Swedish rapper Einár was killed on Thursday, Oct. 21, and there are still many questions lingering around his shocking murder. The 19-year-old was one of the most popular rising stars in his country and other parts of the world, but he was also embroiled in a shocking surge of gang violence. According to a report by NDTV, he was shot "execution style" outside of his apartment building in Stockholm.
Einár was due in court three weeks after his murder to testify about his own kidnapping by rival rappers in 2020. Two other musicians were sentenced to prison for kidnapping Einár, holding him at gunpoint for hours and robbing him of valuable jewelry. He received death threats after that, forcing him to live as anonymously as possible. Nonetheless, Stockholm police say he was shot outside of his home sometime around 11 p.m. local time. First responders pronounced him dead on the scene, and Stockholm Police spokesperson Towe Hagg told reporters that they are searching for a suspect.
One of the biggest rappers in Sweden of the past 2 years, Einár, has died at 19 years old...— NFR Podcast (@nfr_podcast) October 22, 2021
Rest in Peace🕊️ pic.twitter.com/H8fadB3EbV
"We are actively working to figure out why it happened and who can be behind it," Hagg said. Einár's real name is Nils Kurt Erik Einár Gronberg, and his lyrics often referenced crimes including selling drugs and carrying illegal weapons. He was the most-streamed artist on Spotify in Sweden in 2019 and has been gaining traction in other countries, as well.
Einár reportedly had a public feud with fellow Swedish rapper Yasin, who was ultimately arrested and held in jail for 10 months over a conspiracy to kidnap Einár. However, the plan went forward without Yasin's involvement — Einár was abducted last summer, robbed, beaten and blackmailed by his assailants. They also photographed him in humiliating conditions and shared the pictures on social media.
The kidnapping was absorbed into a broader case under the local authorities' investigation, which looked at 30 suspects in one "criminal network." One of the arrests included yet another Swedish rapper, Haval Khalil, who was sentenced to 2 and a half years in prison for his complicity in Einár's kidnapping. He was sentenced back in July, but his case is currently being appealed.
The appeal case was scheduled to go on until December, and Einár was reportedly summoned to testify in the trial next week. However, Einár was summoned to the original district court trial as well, but he never showed up, casting doubt on whether this played any role in his murder.
Drama aside, fans in Sweden and all over the world are mourning the senseless loss of a burgeoning talent. Social media has been filled with tributes to Einár, including anecdotes about his friendliness and generosity with fans. His music is streaming now on most major services.