The death of ascending Twin Cities rap performer Lexii Alijai occurred in a downtown Minneapolis hotel room from a suspected drug overdose, according to authorities.
Medical personnel from the fire department were sent to the Loews Hotel late in the morning on New Year's Day on a report that the 21-year-old, whose given name is Alexis Alijai Lynch, was unconscious and possibly suffering cardiac arrest, according to emergency dispatch audio and a fire department incident report.
The dispatch audio revealed that fire personnel arrived at a seventh-floor room in the hotel across from Target Center and were told moments later that Lynch had overdosed the night before from ingesting Percocet, a powerful painkiller made up of oxycodone and acetaminophen.
Lynch was on the floor and "cold to the touch" as someone in the room was attempting to revive her, according to the incident report. Emergency personnel took over lifesaving procedures, but they soon declared her dead at the scene, the report noted.
"Bystanders stated they had been sleeping, and when they woke up, the patient wouldn't wake up," the report read. "Bystanders stated they weren't sure if [Lynch] had taken anything."
Police spokesman John Elder said Monday that authorities are awaiting toxicology test results from the Hennepin County Medical Examiner's Office as the investigation continues.
However, the Medical Examiner's Office said Monday that it does not intend to issue a news release once the cause and manner of death are determined.
Lynch's mother, Jessica Owen, said her daughter was with other family members at the hotel on New Year's Eve celebrating but has learned nothing more about what happened.
"The police just say everything is under investigation," said Owen, who lives in Burnsville, where she shared a home with her daughter. "She was supposed to take an Uber from the hotel to the studio, but she ended up not making it."
Lynch, whose late father was from the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, was remembered in a four-day ceremony held at the Minneapolis American Indian Center. "We did it traditional," Owen said.
The death spurred an outpouring of grief among Lynch's peers and among some of the bigger names in hip-hop and rap.
"I'm heartbroken, I'm angry, I'm confused, I love you Lexii," one of her best-known musical friends, California R&B singer Kehlani, said in a tweet.
Owen said she was surprised that an overdose is suspected in Lynch's death.
"She was into healing stones, positive thinking and self-help," said Owen, who raised the youngest of her three children in St. Paul, where she went to Como High School and Creative Arts Secondary School.
By the time she turned 18, Lexii had amassed 20,000 Instagram followers, 100,000-plus SoundCloud streams and an appearance on a Grammy-nominated album. She made a quick impression in her hometown music scene, too, performing at both the Soundset festival and First Avenue's Best New Bands showcase in 2016.
Lynch appeared on several all-female lineups around the Twin Cities and was part of the Super Bowl Live festival on Nicollet Mall in January 2018.
She had new releases pending at the time of her death, Owen said, including one with Washington, D.C., hip-hop artist Wale. Owen said a new album will be come out month, "tentatively on her birthday."
Owen said she saw a musical gift in Lexii as early as "when she was in diapers still and rapping in the back seat of the car. ... She knew every rap by heart."