Until the Hennepin County Medical Examiner's Office finalizes toxicology results, we won't know what killed Lexii Alijai, the talented 21-year-old rapper whose death on New Year's Day shook fans and collaborators in the Twin Cities and beyond.
On Monday, the Star Tribune reported emergency responders were called to the Loews Hotel in downtown Minneapolis to treat a suspected drug overdose. The call came "late morning" on January 1, and those at the scene said Alijai (birth name: Alexis Lynch) had likely overdosed on the painkiller Percocet the night of New Year's Eve.
As others woke up after a night of celebrating, Lynch remained unmoving, according to a Fire Department incident report. Attempts were made to revive her, both by people present and by responders, but Lynch was already "cold to the touch."
Lynch's mother, Jessica Owen, told the Star Tribune she didn't expect to hear word of a suspected overdose, saying her daughter was "into healing crystals, positive thinking, and self-help."
Lynch most recently lived with Owen in Burnsville, and had grown up in St. Paul, attending Creative Arts Secondary School and Como Park High School.
Owen and others honored Lynch in an open-casket ceremony that started January 3 and lasted four days at the Minneapolis American Indian Center. (Owen and Lynch have Lakota Sioux heritage.)
“I just want to thank everybody for all their love and support," Owen told the Pioneer Press. "Her fans meant a lot to her. The love that she got from them was amazing."
As Lexii Alijai, Lynch had contributed to Kehlani's Grammy-nominated 2016 album, and a collaboration with rapper Wale is still forthcoming. Owen says a new Lexii Alijai album is set for a posthumous release next month, possibly on her birthday of February 19.