Einar, a 19-year-old Swedish rapper, was shot and killed in southern Stockholm on Friday. Einar, whose real name was Nils Gronberg, was the son of television actress Lena Nilsson, and a rising musician in the Swedish music scene.
Winning both the Song of the Year Award in 2019 and the Newcomer of the Year Award the following year, Einar’s debut hit single “Förtsa Klass” has been streamed on Spotify over 33.2 million times and counting. His latest single, “FAST HÄR | TRAKTEN,” was released just last Friday on Oct. 15.
Authorities investigating what happened believe that the incident was gang related, as gang violence has hit a new high in Stockholm. As ABC News reported, the Swedish national council for crime prevention said earlier this year that Sweden was the only European country in which fatal shootings had risen significantly over the past two decades.
Many young rappers in Sweden, Einar included, are involved in rising criminal gang activity, which has also permeated their lyrics.
In 2020, Einar was kidnapped, beaten up, and sexually assaulted by rival gang members Yasin Byn and Haval Khalil, who were also young rappers on the scene in Stockholm. Arrested by authorities, they are expected to stand trial for their role in the abduction in December, when Einar was also going to testify.
Aftonbladet, a local Swedish news outlet, reported that while the motive was unknown, Einar had received many threats on his life leading up to the shooting and was living with a “price on his head.”
He was shot “execution style” by multiple gun shots, police reports stated, in Hammarby Sjostad, southern Stockholm.
“I understand that he (Einar) meant a lot to many young people,” Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven told reporters. “This is of course tragic. It is a young life that has been extinguished.”
Einar’s death, especially at just 19 years old, has escalated the country’s need to control the gang violence in their city, with politicians speaking out about the need for enhanced security in Sweden. The Sun reported that 273 incidents resulting in over 40 fatal shootings have occurred in the country this year as of Oct. 15.
According to ABC News, Christian Democratic Party leader Ebba Busch wrote on Twitter that “we can’t stand up for human dignity or security in the country” if gang violence was not dealt with.
“The limits of what can be accepted in a civilized country have been passed a very long time ago,” said Johan Forsell, spokesperson for the Moderates opposition party. “We need action not words to turn the tide and get Sweden in order.”
Annie Loof, leader of the Central Party in Sweden, echoed that people “have had enough of the senseless violence and want to see gang crime fought.”
Sweden’s Minister for Gender Equality and Housing, Märta Stenevi, stated that “Behind every headline is a family that has lost a child. I am thinking today of all those who have lost a relative.”
Einar’s mother, actress Lena Nilsson, has yet to publicly respond to her son’s death. The two reportedly had an amazing relationship, with Einar expressing how close they were in an interview from 2019.
“I know he has the music,” she told Sweden’s Beezer. “I’ve seen that he has a power in it, and he’s been investing in it for a long time.”
This past August, three people were wounded in a gang-related shooting in Kristianstad, Sweden, and two young children were accidentally shot and killed in July in a suburb outside Stockholm.
“We just released our first record last week, and it feels so strange since I spoke to him just a day ago,” said Trobi, a producer who worked on Einar’s latest single. “Einar was a real brother to me and I will miss him so much.”