Rising Twin Cities rapper Lexii Alijai died of an accidental overdose of the powerful painkiller fentanyl and alcohol, according to autopsy findings released Monday by the Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s office.
Authorities said that the 21-year-old, whose given name is Alexis Alijai Lynch, was found unconscious and possibly suffering cardiac arrest in a seventh-story room at the Loews Minneapolis Hotel on New Year’s Day. According to emergency dispatch transmissions posted online, responding firefighters were told that Lexii had overdosed the night before from ingesting Percocet, a brand-name painkiller.
Medical examiners determined that she died “due to mixed fentanyl and ethanol toxicity,” according to a news release released Monday evening.
Her death brought an outpouring of grief and shock from the local hip-hop community.
Regarded as a rising star on her hometown music, Lexii had amassed 20,000 Instagram followers, 100,000-plus SoundCloud streams and an appearance on a Grammy-nominated album — all by the time she turned 18. In addition to performances at both the Soundset festival and First Avenue’s Best New Bands showcase in 2016, she also appeared on several all-female lineups around the Twin Cities and was part of the Super Bowl Live festival leading up to the game. She had new releases pending at the time of her death, relatives said, including one with Grammy-nominated rapper Wale. A new album is tentatively scheduled to come out in the coming weeks.
Lexii came from a musical family that included grandfather Roger Troutman, who fronted the Ohio funk and R&B band Zapp and was also a Parliament-Funkadelic alum; and her father Roger Troutman Jr. (aka Roger Troutman II and Roger Lynch Troutman Jr.), who recorded for Capitol Records in the late 1980s.
The news comes as Minneapolis continues to grapple with an ongoing opioid epidemic.
While drug deaths have apparently plateaued in recent years, the number of nonfatal overdoses has skyrocketed. And while the crisis was originally largely confined to neighborhoods just south of downtown, it has spread to others, notably the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood and parts of the North Side.
The increased availability of the opioid antidote naloxone, known popularly as Narcan, has helped slow the death rate.