3 Problems rapper James Johnson Jr., who went by the name Swagg Huncho, was found dead on Sunday, as reported in Riverfront Times. Johnson was shot in the head at least two times. No suspect is in custody.
The 18-year-old Ferguson rapper was featured in a Rolling Stone profile in May, alongside his two cousins, Taylor Merriweather (who raps under the name Lil Tay) and Terrell Brown Jr. (who goes by Relly Rell). Together, they comprised 3 Problems.
The St. Louis trio was growing in popularity, expanding its audience via social media. Its “For a FCKNIGGA” video has more than 400,000 views on YouTube. The song hails from their mixtape, A Problem Story, which writer Ben Westhoff described as featuring “threats, brags and real-life tragedy over menacing beats and anthemic choruses.”
As was detailed in Rolling Stone, the group was on the rise when one of its members, Brown Jr., pled guilty and was convicted for distribution of heroin, armed criminal action and second-degree murder. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison. At the time, Johnson was about to graduate from high school and had hopes to attend rapper Nelly’s EI school for sound engineering.
According to Riverfront Times, 3 Problems were set to release a mixtape, Free Rello, on what would have been Johnson’s 19th birthday, December 19th.
Associated Press reports Johnson was the second St. Louis rapper fatally shot this year. In September, Lavell Boyd was killed. Johnson’s death marks the 186th homicide in St. Louis in 2015.