Rapper Kenny Clutch killed in Las Vegas drive-by shooting - Family says he was no gangster
By Molly Chance
Oakland, Calif. rapper Kenny Clutch, whose was born Ken Cherry, died after being shot while driving a Maserati on the Las Vegas strip at 4:20 a.m. on Feb. 22. Kenny's aunt, Pat Sims, tells The Oakland Tribune she was unaware her nephew was a rapper.
"Kenny was just a delightful kid," says Sims. She explains the 27-year-old was "a very kind soul" who attended Catholic high school and was close to his 106-year-old grandmother. In the video below from YouTube, Kenny raps about his Maserati, being an honor roll student, and living the gangster life in Las Vegas. (Sensitive viewers should note this is definitely a gangsta rap song, replete with profanities you may not want your own grandmother to hear.)
Kenny's father, Kenneth Cherry, Sr., says his son moved to Vegas several years ago, but he was not living the life he rapped about. "I want to make it clear that my son was no gangster or nothing like that," says the elder Cherry. And Kenny's attorney, Vicki Greco, agrees. "He was into gangsta rap, but that's not who he was," says Greco. "He was doing it to make a living. He was a kid who was just trying to hustle and make it."
Witnesses report someone in a Range Rover shot at Cherry, who then accelerated through a red light, causing a multi-vehicle accident. His vehicle struck a taxi cab, which burst into flames, killing the male driver and a female passenger. Cherry was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital.
Police in Las Vegas are now on the hunt for the Range Rover. The Clark County Sheriff says the shooting may have been prompted by an earlier altercation outside a nightclub. Cherry had a passenger in the Maserati, who is reportedly cooperating with authorities in the investigation.