Protests have ignited across the country after George Floyd was killed following an arrest in Minneapolis. Video of the incident shows the knee of an officer, identified as Derek Chauvin, pinned against Floyd’s neck while he lies on the ground. Floyd constantly yells, “I can’t breathe”, but the officer continues to lock his knee against Floyd’s neck. Floyd is eventually taken to a hospital where he’s pronounced dead, according to NewsOne. However, as the investigation continues, authorities are still trying to determine what happened from when Floyd was first handcuffed to when he was pinned to the ground to when he was taken to the hospital.
As people continue to mourn the death of another unarmed Black man, many have been drawing attention to Floyd’s history as a Houston rapper.
According to the Houston Chronicle, Roxie Washington, the mother of Floyd’s 6-year-old daughter, said that Floyd was born in North Carolina and moved to Houston’s Third Ward as a baby. He was a talented athlete in high school, excelling in basketball and football until he eventually received a scholarship to Florida State University.
Washington said he never finished school, and eventually returned to Houston. He started making music with the Screwed Up Click, which was a rap group led by the legendary, late DJ Screw. He went by the name “Big Floyd” in many of the songs.
Floyd made appearances on Screw’s Diary of the Originator collection and the Screw Zoo Freestyle tapes. According to Okayplayer, Screw even dedicated a personal tape to Floyd titled Tre World. Floyd was also apart of the group Presidential Players and they released their sole album Block Party back in 1996.
Around 2018, Floyd left for Minneapolis because it was hard to find work in Houston, according to Washington. While in the midwest, Floyd worked as a truck driver and eventually, a bouncer.
Floyd is survived by two daughters — the one with Washington named Gianna and another child from another relationship, according to Washington. She described him as a good father while they were raising Gianna together.
The four responding Minneapolis cops involved with Floyd’s fateful Monday encounter have since been fired and the incident is currently being investigated by state and federal authorities. Floyd’s family, including his brothers and sister, are calling for murder charges against the cops involved.
While the case continues, you can check out some of Floyd’s featured raps in the songs below.