It’s a balmy Thursday afternoon in New York City and Janelli Carceres, wife of the late Queens rapper, Chinx, is ready to talk. As she takes a seat in The Urban Daily‘s conference room, she is accompanied by Chinx’s manager, Biggs. Carceres, wearing black sunglasses to conceal the travesty she endured over three months ago, is keenly aware of what’s going to be asked during the interview. Destitute of happiness, she somberly begins ruminating on when she first met the man of her dreams at the tender age 0f 15.
Nobody, including her, envisioned this kind of life for her family. On May 17, Chinx was found lifeless after he was pierced by multiple bullets in his Porsche in Briarwood, N.Y. After being pronounced dead, his wife was left with the daunting task of piecing together what was left of his career, their family, and his legacy. Instead of sulking in despair, she stood up, gathered herself, and worked diligently with Biggs to finish what her husband started. The end result: Chinx’s debut album, Welcome to JFK .
With a bevy of rappers saluting their fallen comrade through tribute records and tweets, Carceres has taken sole responsibility of ensuring immortality for her husband. The first step is releasing the album. The second and third, will leave Chinx fans elated at her willingness to have him remembered among the greats.
Check out her thoughts on Chinx as a father, his relentless grind in the studio, his spirit living in her house, potential updates on the investigation, and his posthumous debut album.
On Chinx’s progression as a father…
You know, very so often I [would] always text him and let him know that even if I don’t say it often, I’m proud of him. I’ve watched him grow not only as an artist, but as a man, as a father. I’ve watched him grow from the person that didn’t really care about anything to really start to be more grounded. [He] started to be more responsible. He started to take life a whole lot more serious. I always wanted him to know that his growth, if not by anyone else, was always appreciated by me. I know that his number one thing that he would always say to me was, ‘The world can say anything that they wanna say. But when I’m not here no more, nobody can ever say that I was a f-ck n-gga when it came to my family.’ Everything he did, he did for me and his kids. Like, I still get stories to this day that everybody tells me like, ‘Oh, all he did was talk about you and the kids when he was in L.A. All he did was talk about you and the kids.’ And I think he thought that I didn’t notice that.
On Chinx’s grind in the studio…
I used [to] hear him on the phone all the time tell[-ing] people, ‘You know, when you do the music sh-t, you gotta go all the way. Like there’s certain shit you gotta sacrifice. Ask Janelli how much me and her beef cuz I’m never home. I’m always out. But she understands.’ And I did. I knew that I had to give him his space in order for him to create the work that he was able to create. I had to give him his space to be the man that he was trying to be. I tried to stay off his back as much as possible. In the end, we were always― me and his kids― taken care of very well. You know, if he was here, I would thank him and let him know that I’m here. I appreciate him. We’re gonna keep doing this together like we’ve been doing.
On previous to plans to work with Chinx as business partners…
Before he left, a week before everything happened, we were talking about getting in the business together. He wanted me to quit my job and start working for him as far as managing his dates and everything ’cause he knew that his manager already had enough on his plate. So I took care of everything else that was personal. His bills, he wanted me to start controlling his show dates, and just managing his calendar. [Just] let him know what needs to be done because he had no control over things like that. He ain’t know whether he was coming or going. You had to tell him what to do. We started talking about different business ventures and we fed off each other. We gave each other ideas with what to do. We tried to come up with things that nobody wasn’t doing. I won’t spill the tea ’cause I might need that. We won’t put too much out there. But, like I said, I’ll always let him know that I’m here for him.
On Chinx’s spirit living on…
Even now, I talk to him. He was cremated. I always talk to him. I have his pictures everywhere. Yes, I need a museum because I have pictures of him everywhere. All the portraits that everyone makes me, they’re in the house. He’s right in the fireplace in the living room. We always in there and everybody comes there. All his friends, they come to my house and talk to him. It becomes an emotional roller coaster but you know it’s not a day that goes by that I don’t tell him that I’m here. This mission that I’m on is not for me, it’s for him. It’s for his legacy. It’s so that the people do not forget how hard he worked. It’s so that his kids can understand that your dad wasn’t a regular person. He was somebody, you understand? Y’all have big footsteps to fill. I know he hears me. He hears me. There’s a lot of spooky stuff that goes on in the house and my kids are like, “That’s dad. I’m telling you that’s dad.” I mean everyone in the family. They can’t find their charger? “Dad took my charger.” Everything is dad. The lights flicker, that’s dad. They hear a noise, that’s dad. I’m like y’all know he’s definitely here. He’s watching. So do not disappoint him because he’s everywhere.
On the murder investigation:
It’s tough. We’re going on three months. It’s hard especially when you don’t have answers. I would just want him to know that it doesn’t stop. It’s not never gonna stop. Everything that we do is for him. Trust me; we still stay on top of the detectives. We’re still calling. We’re still asking questions. Oh man. We’re still trying to piece it all together. It’s a slow process. And that’s the thing that they give you. It’s a slow process. So I guess we’re really just going from faith. Like sooner or later, I don’t care if it’s two years from now or four, I rather have something than nothing at some point. But right now, it’s just his music, his legacy, and making sure that just as well as Biggie and Tupac were talked about forever and people still love him to this day and people still listen to their music, and people appreciate what they did for hip-hop, we wanIt’s tough. We’re going on three months. It’s hard especially when you don’t have answers. I would just want him to know that it doesn’t stop. It’s not never gonna stop. Everything that we do is for him. Trust me; we still stay on top of the detectives. We’re still calling. We’re still asking questions. Oh man. We’re still trying to piece it all together. It’s a slow process. And that’s the thing that they give you. It’s a slow process. So I guess we’re really just going from faith. Like sooner or later, I don’t care if it’s two years from now or four, I rather have something than nothing at some point. But right now, it’s just his music, his legacy, and making sure that he will go in the same category with them.
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