"It seemed as if it was a setup," Bay Area rhymer says.
Two weeks ago, Oakland, Calif., rapper Kafani was shot five times on a Bay Area street corner while filming a music video. Today, the 33-year-old, born Amir Ashad, may never walk again and speaks with a slurred speech from breaking his jaw during the incident. In an exclusive interview with BET.com, Kafani recounted what he remembers from the September run-in, which he believes was premeditated.
"When I got shot in the leg, I fell and broke my jaw," he says. "The dude that shot me was pretty much like, 'What you doing over here?' so it seemed as if it was a setup. It seemed as if somebody knew I was coming because it was like 10:30 at night, how would somebody just be over there? I didn't tell nobody I was shooting a video."
Although never confirmed by authorities, rap rival Philthy Rich is pegged as being involved. Kafani was reportedly filming a visual for a response diss aimed at Rich in his adversary's neighborhood. He doesn't think Rich was behind it, however, downplaying the alleged beef. "Honestly, I don't think he had nothing to do with it. I talked to him on the phone a few days ago. It [the beef] was just between me and him, it was just some rap stuff. This is music."
Police say the unknown assailant walked up on Kafani at around 11:39 p.m. and shot him as he and a group were packing up. So far, no one has been arrested in the case.
"It had to be somebody that knew I was shooting a video that night," he reiterates. "Nobody knew I was shooting a video, unless dude that shot me just knew who I was, that's the only thing I could think of. They seen me shooting a video thinking it was about Philthy Rich."
As for his health status, Kafani attends physical therapy and confirmed rumors that he is paralyzed, although it hasn't been confirmed by his doctors. "The doctors haven't said nothing but I just know [that I'm paralyzed] because I can't move my legs. I have no feeling in my legs. I'm paralyzed, but I'm strong. I'm just going through the recovery process."
After the shooting the Babyface Assassins co-founder was put in a medically induced coma and had no idea his story was spreading in the media circuit, specifically on Twitter. Going online to read support comments he says is motivation. "It always gets me up, telling me they praying for me and all that because I didn't know that this [shooting story] was that big."
In hindsight, the "Fast (Like a Nascar)" rapper — who beefed with Lil B a few years ago — says feuds shouldn't amount to violence. "I just feel like music shouldn't go this far because at the end of the day, this music is pretty much entertainment. Me and Philthy Rich, it ain't no real beef. It's pretty much entertainment, but somebody else took it to something real and I feel that it shouldn't have went that far.
"But I'm strong," he adds. "I'ma get through it. God [has] a purpose for me. I made it this far, I been doing this [music]. I'ma keep doing it."
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(Photo: Rick Diamond/Getty Images for Trojan)