In July 2016, Reggina Jefferies was shot and killed in downtown Oakland, just hours after attending a memorial service for two other Oakland teenagers. Jefferies was a dancer and had performed a praise dance at the service to celebrate the lives of her two friends.
Oakland rapper Project Poppa, who is Jefferies's cousin, has released a video entitled "Nay World." The song is both a powerful tribute to Jefferies and a first-hand testament to the city's seemingly endless cycles of violence and trauma. The video features clips from Jefferies's funeral, as well as scenes filmed at a dance studio that the family has since opened up in her name. At the end of song, Poppa raps, "Can't blame me, shit, what I'm supposed to do?/ It ain't my fault I'm seeing devils in these angels too."
"Last year, in the summer, my little cousin was shot and killed in Oakland," Project Poppa told The FADER over email. "She was killed hours after she did a praise dance for her two friends that had just passed away. She was 16 — wrong place at the wrong time. An innocent kid got taken from me and my family. We raised money and opened up a dance studio, called RDA, in her name. It stands for Reggina's Dance Angels."
The song will be featured on Project Poppa's upcoming War Outisde album. Watch the video for "Nay World" above.