Kevin Fret, a Puerto Rican rapper billed as the first openly gay Latin trap artist, has been shot dead.
The 24-year-old, an outspoken advocate for the LBGT+ community, was gunned down on Thursday morning as he rode a motorbike in the capital San Juan. Police said he was shot eight times and was taken to Rio Piedras Medical Centre, where he was pronounced dead.
The police had not yet released the name of the man who was shot pending identification of the body, but Mr. Fret’s manager, Eduardo Rodriguez, confirmed his death in a statement to Billboard.
His death came amid widespread concern about crime in Puerto Rico; on Wednesday, the top F.B.I. official there said the island was facing “a crisis of violence.”
In an article published in April, Paper Magazine called Mr. Fret “Latin trap’s first openly gay pioneer.” That month, he released a single titled “Soy Así,” or “I’m Like This.”
The “Soy Así” video, which has been viewed over 500,000 times on YouTube, opens with Mr. Fret wearing a glittery crop top and matching skintight pants, holding a (presumably fake) rifle. Surrounded by women in skimpy outfits, he boasts about his looks, makeup and designer gear, and calls himself “the reincarnation of Frida Kahlo.”
“Young gay guys or young lesbians that are looking at me now like a role model, like wow, if he did it, and he don’t care what anybody else has to say, I can do it.”
Latin trap originated in the Caribbean in the mid-2000s, mixing Southern hip-hop with local sounds. Bad Bunny, Messiah and Ozuna — all of whom have worked with Cardi B — are among its best-known practitioners.
An outspoken advocate for the LGBTQ community, Fret first stepped into the Latin music world in early 2018 with “Soy Asi”, a song that highlighted his fierce personality. The music video has garnered more than a half million views on YouTube.