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Rapper Young Greatness Killed in New Orleans

Rapper best known for his 2015 hit “Moolah” was fatally shot in New Orleans early Monday morning

Young Greatness photographed in 2016.

Young Greatness photographed in 2016.

Prince Williams/WireImage

New Orleans rapper and Cash Money signee Young Greatness, real name Theodore Jones, was fatally shot early Monday morning outside of a Waffle House, according to local reports. He was 34.

Young Greatness was best known for his 2015 hit “Moolah,” which was released by Atlanta’s Quality Control Records, current home to the Migos and Lil Yachty. Produced by Jazze Pha, it’s a unique take on trap music, melding the melody-forward approach that’s defined New Orleans music for generations with the straightforward, slow trap drums that continue to define the center of modern hip-hop. According to Young Greatness, approaching songs melody-first was his first instinct, inspired by New Orleans second line parades. “I always was melodic because that’s how I came up — second line music, we sing,” he told Rolling Stone in 2016. “That was already instilled into me. … We used to go so much to where I was the child in my household that started rebelling on going to the second line.”

“Moolah” was a slow burner — it took months, not days, to garner attention — ultimately landing Young Greatness a spot on the Billboard Hot 100 and a late night performance on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert.

While Young Greatness was from New Orleans, he relocated to Houston in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. It was there that he found early success, attracting the attention of local heroes like Mike Jones and Bun B. After the success of “Moolah,” Young Greatness signed with New Orleans’ defining record label, Cash Money, under the tutelage of Brian “Birdman” Williams.

“The first time I heard him, I knew he was going to be big,” Birdman said in a statement released after Young Greatness’ signing. “He’s got a grasp of melody that few artists have. It’s the sound of the future.”

New Orleans authorities have not yet released any further details about the shooting.

In This Article: Hip Hop, Young Greatness

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