By Todd Jewell
Swedish rapper Einar, a founder of an online urban music community known as NoBass, has been shot dead outside his Stockholm home, prosecutors said on Monday.
The incident has touched off a public outrage that points to a pattern of gun violence in Sweden, where high levels of immigration and adoption of weapons have highlighted urban youths’ reliance on guns to make ends meet.
“I think people are affected by this and they are just frustrated and angry,” said the chairwoman of Sweden’s criminal justice committee, Dag Dahlvin, who is from the Center for Responsible Development, a think tank.
“There is no fundamental social problem with gangs in Sweden,” Dahlvin said. “It is mostly young people using guns to survive.”
Zoe Grenmild, 27, who is NoBass’s producer, said NoBass was “a catalyst” in urban youth culture, a “passion project” for urban youth in many cities.
Police said on Monday that they believed Einar, born Einar Horek, had been murdered by one of two men who were fleeing the scene on Monday.
Zak Zue, who knew Einar, told the Swedish tabloid Expressen, that he was an “inspirational figure who listened to everyone.”
Einar co-founded NoBass in 2015 as an online forum where youths from different parts of Sweden could stay in touch and share experiences. He was no longer active on the site, which features videos of up-and-coming rappers and white rappers from different areas of Sweden. He recently was trying to organize a rap battle night, Zue said.
“In NoBass, he provided a space where everybody and everyone can express themselves freely,” Zue told Expressen. “It was like a safe place, and an opportunity for kids in the neighborhood to participate in something they could be proud of.”
According to Stockholm police, the incident occurred at 10:30 p.m. on Monday when three men shot at Einar’s house, hitting the 17-year-old in the neck.
Einar’s girlfriend heard the gunshot and alerted police.
A member of Einar’s family said the family had asked for privacy and did not wish to discuss the tragedy.