RAPPER J $tash sold drugs before turning to music and allegedly beat his ex-girlfriend unconscious.
The artist, known as Justin Joseph, allegedly shot his partner Jeanette Gallegos, 28, before turning the gun on himself at a home in Los Angeles on New Years Day.
He is best known for the tracks Flexin, Guerillas, and Nuthin.
The rapper left his home in South Florida and moved to New York to pursue projects in music.
He told Crack in 2017: “I was originally born in New York so ever since I have been going back every year.
“I love Florida but the right opportunity for me was never going to be there so I had to get out.”
The artist admitted that selling drugs during his youth “taught” him how to earn money.
He said: “You can pretty much just call me a hustler. Growing up I never had a job but I always managed to get by on my own terms.
“That background and hustle is still in me to this day, it motivates me now to never stop working (sic)."
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In September 2014, the musician was accused of beating his ex-girlfriend Danielle Phaeton in the face and body.
He faced charges of criminal obstruction of breathing and assault, the New York Daily News reported. The charges were dropped after the rapper turned himself in October that year.
In a now-deleted Tumblr post, which was quoted by the outlets Bossip and the Daily News, Phaeton claimed: “A person I thought and believed I could trust whom I gave my lost/time/energy to brutally punched me in the face repeatedly with his fists while I became slowly unconscious in blood in his Brooklyn apartment bed.”
She alleged that after $tash boarded a flight to Japan, he continued to text her, claiming “he will destroy me even more than he already did”.
The rapper denied the allegations, accusing Phaeton of making “slanderous accusations”.
In the post, Phaeton said: “I will not allow myself to sit in the shadows of darkness and disrespect myself for not taking a stand.”
Rapper $tash revealed that Asia had the “biggest influence” on his style.
He said: “Black has become so repetitive in fashion but the way they are using darker tones is really interesting to me.
“Japan is leading the trends and then everyone else is picking up on it, Korea and China are starting to create some really cool s**t.”
The musician admitted that he learned to be more “disciplined” as traveling to the East Asian nation was his first experience of a “completely new and foreign culture”.
While abroad, he worked with the hip-hop artist KOHH – real name Yuki Chiba.
He said: “KOHH is like my brother. Language and cultural barriers don’t exist to me. We can make music together with ease, he’s so intelligent.”
Years later, J $tash died in a suspected murder-suicide.
Lieutenant Derrick Alfred told The Sun that he and Gallegos had been living together in Temple City for the past few months.
He said that the couple had been arguing about their relationship before J $tash reportedly took Gallegos into the master bedroom and locked the door.
Gallegos' kids heard gunshots from the room and called the cops.
They ran out of the house and towards deputies when officers arrived at the scene.
The children, who are not related to J $tash, were unhurt and are now in the care of their father.
Investigators were awaiting autopsy and forensic results, including information from ballistics tests, to confirm what took place inside the house.
Officers found the Gallegos on the floor and said she sustained several gunshot wounds.
Family members and friends have since paid tribute to the mom and California State University graduate Gallegos.
Gallegos' sister Erika Chavez said: “A tragic and unexpected loss for my family & nephews God has gained another angel.
“My sister was full of life, she was the sweetest most caring person, always there for everyone who needed her.
“Her favorite quote [is] ‘live today because tomorrow is not promised'. Rest in Paradise Jeanette, fly high my beautiful angel.”
Meanwhile, Home Moore said: “I’m going miss all the times we shared together. You are the sweetest person I met from LA (sic).
“Always smiling, smart, and loved your children. I’m going to miss working with you.”
Galilea Aristizabal posted: “May your beautiful soul rest in eternal peace. You’ll always be our cheer sister Jeanette, fly high beauty.”
A GoFundMe page has been created to help cover Gallegos' funeral expenses.
Cops said the male victim sustained an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound, cops told local radio station KFI-AM. Alfred branded the situation "very tragic".
Phaeton could not be approached for comment.
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