King Louie, the Chicago rapper credited with coining the controversial nickname “Chiraq” in response to the city’s widespread gun violence, is “alive and recovering” after police say he was shot in the head on Wednesday in the city’s Ashburn neighborhood.
“King Louie and his family would like to thank everyone for their prayers and support during this unfortunate time. He wants his fans, friends and family to know that he is alive and recovering and is thankful for the support,” his representatives said in a statement obtained by EW. “King Louie will be spending the holiday with his loved ones & continue to be a voice for the city for those who have experienced the same violence he has encountered. To everyone who reached out with concern, it will not go unnoticed and is much appreciated, however at this time he is focused on getting well & being healthy.”
The 27-year-old artist, born Louis Johnson Jr., also shared photos on Instagram from the hospital thanking fans for their good wishes.
Police say two men were killed and six others, including King Louie, were wounded in shootings Wednesday in Chicago, the Chicago Tribute reports. He was taken to a nearby hospital where his condition was stabilized.
As news of Louie’s shooting spread, fellow hip-hop artists offered their support. Fellow Chicagoan Chance the Rapper called him “my brother” on Twitter and added, “Send prayers to him in his battle.” Kanye West also wrote that he was “Praying for my brother King Louie and his family.”
I believe in the power of prayer and I believe my brother Louie gone be ok. Send prayers to him in his battle.
— Chance The Rapper (@chancetherapper) December 24, 2015
Praying for my brother King Louie and his family.
— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) December 24, 2015
Louie, who is signed to Epic Records, recently participated in the music video “Put the Guns Down” as part of the Music Versus Gun Violence project.
His output in the last year includes the mixtapes Drilluminati 3: God of Drill, 6 God Tony, and Play Dat Again. The latter dropped earlier this month and features a track titled “F‑‑‑ Spike Lee,” an apparent jab at the director who just released a film called Chi-Raq.
In an interview with XXL in February, Louie was asked about his hometown and said, “The media try to tell you about all the negative stuff thats going on in the city but theres a lot of great and successful things going on. … I feel good as a native of Chicago.”