Kevin Fret, Latin trap music’s first openly gay artist, has been shot dead in Puerto Rico at the age of 24. The rapper and LGBT activist was killed in the capital San Juan on Thursday, according to police, after being shot eight times while riding his motorbike at around 5:30 a.m.
According to police, the murder is the 22nd homicide in Puerto Rico in 2019. Fret’s manager, Eduardo Rodriguez, confirmed the artist’s death and said: “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.”
Raymond Rohena of the Puerto Rico Trans Youth Coalition in a lengthy Facebook post described Fret’s murder as a “hate crime,” even though authorities who are investigating it have not publicly disclosed a potential motive.
“Fret transgressed many of the expectations of hegemonic masculinity that dominate the trap genre with his empowered and colorful projection,” wrote Rohena. “Kevin broke many barriers, serving as a very necessary representation, denouncing without filter the homophobia on the part of colleagues in artistic genres that are notorious for their machismo and misogyny.”
“May his memory serve as an inspiration for us to live in an authentic way and to keep opening doors for queer artists who carry their identity in every step they take with pride,” added Rohena.
Pedro Julio Serrano, founder of Puerto Rico Para [email protected], another Puerto Rican LGBTI advocacy group, also mourned Fret’s death.
“Kevin’s Fret murder is painful,” wrote Serrano on Twitter. “My solidarity with his loved ones.”
Fret’s debut music video, “Soy Asi (I’m Like This),” has more than half a million views on YouTube.