OAKLAND (KPIX) — A Bay Area rap icon was shot and killed on the streets he rhymed about. His name was Dominic Newton.
Years later, his fans, friends and family are still searching for justice.
Very likeable, very friendly, good manners, just all around good guy. But the Bay Area and the world would know him as the Jacka.
The Pittsburg rap artist who came to prominence post-hyphy – the energetic party rap born in the Bay Area in the 90’s. The Jacka made his name on an album called Tear Gas.
‘Glamorous Lifestyle’ was the song that put him on the map.
But Matt Werner, CEO of the Bay Area hip-hop company Thizzler On The Roof says he became known for a style that bucked the bluster of mainstream rap.
“He really brought a different side of the Bay Area where he was a lot more contemplative and more gangsta rap oriented, but also telling the darker side of these street stories that a lot of people glorify,” says Werner.
Prashant “PK” Kumar was the Jacka’s manager. They were friends since high school.
“It was most important for him to touch people that were gonna understand him and understand the music that he was doing,” says Kumar. “That was what was most important, to touch people who came from the struggle, touch people who came from poverty, touch people who were in jail, touch people who were lost.”
Then, on February 2, 2015 the music stopped.
He was shot and killed in East Oakland at an intersection neighbors now call 94th and Jacka.
Two and a half years later there are rumors.
“From the stories that I’ve heard it was something that was unintentional that was a random thing that he wasn’t even targeted or anything and was in the wrong place at the wrong time,” says Werner. “And that just makes it worse.”
But his murder is still a mystery.
“I know all the stories of what happened or what somebody swears happened, we’ve heard them all,” says Kumar. “It doesn’t really matter, he’s not here.”
Kumar says he wants closure for his friend’s family. But Oakland police have never named a suspect or made an arrest. They declined an interview for this story. All his friends and fans can do is work to keep his memory alive.
“The idea is just to make sure he’s not forgotten and make sure his legacy lives on forever,” says Werner.
Adds Kumar, “We miss him. We miss him a lot. Everybody misses him. It’s not the same without him. It will never be the same. That’s what we always say. It will never be the same.”