It’s been nearly 20 years since the death of Lost Boyz member Freaky Tah, but hip-hop hasn’t forgotten him—and neither has his son, who is following in his footsteps.
With their hit “Renee,” Lost Boyz were one of the hottest groups of the 1990s and Freaky Tah was known as the spark plug, acting as the crew’s hype man and promoter. But his son Kahlil Emery, who goes by the rap name Freaky Kah, says that his pops was more multifaceted than he gets credit for.
“He was more than just a hype man. He played multiple vessels to the team. He came through when they needed him most,” Emery said on a phone call with REVOLT. “That’s what made the music so organic. My pops got some highlight pieces of work on those projects as well, on the solo time.”
Today, March 28, is the 19th anniversary of the day that Freaky Tah was murdered while going towards the exit of a Sheraton Hotel in his hometown of Queens, New York. He was 27 years old, and his son was only eight, but still has fond memories with him.
“I was in the ‘Me and my Crazy World’ video, and I remember him getting me and taking me on a plane for the first time to go to L.A. That was pretty dope,” he recalls. “Any chance he had, he made it his business to make sure I had as much time as possible with him. He definitely made sure his presence was felt in my life when he was here.”
While the murders of artists like Notorious B.I.G. and Tupac Shakur have gone unsolved, Freaky Tah was one of the few artists whose killers were found: Kevin Jones pleaded guilty to murder, and the getaway driver, Raheem Fletcher, was sentenced to seven years in prison.
“I was kind of young during that era. I didn’t really go through the trial myself, but I know my family went through it and they had to deal with that,” he says. “There’s never any full closure in a situation like that. There’s always going to be an open wound, but at the end of the day it brought us together stronger.”
Emery hopes to continue his father’s energetic spirit into his own music. He’s the first artist on his own label Q York Music Group, and has already released several singles.
“The times have changed, so the music is definitely a little bit different, but you can feel that same type of soul that the Lost Boyz were bringing in their era,” he said. “The Lost Boyz’ music was phenomenal, but it was the whole package that came with it. It was the lifestyle, the image, the energy that helped make that what it was. I think that energy and that spirit is still embedded in me, and it’s still projected in my music.”
Emery’s got the support system in place as he’s built a friendship with LouGotCash, the son of Lost Boyz member Pretty Lou, and the two have floated the idea of making music together. Mr. Cheeks has also adopted him as a mentee to help him navigate the music industry.
“Me and Mr. Cheeks is tight, we just celebrated his birthday two days ago, I was with him. He definitely gives me pointers and shows me the right way, points me in the right direction and keeps me on my toes as far as getting into this game and moving independently,” Kah said. “Giving me pointers that weren’t given to them as they entered into this game.”