Mattapan murder victim was rapper who started young, toured country


Friends are identifying the man shot to death on Itasca Street on Thursday as Kenneth "Lil Kenny" Rowell, 25, of Dorchester.

Rowell started rapping when he was barely old enough for first grade. In 1999, New Edition and Bell Biv Devoe founder Michael Bivins picked Rowell as a member of a group of pre-14 rappers originally called Magnificent 7, then the Biv 10 Pee Wee All-Stars.

The group, consisting of boys from across the country went on a national tour, appeared on MTV and BET, and came out with one album.

His family has set up a page to help with funeral costs.



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These young men weren't

These young men weren't murdered bcuz they were rappers & I wudnt call rapping their occupation, more like a hobby smh...a lot of kids growing up in the inner city enjoy rap music for various reasons..some see it as an opportunity to make it out of diff. Than suburban kids who r interested in music only diff is the suburban parents can pay for music lessons for their kids...if u don't know what really goes on in the life of the kids being murdered please don't assume they all deserved it based on whatever stereotypes causes u to think..


My sense is you missed the point...

My sense is the comment you are responding to isn't saying this young man was targeted because he was a rapper (or, as you pointed out a rapper-by-hobby), but that there seem to be more people who identify as "rappers" who are murdered. If you knew this murder victim, I am sorry for your loss. As a "white suburban mom with a white son", i take umbrage with your assertion that white young men who succeed do so because their white parents can afford (music or other) lessons. Statistically, there is more opportunity for a young man (or woman) who meets economic, social and diversity requirements to earn space in a top rated college, music program, or other than there is for a young man who doesn't meet these requirements.

I think, instead, the difference you perhaps may want to articulate is that the young white boy you are profiling has a community (family, teachers, religious leaders, etc.) which encourage and sometimes outright insist he follow a certain pattern that includes delayed gratification and hard work from toddler years to adulthood, and that the white kids (like the black, green, brown, orange, pink) kids who succeed do so because, ultimately, they have the desire to "get there" whether it be to become a musician or a lawyer or a street vendor. And they parlay that desire with hard work and perseverance and a sense of self that stick with even when perhaps they really don't feel like it because they have their eyes on their goals.

People succeed because of many, many factors - but the one that counts the most is personal decisions and hard work. Every child, every human will face adversity and hurdles and disappointments. It's how you proceed from these junctures that matter.

I don't know the circumstances of your rapper friend's death. But it's unlikely to have anything to do with the availability of music lessons, and likely to do with life choices.


the suburban area is no different then inner city

to those who say that suburbian kids have better opportunities been inner city kids the suburbs is at risk just as well as the inner city there's more people in the suburbs using pills crack heroin hey anything they can get their hands on just as well as kids in the city this kids in the suburbs that a gang bangin just as well as kids in the city so really there's no difference at all and the kid lil kenny that was shot is a good friend of mines for my community

So Sad that there are

So Sad that there are sooooooooo many of your kind quoting on issues with no clue about what's really going on, this is all the time I will waste on the self-centered as such.

Yes, I noted "suburban" in response to the "suburban" reference comment was in response to the comment above mine where the individual made reference to her/his perception this deceased, young rapper was at a disadvantage in life because he didn't have "suburban" parents and live in a "suburban" social/economic environment where "music lessons" were available to him.

So yes, I said "suburban" and, in fact, I was raised in a suburban environment and raise my child in a suburban environment. My point was - and is - any success(es) my child has in life will ultimately be the result of focus, hard work, delayed gratification, and keeping his eye on his goals whatever those goals may be. There are many, many, many opportunities for children who live in any city or town in Massachusetts to succeed. I'm not buying that any "rapper' or "classical music aficionado" or "drummer" or "artist" or etc. who does or doesn't succeed or does or doesn't pursue their interest in their art can point to their environment (city, suburban or otherwise) as a reason (for success or failure). And tragic as the death of any young man is, his path to this tragedy had absolutely nothing to do with missing out on music lessons.

Frankly, in my humble opinion, it's the people who complain the most about what their city/government/teachers/community etc. DID NOT GIVE THEM who actually have laziness to blame. I'm second generation Italian. My grandparents came through New York with nothing more than their good name; faith; and strong hands. Getting from point A to point Z in life is never free of tragedy for any family or individual. But iyou won't reach your dream and you absolutely will not self-actualize in this world, without hard work.

Again, IMHO, the longer a community or group or family or individual makes excuses for the bad stuff they did or the good stuff they didn't do, the longer that community or group or family or individual will stay revolving in a perpetual dysfunctional cycle of heartache and failure.

this is a Howie Carr cliche

Not really Howie Carr's, he just points it out that the deceased (or the defendant) is often described as a rapper who was "turning his life around."

In this case, it seems to have some validity, but too many of these rappers feel they have to be gangstas to have credibility. RIP Tupac.


My Godson Lil Kenny

He was 5 Years old when he started to rap and I snipe taught him once we met during a show in Academy homes projects and he wanted to get on the stage with me. From there it was Kenny and Snipe doing talent shows he was my protege' And I taught and groomed him that lead to his signing with Bivins. He was caught up in the life and went out in a horrible way while working on more music very talented and smart attended BC high and loved by many hard to say no too, with a passion for music still after disappointments.


For the person who said Kenny

For the person who said Kenny was your godson. I went to school with kenny at bc high and Belmont hill. I stayed in touch for a bit after school but then kind of fell off. I was wondering if you have any information on the funeral services. I was very close with him back then and would like to pay my respects


More details

His obituary:

Kenneth is the expecting father of Kennedy Milani Rowell and loving father of Kaylee Mich’elle Rowell.

He leaves to mourn his passing 7 sisters Catrina Hickson, Keniesha, Kenaya and Shakeema Mendes, Lacora and Jacori Jones and Alexandria Rowell. Kenneth is also survived by 2 special nephews Nacari Brown, Harlem Nelson and other family and friends.


Prayers sent!

******RIP LIl Kenny!*****
I'm the sister of Shortee Redd who was also a part of Magnificent 7/ Biv 10 Pee Wees. Lil Kenny was one of my favorites! I send prayers to the family and friends who are hurting. May justice be served. God hold everyone in your hands and help us deal with this tragedy. Sending Hugs!!!!!!!!!


still in shock!!

Lil Kenny was my label mate at Biv10 more importantly he was the sweetest kid ever! I miss him and I will always see him as that ill rapper doing his thang on stage. RIP Kenny you will truly be missed. My Prayers to his Family!!

RE: My sense you missed the point

You articulated your viewpoint on why Caucasian children from the suburbs may have a greater chance than urban children of being successful. However, you forgot one important fact that gives you, your child and family that chance for success. Simply put... white privilege. Please do not be so arrogant, please do not be so blind to not realize that you and your family were born into the dominant, privileged group in America and therefore enjoy (often without even having to think about it) every benefit that comes along with it. If you choose not to think about the facts that I just stated, you do not have to...after all, that is the benefit of white privilege.

Please be mindful that the premise of 'pull yourself up by your own bootstraps' is an American myth because it requires a level playing field of which people of color do not have access to (not everyone is an Obama, Colin Powell, Oprah). My dear suburban, you can believe it or not but there are systems, laws, and institutionalized policies that are set in place to keep the non-dominant group from progressing and gaining any socioeconomic success.