Troy Ave Testifies At Taxstone's Murder Trial

Troy Ave testified at Taxstone's murder trial on Monday.

BYCole Blake
Sprinklez New York Takeover

Troy Ave took the stand at Taxstone's murder trial for the killing of his bodyguard, Ronald "Banga" McPhatter, on Monday. Troy reportedly told the jury he and McPhatter were in the VIP section of Irving Plaza when they ran into Taxstone, with whom they had a longstanding feud. He explained that tensions were high as they introduced themselves.

"Banga turns around to me and says, 'I’m gonna rock him,' which means, 'I’m gonna hit him,'" Troy Ave testified. "And then I wink at him—I tell him, 'Do your thing.'" From there, Troy explained that Tax pulled out a gun and shot McPhatter. Troy then wrestled for the gun with Tax, which resulted in him being shot in the legs.

Troy Ave Performing In 2015

NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 17: Troy Ave performs onstage as Coors Light Soundtrack reFRESH brings DJ Mustard, Fabolous and special guests To NYC at Stage 48 on November 17, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for Coors Light)

"When the shot goes off I see the light from the spark and I hear the shot," he testified. "This is all happening fast. I get up and start fighting Taxstone, trying to take him, grab the gun, and another shot goes off. I put my leg up to kind of block the shot from hitting me in the face or chest. I got up. I’d rather die fighting. People die from leg shots. I’d rather die fighting than laying on the ground. I got up immediately."

Before taking the stand, Troy shared a photo of Jay-Z testifying in a 2021 lawsuit on Instagram. He captioned the picture: "To all my real ones that been riding with & for Me, today is the day I finally get to clear my name. It’s been almost 7 years since I lost one of my closest friends #RIPBANGA, 7 years of a narrative about it being my fault, 7 years of my character being assassinated all the while Trying to defend myself without saying much! I took it all on the chin, never complained about the stress even tho I felt it. Never complained about the pain even tho it hurt! Never shed a tear even tho my heart was crying! At my weakest points I drew strength from GOD! drew strength from my Children & drew strength from Yall but today."

Troy Ave's Instagram Post


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About The Author
Cole Blake is currently an Editor at HotNewHipHop based out of Brooklyn, New York. He began working at the site as an intern back in 2018 while studying journalism at St. John’s University. In the time since, he’s graduated with a bachelor's degree and written extensively about a wide range of topics including pop culture, film & television, politics, video games, sports, and much more. He’s also covered music festivals such as Gov. Ball and Rolling Loud. You can find him publishing work for HNHH from Monday to Wednesday or on weekends. On the sports front, Cole’s a passionate NBA and NFL fan with his favorite teams being the Indianapolis Colts and Los Angeles Lakers. He also roots for the Yankees whenever he finds himself at Yankee Stadium or the Red Storm when in the company of other SJU alumni. His favorite hip-hop artists are billy woods, Earl Sweatshirt, Cam’ron, MIKE, and Mach-Hommy.