PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Two months after he was gunned down after a basketball game in Southwest Philadelphia, Tyhir Barnes’ first mixtape was released by his Philadelphia-based record label SMG Records.
“I feel a lot of anger that he’s not here to enjoy his party, his own achievement,” said Jonathan Hall, CEO and executive producer at SMG.
Barnes was just 15 when police say he was shot and killed by members of a rival basketball team, who were upset about a tight loss on the court the week before. Police later arrested two teens and charged them with murder.
“It’s heartbreaking that my 15-year-old son is gone, when he should be here and his life was just snatched away for nothing,” said Tyhir’s mother, Tanisha Thomas.
Tyhir had a strong passion for music and used the stage name Jaquil.
“He was in [the studio] every night, almost every night he was here,” Hall said.
Hall spent many long nights helping Tyhir find his sound as an artist. On September 14, Hall released a mixtape of 16 of the young rapper’s songs, a tribute he named “Legacy.”
“I’ll always be supporting and pushing his music, because he was that individual,” Hall said. “He was that good. He was that individual. A lot of people talk nicely about people after they’ve passed and put on a show. I’m not putting on a show for anybody. This is the truth, I’m telling you about Tyhir.”
Tyhir’s mother is grateful to have his music, but the pain is still too raw.
“It just brings chills, I haven’t yet listened to the whole thing,” she said. “I’ll turn it off and then I’ll play it again, turn it off. I’m not at that point yet where I can just listen to it.”
Label mate and frequent collaborator Lil Naz recorded the tribute “Quil” for his late best friend, hoping the rest of the world will hear why Tyhir was admired by so many of his peers.
“I’m just happy that he left something behind for us to hold onto,” Hall said.
CDs of the mixtape are available through SMG Records. It can be purchased digitally at: https://legacymixtape.bandcamp.com/album/jaquil-legacy-mixtape.
A portion of the proceeds will go to Tyhir’s family.