Rapper Earl Swavey Was Shot While Piloting Car That Crashed, Autopsy Says
Rapper Earl Swavey, known for his collaborations with A$AP Yams and Grimes’ brother Jay Worthy, was driving a car carrying multiple passengers when he was shot by someone outside a party in downtown Los Angeles and subsequently crashed into a parked motorhome, a final autopsy report obtained Monday by Rolling Stone says.
The report states Swavey, whose legal name was Earl Hatton, died from a gunshot wound to his back on Jan. 9, 2022. The copper bullet was found lodged in his heart. Blunt head trauma from the vehicle collision was listed as a contributing factor in the 26-year-old’s death.
Witnesses purportedly said at least one passenger inside Hatton’s vehicle discharged a firearm before “patrons at the party fired back,” an LAPD detective told the Los Angeles County Medical Examiner, according to the report. It’s believed the shooting was “gang-related,” the report said without elaborating.
Hatton was raised by a single mother in South L.A. following the death of his father when he was about 2 years old, he told the No Jumper podcast in 2018. Hatton recalled meeting the influential rapper Steven “A$AP Yams” Rodriguez in his teens. The A$AP Mob co-founder heard Hatton’s track “Beef” from a 2013 mixtape titled Business Before Pleasure and reached out to work with him, he said. The two appeared together on the 2014 song “Uza Trikk” produced by LNDN DRGS, the musical duo comprised of Worthy and producer Sean House. Rodriguez would die from an accidental drug overdose just months later in January 2015.
In a 2015 interview with Grungecake, Hatton said Rodriguez’s death hit him hard. “It hurts a lot because I recently talked to him two days before he passed. Out of all of the members of A$AP, Yams was really like a brother to me. He would send me Christmas gifts and always look out for my mom, and ask if she needed anything. I could call him anytime and he would always answer, no matter what. I definitely gained some wisdom from him,” he said.
Acclaimed rapper Vince Staples paid tribute to Hatton in a Twitter post shortly after his death. “Rest In Peace to the great Earl Swavey,” Staples tweeted on Jan. 10.
Rest In Peace to the great Earl Swavey
— RPBMH 💔 OUT NOW (@vincestaples) January 10, 2022
Hatton’s death followed shortly after fellow southern California MCs Darrell “Drakeo The Ruler” Caldwell and Vincent “Slim 400” Cohran were slain in Los Angeles County in December 2021. Two suspects were later arrested for the fatal shooting of Cohran. Caldwell’s homicide remains an active investigation under the jurisdiction of the California Highway Patrol because it happened on state property during the Once Upon A Time in L.A. concert.
An LAPD detective assigned to Hatton’s homicide did not respond to a request for comment on Monday. An LAPD spokeswoman said the case remains open.
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