A Baton Rouge rapper with an up-and-coming career was one of two men found shot dead Tuesday in Bogalusa.
Shannen Hudson, a 31-year-old musician known as Young Ready — and more recently as Racked Up Ready — was discovered dead of at least one gunshot wound about 3:30 p.m. inside a vehicle on City Limits Road. He was found alongside another man also shot to death, Jare Stevenson, 28, of Baton Rouge.
Daniel Whittington, an investigator with the Washington Parish Coroner’s Office, confirmed the identities of the deceased.
Mourning for Hudson poured out Wednesday on several social media sites tied to the artist, with the hashtag #RIP.
Hudson, who was preparing to release a new album called “Goon Brothers” at the end of June and recently finished a 30-city tour of the South, was in the midst of negotiations with Interscope Records on a national recording deal, said his Atlanta-based manager, Tony Guidry.
“Shannen was an artist who wrote about his surroundings as well as his past. So he was a guy who had a lot of fans amongst … people (who) were so anesthetized to extreme violence that it was almost acceptable, almost to the point where it was embraced,” Guidry said. “It’s not something that Shannen particularly advocated, even though he has a past that included violence.”
Hudson pleaded guilty to illegally carrying a weapon in 2008. He referenced crimes he was accused of in at least one of his songs, “What You Been Through.”
“His core fan base were … the people who were facing challenges in today’s society,” Guidry said. “He was at a real big transitional phase in his life and career, where he rapped less about being a thug and more about being in charge of your life.”
Hudson, who recently moved to Gonzales, changed his stage name at 28 because he no longer felt the word “young” described him, Guidry said.
At her northeast Baton Rouge house Wednesday, Hudson’s mother said her son didn’t resemble the tough-guy image he portrayed in some of his music and videos.
“He was just a big baby,” said Lydia Hudson, 60. “He was never gonna go long without touching base with me. He was a ‘momma’s boy.’ He always wanted to make sure that mom was OK.”
And Shannen Hudson’s own four children — Shanyra, 4, Shaniyah, 3, Shannen Jr., 2, and Kha’li, 10 months — were “what he lived for,” she said.
The children giggled in Lydia Hudson’s living room Wednesday with family members who had gathered, including two of the tots’ mothers, Janea Favorite, 23, and Brittany Brown, 23.
“You couldn’t be mad at him for long,” Favorite said, adding her partner “opened his heart up to everybody.”
Kenneth Trahan, 34, wiped away tears in Lydia Hudson’s kitchen, describing his friend as “a real artist.”
“I enjoyed being around him because I admired him,” Trahan said. “He practiced at what he did. He worked at it like an athlete working at a gym.”
Guidry said he was in denial that Shannen Hudson might’ve been killed, having fielded calls all day Wednesday from people in the music industry wondering if the news was true that Racked Up Ready had died.
“I’m in disbelief,” he said, “because I just don’t want it to be him.”
Lydia Hudson is organizing a memorial for her son.
Follow Maya Lau on Twitter, @mayalau.