NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - A man who was picked as NOLA music's breakout artist of the year, is today being remembered as an up and coming rap artist, who was devoted to his two-month old son.
Desmone Jerome, was gunned down Saturday night, as he went to secure a deal for an upcoming concert.
His given name was Desmone Jerome, but as rapper 'BTY Young N', friends say he was on the verge of big things.
"Once he started making money off of music, that's what he focused on," said Michael Patterson, who was a mentor and friend. He was shocked to learn Jerome was fatally shot at 11:15 Saturday night, at a gas station in the 9200 block of Airline Highway.
"In the streets when some people are trying to get themselves in a better position some people don't want to see that," said Patterson.
Our partners at NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune report Jerome had a history of arrests, including an attempted second degree murder charge four years ago, which was later reduced.
"We did as much as we could to protect him from the streets," said Patterson.
But his friends say, with a two-month old boy, and a promising career, the 27-year old was turning things around.
"He was building a future, and everyone around him knew it," said friend and publicist Arlene Culpepper.
New Orleans police say Jerome was shot several times, and pronounced dead on the scene. They have not released any information on a possible suspect.
Six months ago, Jerome was named 'Breakthrough Artist of the Year' at the Nola Music Awards.
"He was being looked at by several labels including Cash Money," said Culpepper.
They say Jerome would use his fame, to try and help others.
"I used 'Young N', as a tool to tell kids he had trouble, but he was getting away from that," said Patterson.
"New Year's Eve he shut down 'Sector 6' (a trampoline park), and paid for all the kids in there," said Culpepper.
Friends say Jerome was picking up a check last night for an upcoming concert and was then heading to the studio, when the assailant struck.
"Some of his colleagues were there recording, it was a grim call wasn't what we expected," said Culpepper.
"He was a blessed kid. He just got eliminated before he could show the world what he could do," said Patterson.
In the end, friends said Jerome couldn't escape the city's mean streets, and those who envied his success.
"I always was concerned, but it seemed like he was on the upper end of it now," said Culpepper.
"It's just messed up that it came like this," said Patterson.