one of the deadliest U.S. cities for rappers, a stat that the past twelve months have tragically forced skyward, with talents like Drakeo and Slim 400 among those recently murdered, alongside the likes of PnB and Kee Riches, adding to a death toll that includes industry legends like Biggie Smalls and Nipsey Hussle, who were all killed in L.A.

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