On February 12, Montreal lost one of its greatest hip-hop artists. Paul “Bad News Brown” Frappier was found murdered in Little Burgundy, near the Lachine Canal at the intersection of William and Richmond Streets.
Frappier, 33, was found by police close to midnight with visible gunshot wounds. The Montreal Police Department was not at liberty to say how many bullets were used in the incident but did reveal that Frappier sustained injuries to the head.
Frappier, originally from Haiti, was adopted by Montreal parents and grew up in St. Henri. With his signature use of the harmonica, he started his music career busking in the streets and metros of Montreal.
From there he took his career to the studio, where he recorded albums and proved his lyrical skills. His 2009 album Born 2 Sin helped put him on the map and brought recognition to not only himself, but to the Montreal hip-hop scene as well.
Brown travelled the world boosting his career and even opened for artists such as Snoop Dogg and Kanye West. He was also involved in the upcoming film Bumrush, which is based on the rise of a Montreal street gang.
According to those close to him, there was no logical reason for his murder. His father, Pierre Frappier, and his manager, Henry-Francois Gelot, both expressed shock and confusion over what took place.
Despite minor setbacks in his personal life, Frappier rose beyond them and went on to mentor troubled youth across Montreal. As part of one of his tours, he spoke to young people at Shawbridge, a detention centre for youth operated by Batshaw Youth Services. Steve Blackett, an employee at Shawbridge, reminisced about hearing some of the members saying they wanted to be like Frappier. “They were pretty into it,” he said.
According to The Gazette reported that the shooting took place within walking distance of Frappier’s home in St. Henri after he left his girlfriend’s house to meet with someone.
So far no suspects have been taken into custody, and as of Thursday there were “no new developments,” according to Anie Lemieux of the Montreal Police Department.
The police, too, seemed perplexed about why he was killed, as his previous run-ins with police were “nothing major,” Lemieux said.
Frappier’s funeral took place on February 21, at St. Zotique Church in St. Henri. The two-hour service was packed and guests heard words from those closest to him, as well as heartfelt musical renditions in his honour.
“He’s not a bad guy, but to be in that business you are going to be surrounded by that element,” said an acquaintance of Frappier who also lived in the St. Henri neighbourhood. “It’s possible that someone wasn’t too happy for him and wanted to pull him down.”
When asked about if any of Frappier’s associates were involved in crime, Lemieux said the police had “no information on that” and was quick to add that this type of information was “not something we would release to media.”