Queens rapper Chinx was one of NYC’s most promising up and coming rappers when he was slain late on a Sunday evening in Spring 2015. He was about to release his debut album, Welcome to JFK, when violence stopped his life short. The album was close to completion, and was released in August that same year (featuring “On Your Body”), giving fans and new listeners a chance to see more of the heartfelt talent Chinx was poised to give to the world. The album was well received by fans and critically acclaimed by the industry, covered by outlets such as Pitchfork and XXL, among others. Now, over a year after Chinx’s untimely death, a second and final album from Chinx, Legends Never Die, will be released on September 16, 2016.
Chinx’s manager and album executive producer, Doug “Biggs” Ellison says, "Legends Never Die is yet another example of the incredible talent that was Lionel Pickens. It is such an honor to uphold his legacy, and continue to bring his musical dreams to fruition. This project embodies the street chronicles that Chinx was known for, and displays his ability to satisfy what we consider mainstream. Chinx will live on forever through his music, and is truly exemplifying a legendary status under the worst of circumstances."
The highly-anticipated, second posthumous album features French Montana, Chrisette Michele, Bynoe, Stack Bundles and Meet Sims, among other artists, and includes singles “All Good” and “Match That”.
Chinx’s narrative trekked the streets, and made a pit stop in prison before finding the rapper reemerging as one of hip-hop’s most anticipated rising acts. It all started on the rough blocks of Far Rockaway, where the smell of Pine-Sol and rich sounds of Mom’s old-school soul music characterized a young Chinx’s household, temporarily overpowering the drug-strung streets. But even more than Sam Cooke slow jams, N.W.A.’s debut album Straight Outta Compton awoke his impressionable mind, exposing him to hip-hop’s raw-and-uncut realism. “They were talking so freely -- profanity and all,” remembered Chinx (born Lionel Pickens) of his introduction to rap. “That kept me playing that same album over and over.” He began putting pen to paper years later, imitating the flows and mafioso rhymes of fellow Queens MC Nas’ sophomore album It Was Written at age 12. “I wanted to be down with The Firm so bad,” said Chinx, who’d also embrace the aesthetics of Three 6 Mafia, Wu-Tang Clan and Master P.
All the while, Chinx was learning the art of the hustle. Legitimate schemes like packing grocery bags for shoppers upgraded to phony fundraisers and, finally, drug sales. He spent the illicit funds on recording time in small studios in Long Island, where he’d vent the vicious realities of the streets onto wax before even reaching high school. In 2002, he linked with Stack Bundles, a close childhood friend who was building a local buzz as a lyricist. Together, along with neighborhood spitters Bynoe and Cau2Gs, they formed the Riot Squad. But Chinx’s momentum came to a halt three years later, when he began serving a 3.5-year sentence at Mid-State Correctional Facility. While Chinx was locked up, Stack was killed, devastating the incarcerated MC while igniting his drive to carry on his slain friend’s music legacy. When he came home in 2008, he met fellow rapper French Montana through burgeoning Harlem rapper Max B, one of Stack’s former partners in rhyme. French and Chinx bonded through their tireless work ethic, waving the Coke Boys flag and fostering a true musical movement. “Our whole game plan was to flood the streets, just keep working,” said Chinx, who’s released volumes of mixtapes including the Cocaine Riot and Coke Boys series. “We kept putting music out and people started demanding that shit.”
By 2012, Chinx struck an undeniable hit with the de facto crew anthem “I’m A Coke Boy,” which grew so popular that Rick Ross and Diddy hopped on the remix, setting airwaves ablaze in the U.S. and beyond for much of 2013. He continued building his stock a year later with “Feelings,” a breezy vent session that’s as catchy as it is blunt. “These are my thoughts, my stories, my feelings -- I just give you what my eyes see,” said Chinx, whose tight flows evoke a New York vibe evolved from hip-hop’s golden era. “I don’t have a style. I’m a student of hip-hop, always trying to figure out the next sound to make everybody bop. I just want to have fun with this music.”
Chinx’s music will live on forever, because legends never die.