As the one-year anniversary of the Irving Plaza shooting approaches, a lot has changed and come to light. Yet still, there are no answers.
Earlier this year, hip-hop podcast star Daryl "Taxstone" Campbell was arrested in connection to the shooting, which left rapper Troy Ave shot and his friend Ronald "Banga" McPhatter dead. Campbell was arraigned on charges of Felon in Possession of a Firearm and Transporting and Receiving a Firearm. He is also accused of being the person who "shot the fatal shot" that killed McPhatter.
Since then, Troy Ave, who faces five felony charges from the May 2016 shooting, has spoken out about the incident, appearing on The Breakfast Club to discuss the infamous shooting and his stance with McPhatter's family. In the sit-down, the rapper spoke on his relationship with the family and noted how tension arrived when it came to handling funeral arrangements.
Following the comments, the McPhatter family has called out the rapper of capitalizing on their relative's death to "boost his street cred."
"We hold him responsible for the death of our brother," McPhatter's sister, Jamie Albert told DNAinfo. "My family is not trying to stop kids from getting money, but we don't want him to use our brother as a publicity stunt. We didn’t get a call, none of us were aware of it until we saw it in the news."
"This man never came to me, my sister, my mom or my brother to offer anything," she said in the report. "We called and called, and this went on for two days and we said, 'We're not gonna bother them no more.' So we never asked for no money."
"We've done nothing to him, but he's exploited our family and this tragedy in such a negative way,” she continued. "He used our brother as a human bulletproof vest. Instead of apologizing, he bashes us and he disrespects and he talks down on us. We’ve been too gracious about some of the things that happened to our little brother."
In the wake of the shooting, the family has been through a series of emotions. According to Albert, McPhatter attempted to distance himself from the rapper after an apparent argument over money. In the report, she said her brother was only paid $200 a week. "He told us he was not dealing with Troy Ave no more," she said. "The day he died, I was on the phone with Edgar for two hours, and twice Troy Ave called and my brother sent the calls to voicemail."
The skepticism toward the rapper since the unfortunate series of events was also shared by Shanduke McPhatter, brother of Banga and social activist. In an interview with Doggie Diamonds, he opens up about the passing of his brother as well as the shaky relationship with Troy Ave. "First of all, homeboy called me and told me to reach out to his mom. Homeboy pushes out a Free Troy Ave CD, and on the CD is a track by Banga. Banga ain't never dropped a track in his life. I didn't authorize that, my mother didn't authorize that," he shared in regards to events following the passing of his brother. "Why you put that on your Free Troy Ave mixtape? You go from that, to put some shit out about a fund that you giving. This fund that you supposed to be giving is to New Utrecht [High School]. You and bro went to Utrecht together. You said you gave $10,000. I didn't authorize that. My mother didn't authorize that."
Last year, New Utrecht High School head football coach Alan Balkan offered the first $2,000 scholarship to a student athlete, but said he had no idea McPhatter's family was unaware of it. As Shanduke reveals, the scholarship was irrelevant to his brother seeing as how he was a basketball player and not football. Balkan has since removed McPhatter's name from the scholarship.
"I had no idea of anything, I just knew that Ronald played for me and it was tragic to lose one of my guys," he told DNAinfo New York. "I'm gonna respect the family's wishes."