By Chrisleen Herard,
Special to the AFRO
The artist known as President Davo was described by his fans as the rising voice and heart of the city of Baltimore.
“I think I’m losing all my love here. I think I’m losing all my trust here…Sometimes I feel like I’m just stuck here,” Davo said in his song, “Sunshine.” “I’m too busy trying not to die here. It’s like we’re running out of life here. Baltimore, do you agree with me?”
Though he had big goals to achieve, the same city that he loved and rapped about became the same city where he died on the night of Oct. 6. On that night, shortly after 6 p.m., Baltimore police were called to the 2000 block of Cliftwood Avenue regarding a reported shooting. When authorities arrived at the harrowing scene, they discovered an unresponsive 28-year-old male victim suffering from multiple gunshot wounds.
The victim was urgently transported to a nearby hospital, but, despite medical efforts by the hospital staff, he succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced dead.
The male was later identified as the treasured and promising Baltimore artist, David Boykin, known as “President Davo” to his fans and members of the Baltimore rap community. Now there is an $8,000 reward for information leading to an “arrest and charges” in the case.
“I still got a lot of work to do,” read one of the rapper’s final tweets on the day of his untimely death.
Anthony Williams, a marketing strategist, became close to Boykin after hearing his “I Don’t Wanna Be a Playa” freestyle.
“I was like, man, he should be big– he’s really good,” Williams told the AFRO.
A cousin of William’s soon introduced him to Boykin on a Tuesday at a house belonging to Boykin’s mother. Since that moment, Williams said he has supported and helped Boykin. Williams assisted as Boykin finished the production of his “I Don’t Wanna Be a Playa” single. They completed the music video the same week Williams first discovered the Baltimore rapper’s sound.
“We made an Instagram post because we wanted to get a shot of everybody in the city that was out,” Williams said. “That was Davo’s big thing. He was like, “Bro, I want to bring the city out. I want the whole city in this. I want the city behind this,” and that reflected in his music down the line as well.”
Soon after the song was released, Boykin left a melodious mark in the Baltimore community.
“After “I Don’t Wanna Be a Playa,” it was like gold after that same day,” Williams said. “When people caught that cadence– they didn’t know who this guy was. Nobody knew, and then the video dropped.”
“He sang hard–sang beautifully,” Williams continued. “Davo is a real angel. That man was a human being. It’s kind of hard to explain because it’s rare in this city. It’s rare in this city that you can get somebody that went through so much and still be so damn good. He had every reason to be a menace to society, but chose to want to do better.”
Boykin was born on Aug. 11, 1995, in Baltimore and began his promising music career behind a YouTube channel named “YnGTV” nearly ten years ago. He was well known for his vivid visuals and lively lyrics that brought his stories from the city to life. Boykin now leaves behind his family, friends, children and fans.
“Baltimore is mourning the (loss) of a legend in the music industry,” Deshawn Batson, the chair of Baltimore’s youth violence committee, wrote in a Facebook post. “I had the opportunity to meet and experience Davo’s music, passion and positive energy for years throughout the city at different events.”
“Baltimore, we must do better!” he added.
Ty Hill, host of “Cards Face Up” podcast in Baltimore, also paid tribute to the late rapper.
“It’s surely a sad day in Baltimore,” Hill wrote to his followers, also via a Facebook post. “We aren’t just mourning another senseless murder, which is always sad. Today, our city is mourning a voice that has spoke to and for the city for a while now. A voice that painted pictures with his music, that created visuals of what most of us grew up seeing and living. A brother who was the ‘one’ for his family that was going to change their lives forever.”
Williams expressed his thoughts on what the Baltimore community should do to prevent incidents like this from taking place in the future.
“I think Davo was going to blow. I think his time was definitely coming,” Williams said. “I think the rappers are doing their job, but we as the people gotta do ours. It’s the people that support them that try to create these differences and these separations.”
Williams told the AFRO that Baltimore lives by a “code” that prevents members of the community from assisting authorities in finding perpetrators and suspects who have committed crimes and taken lives in the city. He admits that even he has chosen silence in the past, when it comes to helping people get justice. Now, he’s thinking it’s time for a change.
“That’s what the city has to do.
] ‘the code,’” said Williams. “Let’s get these people, people want to get older.”
“This city is traumatized. This city is hurting. The politicians here, they are not doing their job. So, there’s just no winning here,” he added. “It’s like one of the craziest relationships somebody could be in,
] still showed up, still fed people and still wanted to help people every day.
In efforts to find the suspects involved in Boykin’s death, Baltimore police are urging the public to contact homicide detectives at 410-396-2100 or utilize the Metro Crime Stopper tip line at 1-866-7LOCKUP to remain anonymous.