Tsu Surf, the New Jersey battle rapper, was shot in Newark on July 25. That’s according to tweets from his manager, DaBlocc Obama, who began sending messages in the early hours of July 26. One message from DaBlocc read, “The strong survive…..I appreciate everyone reaching out to me and checking on the situation. Everything is ok considering the circumstances. #InTheBunchWeTrust.” DaBlocc followed that up with messages that said that Surf was in surgery but that he would pull through. DaBlocc wrote, “Just another day in Newark.” He added, “My boy a survivor! Expect more pain in his music.”
Later, DaBlocc wrote, “Outta surgery but not in good shape. Thank God they didn’t take him away from me tho.”
Surf’s real name is Rahjon Cox. His originally full rap battle moniker was Tsunami Surf. In a 2011 interview, Surf talked about how he came upon the name saying, “Me and my boys used to chill at this skating rink and these females came up with nick names for us. I remember they used to call me like Silver Surfer, so Surfer had stuck. Then my boy put Tsunami in front of it and I liked it. Once I started getting into this music stuff heavy, we realized that the average American can’t spell Tsunami, so we shortened it to Tsu. That’s pretty much how we came to that.”
XXL Magazine referred to Surf in April 2016 as being “known for his lyricism and is mostly known on the battle rap circuit.” The piece noted that among his fans were Joe Budden, Jadakiss and Styles P. In October 2015, Surf told Vibe about trying to become more commercial saying, “For the fans that do know me, I try to keep my growth consistent. If you listen to the music, I’m just talking about what’s happening in my life. People are getting to know me. So if someone were to meet me tomorrow, they can just open that book and read it from front to back. I feel like that’s what my music does.” Surf also spoke about the love he has received from others in the hip hop industry saying, “One of the most outstanding things about this project is building relationships during the project. Jadakiss practically raised me and I never met him until I was 24. My pops wasn’t around like that, but Kiss’ mixtapes were. I grew up on Jadakiss and Styles P. Now I can call Jadakiss and he’ll pick up. I call Styles P and he answers every time. So building relationships during the process of making the mixtape and seeing it all come together was worth it.”
Surf has arrests going back to 2008, when he faced charges of possession and robbery as well as a 2010 possession charge. In 2012, Surf was also arrested on a marijuana possession charge. In January 2018, the Source reported that Surf had just been released from prison on assault charges.