Home / Blog / Blumberg Geez, wanted for murder, killed in a shooting in North Philadelphia

Blumberg Geez, wanted for murder, killed in a shooting in North Philadelphia

Aug 30, 2023Aug 30, 2023

A popular Philadelphia rapper was fatally shot Wednesday in North Philadelphia, police said.

Anthony Watson, better known as Blumberg Geez, was shot once in the head on the 1800 block of North Woodstock Street just after 8:15 p.m. Wednesday. A 26-year-old man was also shot in the foot.

Police rushed Watson to Temple University Hospital. He was originally listed in critical condition, but died about four hours later, said Deputy Police Commissioner Frank Vanore.

Watson, 21, had been a fugitive for over a year, and was wanted for murder when he was killed.

At the scene, near Berks and Woodstock Streets, police recovered a gun, plus 16 shell casings from two different caliber weapons, Vanore said. The motive remains under investigation, he said.

Watson had been on the run since March 2022 for allegedly killing 16-year-old Heyward Garrison in August 2020, Vanore said.

In that shooting, police found Garrison, shot multiple times, in the back of a Honda Pilot near 22nd and Diamond Streets, Vanore said.

The investigation into Garrison's death went on for months, Vanore said, until March 2022, when he said detectives gathered enough evidence to issue a warrant for Watson's arrest.

"He was still a fugitive," Vanore said. "Obviously, we weren't able to find where he’d been staying."

A post shared by S4D💔🏴 (@blumberg.geez)

While on the lam, Watson continued to produce music, and became a well-known voice in Philly's drill rap scene.

Some of his biggest hits — like "Genocide 2″ and "It Takes Two" — racked up hundreds of thousands of views on YouTube.

Other local drill artists, like Hood Tali P, posted on Instagram grieving his death.

"I tried to keep you away from this," Hood Tali wrote. "I feel like I ain't do enough."

» READ MORE: Philly rapper Lil Bape charged with killing 16-year-old, police say

Drill rap is a subgenre of hip-hop that originated in Chicago in the early 2010s, and rose in popularity as artists like Chief Keef topped the charts.

Drill rappers are known for their explicit lyrics that often chronicle gun violence and life on the streets in some of the city's most historically under-resourced neighborhoods. "Drill" itself is another word for a shooting.

The music has become popular in Philadelphia in recent years. Young people often use the songs to document the back-and-forth shootings across the city, sometimes dissing the deaths of rival group members, or even claiming responsibility for a shooting. Philadelphia police have said the music has led to shootings and subsequent retaliation.

Because of that, drill has become a controversial subgenre — last year, New York City Mayor Eric Adams called for it to be banned after two Brooklyn drill artists were killed. At a recent panel at Harvard University, activists and scholars debated whether the music was glorifying and perpetuating violence, or an outlet for young Black men to document their reality and struggles escaping the cycle of gun violence.