Milwaukee, WI – Another aspiring rapper has become a victim of gun violence. According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, local artist Big Wan (real name Dawan Turner) was shot and killed Friday morning (November 26). Milwaukee police said shots were fired into a home on the 3800 block of North 13th Street where the 19-year-old was staying with his mother and grandmother.
Big Wan was in an upstairs bedroom when he the incident occurred, and he was pronounced dead at the scene. While his death has been ruled a homicide by Milwaukee police, there are no known suspects at this time. Family friend Hilda Alayeto has been best friends with his mother, Rosemary Gonzalez, and remembers Big Wan as a kind soul.
“He liked to make people laugh and smile,” she said. “Dawan was very lovable. He’s always the kid to hug you, to make sure you are OK. He was almost like a big teddy bear.”
Manager Bagzz (real name Will Norton), compared Big Wan to The Notorious B.I.G., saying, “He was the type of young guy who could get in the grown people’s club and perform and rock the whole club. Sometimes everything is so uptight when you’re making music, and he would just come and loosen people up. He was just so humble. He just picked up on everything and he never disagreed. He listened. He was just focused on really making it.”
Big Wan’s breakthrough hit came in 2019 when he dropped “Fast Lane Lifestyle.” The video has since racked up over 400,000 YouTube, a big feat for any burgeoning rapper.
In March, Pitchfork profiled Milwaukee’s Hip Hop scene and put the spotlight on Big Wan, writing, “Big Wan is the city’s finest (expletive) talker. Wan also has a sharp ear for production. … He’s behind some of the most fun rap in a city that has no shortage of it right now.”
Less than a year prior, Big Wan was one of two dozen people charged by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Milwaukee for their alleged association with drug-trafficking gang Buffum Meinecke Boys. He was charged with selling/distributing/dispensing a controlled substance. He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to time served, plus three years of supervised release.
The investigation into Big Wan’s death is ongoing. Anyone with any information is asked to contact Milwaukee Police at (414) 935-7360. To remain anonymous, contact Crime Stoppers at (414) 224-TIPS, or through the P3 Tips app.