The 30-year-old was at the restaurant with his girlfriend when an armed suspect approached the couple and demanded jewelry before fatally shooting the rapper. Rock was pronounced dead at 1:29 p.m. local time.
Shortly after his death, DJ Akademiks shared an interview he conducted with PnB Rock earlier this month for his Off the Record podcast, in which he recalled being confronted by gang members while out shopping on Fairfax with his girlfriend and daughter.
“Somebody tried me on Fairfax, like, mid-pandemic,” he began. “N-ggas was talking loud as shit wanting me to hear their conversation and it’s like, ‘I’m with my peoples — my daughter and my girl. Why are they talking about this gangsta shit? What the fuck is going on?’
“So I’m like, ‘Man, we outta here.’ My girl like, ‘Nah, we ain’t — what’s wrong?’ I’m just going off of the vibes. She ain’t peep it, she be thinking I’m tripping. She peeped that I’m serious so she’s like, ‘Alright, we out.’”
Rock and his girlfriend jumped in their car and drove off, but his girlfriend stopped just a few blocks away after seeing a store she wanted to go in. That’s when he realized the gang members had followed them in a car that was heavily tinted and, as Rock put it, giving off “heat.”
“I ain’t go in the store for two seconds, the same people come from out the car, hop in the store hype as shit, say some gang banging shit,” he continued. “I recognized the energy. He started talking to me on some gangsta shit. I’m like, ‘Bruh, do you know me from somewhere?’ He like, ‘N-gga, yeah I know who you is!’ Trying to get me to, like, get into some shit.
“So I flagged him off and just walked out the store ’cause I already know where this shit ’bout to go … You don’t want to be nervous and make it seem like something ’bout to happen. You want [your girl and your kids] to be as calm as possible to make it seem like everything is cool, ain’t nothing about to happen to us.”
He added: “So I just kept it cordial like, ‘Come on, baby. We out. These n-ggas on some real shit.’ When they got to the car, that’s when I let n-ggas know like, ‘I’m not on that.’ And I ain’t gonna say what happened, but n-ggas know that I’m just not on that.”
PnB Rock also touched on the growing trend of violent crime in Los Angeles — the city where fellow rappers Nipsey Hussle, Pop Smoke and Drakeo The Ruler have also lost their life in recent years — noting he tended to avoid the places where he’s likely to be targeted.
“I never got robbed, never in my life. I ain’t gon say never ’cause I’m not superstitious or nothing like that, but I haven’t been robbed,” he said.
“I don’t really be outside like that to be in the mix of the dumb shit. I’m going to the shop, I’m going to get some drip, I’m going probably to the bank. I’m at places where n-ggas probably ain’t really gonna be at on no gangsta shit.”
He added: “N-ggas be getting they shit took and it don’t be spoken about … It’s just the new generation. Everybody on some demon shit. ‘Demon time,’ this, ‘demon’ that.”