Babe Ruth once said, “Heroes get remembered, but Legends Never Die.” Far Rockaway rapper Lionel “Chinx” Pickens borrows a page from “The Great Bambino’s” playbook and embraced this doctrine throughout his (albeit short-lived) musical career.
Tragically, in May 2015, Chinx was unexpectedly shot and killed on Queens Boulevard in Ridgewood. He never made it to see the success of his debut album, Welcome To JFK, which debuted at No. 2 on Billboard.com’s Top R&B/Hip-Hop album charts.
In an interview with Salute Magazine, last year, the slain rapper’s Executive Producer/Manager Douglas “Biggs” Ellison indicated that Chinx left behind several unreleased demos, which were used to construct the rapper’s second posthumous release, aptly named Legends Never Die.
So, on the first anniversary of the slain rapper’s death, Ellison and 4 Kings Management honored his memory by announcing the release of his sophomore album.
“It’s with so much gratitude that we release this great life’s next achievement, just one year after ‘Welcome to JFK.’ I pray this body of work continues to culminate Chinx’s contribution as a street rapper, business man and legendary recording artist,” Ellison says, in the liner notes. “Chinx, the chief of hood chronicles, desired to do nothing more than to feed the streets with undeniable heat. From the ‘Cocaine Riot‘ Series, ‘I’ll Take It From Here,’ ‘Welcome to JFK,’ and now ‘Legends Never Die,’ he took us from the trap house, to the strip club, from the radio, to Madison Square Garden. His voice will continue to play as our soundtrack!”
To give fans a little taste, Riot Squad, eOne Music and Four Kings Management released the first two singles off the new album, “For the Love (feat. MeetSims)” and “Like This (feat. Chrisette Michele & MeetSims),” on iTunes in May.
Featuring 14 all-new tracks, Legends Never Die, kicks things off with “Like This,” an electronically-charged and insightful song featuring the enchanting vocals of guest R&B singer-songwriter Chrisette Michele.
Legends Never Die features a number of noteworthy guest appearances, but perhaps none quite as surprising as the return of the entire Rockaway Riot Squad: Chinx Drugz, Bynoe, Cau2G$ and the late Rayquon “Stack Bundles” Elliot—who was killed in 2007, by a drive-by shooter, outside of the Redfern Houses in the Edgemere-section of Far Rockaway.
“All Good (feat. Stack Bundles, Bynoe and Cau2G$),” showcases the talents and skill of a Squad united, while gracing fans, who have been eagerly awaiting the opportunity to hear the entire crew back together for one final track.
“Top of the Year (feat. MeetSims)” is a personal favorite. With its bass-heavy beats and simplistic verses, “Top of the Year” delivers that same type of “turned up” sound that many fans will remember from his mixtapes; while, other tracks, such as “Yeah I Do (feat. MeetSims),” try to step away from this format, delivering a more soulful and harmonic sound.
But, it’s “Legendary (feat. Movado & French Montana)” [prod. by Harry Fraud] that stole the show, with the Jamaican-born reggae artist Movado’s infectious hook and a “legendary” verse from rapper French Montana.