3 Michigan Rappers Left For A Show And Were Never Seen Alive Again
Armani Kelly, 27, Dante Wicker, 31, and Montoya Givens, 31, went missing from Detroit on Jan. 21. They were found fatally shot 12 days later.
On Feb. 2, 2023, rappers Armani Kelly, 27, Dante Wicker, 31, and Montoya Givens, 31, were found dead in the basement of an abandoned building in Highland Park, which is just north of downtown Detroit. The three men went missing on the evening of Jan. 21 while they were on their way to Lounge 31 in Detroit.
Michigan State Police revealed that all three had multiple gunshot wounds. “It looks like they were killed upstairs and then dumped in the basement,” explained Michigan State Police Lt. Mike Shaw, reported Click On Detroit.
Kelly, who raps as "Marley Whoop," and Wicker, who raps under the name "B12," were going to perform at the lounge, while Givens, nicknamed "Jugg," was accompanying the men. The performances were canceled, and Kelly called his fiancée to let her know they were looking for a different venue. Their families and friends didn’t hear from them after that night, which prompted a wide, well-publicized search for the men.
Taylor Perrin, Kelly’s fiancée, told The New York Times the three rappers met while they were in prison. Kelly was released in 2022 after he served eight years for armed robbery, and Perrin said he was in trade school while planning their wedding and pursuing his passion for music.
“He was great, outgoing, funny, always laughing, joking around, turning the darkest days the brightest,” Perrin described Kelly to The New York Times.
Catina Fogle, the mother of Montoya Givens, was heartbroken at the news of his murder, saying she wasn’t sure why her son would be targeted. She said he was recently released from prison after serving 10 years for the carjacking of pastor Marvin Winans.
Fogle told Click On Detroit, “What everybody is saying[is] that it’s gang-related, I don’t know if it’s gang-related or not. I’m just taking precautions to protect my family.”
On the day the men went missing, Kelly had driven the others in his mother’s car, taking the vehicle approximately three hours from Oscoda to Detroit. That car was found abandoned two days later at an apartment complex in Warren, which is north of Detroit. A juvenile has been arrested in connection with the car’s theft, and Warren police say the underage defendant was charged with receiving and concealing stolen property.
"This was not a random incident. The investigation is continuing and detectives are making progress and we believe we may have determined a motive," Shaw said, according to The Detroit Free Press.