Philadelphia City Council resolution honors slain rapper PnB Rock

PnB Rock
PnB Rock
Bianca Ortega

Philadelphia City Council approved a resolution Thursday honoring the late Hip Hop recording artist PnB Rock. The honor passed unanimously by a voice vote in a Council session held Sept. 22.

Proposed by Councilman Kenyatta Johnson, the resolution comes posthumously as the rapper originally from Germantown was gunned down Sept. 12 inside a Los Angeles restaurant. A funeral service was reportedly held Sept. 21 for the beloved singer and rapper at Khadijah Alderman Funeral Home in North Philadelphia.

“The death of PnB Rock is definitely a big loss to the City of Philadelphia,” said Johnson. “We encourage these young artists to thrive and become successful, especially when they overcome the challenges of living in an urban environment like the City of Philadelphia.

“We want to continue to keep his life and legacy moving forward by encouraging other young people to stay on the right path and do the right thing.”

Johnson recalls meeting PnB Rock about five years ago at a Stop The Violence event held at Universal Audenried Charter School in South Philly.

“What stood out to me was that he was very respectful, had good manners,” added Johnson. “You could tell that this was a young man who was going somewhere.”

PnB Rock was born Rakim Hasheem Allen December 1991. Originally signed to Atlantic Records in 2015, PnB is best known for his 2016 single “Selfish” which reached No. 16 on the Billboard charts and sold more than 3 million copies.

The song that Johnson remembers most, however, is “My City Needs Something.”

“He used his platform in that song to encourage his peers, who are the young people here in the City of Philadelphia, to put down their guns,” said Johnson.

“If you listen to that song, he talks about losing friends and family here in Philadelphia and he uses his platform to encourage young people to stop the violence.”

In a twist of tragic irony, PnB Rock succumbed to the very street violence that he had campaigned against for many years.

The rapper was shot and killed at a Roscoe’s Chicken and Waffles in Los Angeles moments after his girlfriend Stephanie Sibounheuang posted a photo of the couple on Instagram.

Police originally suspected robbery, as his assailant ripped jewelry from the slain man’s body moments before ducking out a side door to a waiting getaway car. More recent news reports however, say LAPD is looking into possible enemies PnB Rock may have had.

One of five siblings born to mother Hanunah and father Raymond, PnB Rock had two brothers follow him into the music business, including PnB Meen.

Prior to the funeral service Wednesday, family members had complained on social media that authorities were not releasing the rapper’s body and therefore, they could not give their loved one a traditional Muslim funeral service.

In a since deleted Instagram post, PnB Meen wrote, “We been having trouble getting My brothers back to Philadelphia. The state of Los Angeles claiming they have some type of Law, goin against ours as Muslims. Now I have no clue when his Janazah. It’s not right yo it’s goin on a week.”

Janazah is an Islamic funeral rite.

PnB Rock and his family are Muslims and had requested his body immediately due to religious customs. A Los Angeles Medical Examiner’s office spokesperson confirmed that Allen’s next of kin expressed concerns about an autopsy and that his body was not made ready for release until Sept. 16 and retrieved the following day.

On his Instagram feed posted Thursday morning, PnB Meen wrote: “(Road through) the City With My brother one last time Never imagined Rock Leaving like this, I gotta be Strong for the Family an hold it Down…”

In addition to his mother and siblings, PnB Rock is survived by his daughters Milan Allen and Xuri Lee.

A statement released by Atlantic Records shortly after his death read: “PnB Rock was more than an artist. To many, Rakim Allen was a great friend. He was also a wonderful father to two beautiful little girls,” the label wrote. “This news is heavy on our hearts and we are all hurting over this senseless loss. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family during this difficult time.”