The streets of Chicago are a cruel and unforgiving place, especially if you live in more of the poorer and often neglected neighborhoods of Chicago. Due to the circumstances of the Chicago streets most children join gang culture. Gang culture is a deadly answer to most children’s in poorer Chicago neighborhood.
The answer to the problems they face. Most kids are influenced by their surroundings to join these violent gangs, leading to violence against each other and gang war, resulting in the death of those who are in the opposing gangs.
It’s relatively worse off in Chicago than rest of the United States, as in Chicago most of the murders go unresolved leading to more people to be encouraged to partake in gang violence, believing they could get away with it.
The environment of gang affiliated areas in Chicago has resulted in many unnecessaryand downright inhumane acts of violence and unfortunate tragedy, one of these being the horrific murder of the fifteen year old boy; Tooka. So, let’s find out who is tooka.
Shondale Gregory: Tooka
Shondale Gregory was a 15-year-old boy who grew up on the streets of Chicago and was better known by his street name, “Tooka”. Keep in mind this kid was only 15 years old when he was shot, which goes to show the violent nature of gang life in Chicago.
Tooka got into the gang life by being affiliated by the gang of the name, Gangster Disciples or GD for short. Tooka was well beloved in his neighborhood. In fact after his death, the people who loved him renamed their set from “Saint Moris Boys” to “Tookavile”.
If Tooka was so beloved in his neighborhood, then why was he shot? How come he was gunned down in his own home turf? Why and how was Tooka Killed?
The Day Tooka died
On 12th January 2012, Tooka was murdered. Tooka was waiting for the bus at the bus stop in South Side Chicago on a cold Thursday. Suddenly a mysterious dark colored vehicle showed up infront of Tooka and from the vehicle a person came out.
He asked Tooka what time the other bus will come, lowering Tooka’s guard and after that he fired multiple shots before fleeing the scene. Tooka died there on the scene of the crime. However, why was this? Why was Tookashot?
The way I described the crime scene it seems very illogical and more like a random act of violence. Was this really just a random act of violence or was there a deeper and a reasoning behind the crime?
Why was Tooka Shot?
Tooka was shot as retribution for the killing of another teenager, Ty. Eddrick Walker, or better known by his street name, Ty was a 17 year old living in South Side Chicago. He was affiliated with the rival gang, known as the Black Disciplines or BD.
It was suspected that the reason Ty was killed was due to the actions of the GD. It was believed the GD gang was responsible for the killing of Ty in another gang shooting. Ty was shot multiple times on May 21st 2009. Tooka’s brother was the main suspect behind Ty’s death.
It was believed that Tooka would humiliate and talk about Ty’s death in a disrespectful manner on social media, further angering the BD. However, this can be neither confirmed or denied. To send a message, BD members killed Tooka. After Tooka’s death the GD killed even more members of the BD, further adding the senseless cycle of gang violence.
It is suspected that one of Tooka’s closest friends was the woman behind these killings, whose name was Gakirah. Tooka became known worldwide after his death and became a figurehead for the consequences of Gang violence and Gang War. His tragic story can be seen as a cautionary tale for such a lifestyle.
However, nearly a decade after his death Tooka’s name has reemerged in rap culture. Popular to Semi-popular rappers have started to “diss” Tooka in their songs and in a way make fun of him and in the way which he died which tells us a lot about who is tooka.
How and Why Tooka Became The Most Hated Man in Rap
5 years after his death, a rapper by the name of Chief Keef came out with multiple disses to Tooka, cumulating in an entire Diss track about Tooka in late 2015. The track was called Off the Tooka and was meant to humiliate Tooka. Chief Keef was also from Chicago like Tooka, and was likely affiliated by the BD, the gang responsible for his killing. He would make fun of the death of a 15 year old in his song.
Verses like “F**k a Tooka Gang b*tch”, and “When I was in rehab I was smokin’ Tooka dope” go to show how much he hated and was willing to disrespect a 15 year old boy that he never met.
With Chief Keef many others rappers, mostly from Chicago jumped on the bandwagon and started referring to Tooka as a substance to smoke. “Tooka Pack” became a very popular term in the rap scene of Chicago and even beyond.
This caused people from Tooka’s neighborhood, also known as the O’ Block to get aggravated, threating to beat up or even kill these rappers if they ever stepped into their neighborhood. This forced many rappers to apologize for making a joke out of his death, despite not even knowing him.
Despite the death threats by members of O’block one rapper has remained persistent on dissing Tooka. He goes by the name of King Von and has made it clear he hates Tooka.
King Von and his Disses to Tooka
9 years after his death a rapper by the name of King Von has come up and has dissed Tooka without showing any signs of stopping, leading his fans to speculate why he hates this dead 15 year old he likely has never met before. The simplest explanation is that it could be out of gang loyalty.
King Von is a rapper from O block, the same neighborhood as Tooka. He was brought up in South Side Chicago and was affiliated with the BD, which was in fact founded by his, who’s street name was King Dave. Taunting other members in their songs is a common thing in the rap scene of Chicago, but actively mocking a 15 year old kid who died just because he was affiliated in another gang is going too far in my opinion.
King Von actively refers to smoking marijuana as smoking Tooka. King Von has even stated in of his songs that when he dies, he will in fact find Tooka and beat him up. This lead people to believe King Von was actually in a physical altercation with Tooka and was on the losing end of that.
The shooting and killing of Tooka is a tragedy and a cautionary tale of senseless Gang violence. What happened to such a young boy should not have happened to anyone. Tooka had his whole life ahead of him but he was killed in the same cycle of violence that got him affiliated with such a lifestyle in the first place.
Despite him being dissed by popular rappers, mainly King Von he still beloved in the O block, he is neighborhood. I hope his tragic tale can serve as a reminder and prevent further tragedies and can help you understand who is tooka.