Kevin Fret, one of the few well-known openly gay Latin trap artists, was shot and killed in Santurce, San Juan, Puerto Rico, at the age of 24.
Fret, who was an outspoken advocate for the LGBTQ community, was murdered on Thursday morning, according to El Vocero.
Police said a man was shot eight times around 5:31 a.m. while driving a motorcycle.
He was taken to the Río Piedras Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.
The news comes after the FBI claimed that a “crisis of violence” has been underway in Puerto Rico, while citing “absentee police officials” as one of the reasons for the crisis.
CNN reports that Fret is the 24th homicide that has occurred in Puerto Rico in 2019.
Fret broke out into the Latin trap scene in 2018 with his hit Soy Asi (I’m like this). Latin trap —which takes influences from reggaeton — is a sub-genre of Spanish-language hip-hop. The vocals often include rapping and singing, in Spanish.
He was also featured on rapper Mike Duran’s Diferente (Different).
The Puerto Rico Trans Youth Coalition said in a Facebook post that the rapper’s murder “could be described as a hate crime.”
“With his colourful and empowered show, Fret disobeyed many of the expectations of hegemonic masculinity that dominate the trap genre,” the post read.
It continued: “Kevin broke many barriers and served as a necessary representation, denouncing without filter the homophobia of colleagues in artistic scenes notorious for their machismo and misogyny.”
In an official press statement, Fret’s manager, Eduardo Rodriguez states: “Kevin was an artistic soul, a big-hearted dreamer. His passion was music, and still had a lot to do. This violence must stop. There are no words that describe the feeling we have and the pain that causes us to know that a person with so many dreams has to go. We must all unite in these difficult times, and ask for much peace for our beloved Puerto Rico.”
Many fans of the rapper took to social media once news of his passing spread.