MoneySign Suede, a young and popular Los Angeles rapper, was stabbed to death Tuesday night in a shower at a California prison, according to his attorney.
Officials with the Monterey County coroner’s office and the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation confirmed Suede’s death at the Correctional Training Facility in Soledad, but they did not immediately comment on how the 22-year-old died.
Suede’s real name was Jaime Brugada Valdez. He was from Huntington Park.
In a statement, CDCR officials said the rapper was found unresponsive just before 10 p.m. after correctional officers found that he was not in his cell during a regular count. Officials said he was found “with injuries consistent with a homicide.”
“People are very shocked,” said Valdez’s attorney, Nicholas Rosenberg. “He was a very popular guy, very mild-mannered. People loved him.”
The rapper had been attacked in prison before Tuesday’s incident, according to Rosenberg. Around midnight on Tuesday, officials called Rosenberg with word of his death.
“They said it was a stabbing to the neck,” Rosenberg said. “They said they’re investigating.”
CDCR officials confirmed an investigation is underway by the prison’s Investigative Services Unit and the Monterey County district attorney’s office.
The Correctional Training Facility, where Valdez was housed, has more than 4,000 minimum and medium-security inmates, according to the CDCR.
Another prisoner at the facility, who asked to remain anonymous for fear of retaliation, said the rest of the unit began hearing the news early Wednesday when officials locked down part of the prison and delayed serving breakfast.
The prisoner also said the killing happened in a part of the prison that houses general population inmates. He questioned why a popular rapper was not housed in a sensitive-needs yard, which is designed to protect those with specific safety concerns.
In the statement, CDCR officials said movement in the prison has been limited in order to facilitate the investigation.
Angela Diaz, a secretary with the coroner’s division of the Monterey County Sheriff’s Office, confirmed that he died around 10:20 p.m. at the state prison.
Fans and other artists paid tribute to the Mexican American rapper on social media as word about his death began to spread Wednesday. On Suede’s official Instagram profile, someone acknowledged the messages of condolences being sent out to the rapper’s family were being received.
Fans and other artists had for weeks posted pictures of Suede, asking for him to be released from prison.
Valdez was serving a 32-month sentence for a pair of gun charges in Riverside County, according to Rosenberg. He was also facing a gun charge in Los Angeles County, though he had already pleaded and was expecting to receive a two-year sentence that would run concurrent with his Riverside convictions.
He surrendered in December, and was eventually sent to state prison in Soledad.
On Wednesday, the social media posts from fans and fellow artists were replaced by messages marking the rapper’s death.
“LONGLIVESUEDE,” posted Los Angeles rapper Peysoh on his Instagram account.
Suede began catching a buzz for his music soon after turning 18. In 2020, he turned heads with his song “Back to the Bag,” reflecting on his personal traumas over chilled piano chords and a West Coast tempo.
“I didn’t really know how to feel because I was in jail,” Suede told Passion of the Weiss in 2021 of the song’s video, which reached 1 million views while he was behind bars. “It’s hard to focus on that … and feel hopeful. You can’t really force yourself to be happy. I didn’t really feel it like that, you know?”
Suede signed to Atlantic Records in 2021, and released his most recent album “Parkside Baby” last September.
This story originally appeared on LA Times