It's been seven months since Ella Ann (of Los Angeles-based duo The Bangz) was shot, hospitalized, and laid in a coma for nearly a month.
Details regarding the incident have been sketchy, but we were able to track down the female rapper's boyfriend KC, a member of producer team the Handlebarz, who explained the entire story of the 2009 September night that changed both Ella and The Bangz' whole world.
According to KC (@HandleBarMuzik), Ella had left a rehearsal late in the evening on September 14th and stopped to pick up a friend in South Central Los Angeles. From there, she was on her way to the studio to lay down her verse for The Bangz' song, "Found My Swag" featuring the New Boyz. Before she could make it, she was caught in the crossfire of a drive-by shooting, suffering one gunshot wound to the left side of her face.
KC had been communicating with Ella before the shooting. He was in Lincoln, Nebraska when the rapper's mother called him several times asking if he had spoke to her. On the third call, he said he got the bad news.
"Instantly, my heart dropped. That was my high school sweetheart, you know prom..." KC explained to BallerStatus, as he laughed. "It goes back six, seven years. That's how long we've been close friends and even more. I literally ran out the hotel, made the first flight out of Lincoln. Shot back to L.A. ... Naturally, my heart was broken. It was the longest flight of my life. All I did was pray the whole way there. Like, not Ella ... she was full of life, she was creative, she was just a sweetheart in all sense of the word. She was a knucklehead, crazy, but in a good way."
Ella had lost nearly a gallon of blood before being admitted. She was touch-and-go at first and doctors didn't expect her to last through the next day, but KC says Ella fought and as she survived each day, the doctors would tell them something new.
"It went from the doctors not thinking she was gonna live through lunch; to the doctors saying she'd live, but she'd be a vegetable; to the doctors saying she'd probably regain most of her motor skills, but probably wouldn't remember anything. But here we are, literally the seven-month anniversary (September 14th), she's talking, she's eating, she's doing things on her own, she's getting her mobility back, she's regaining sensation and movement of the left side of her body ... she's just doing wonderful man," KC explained.
Due to the large amount of blood lost, Ella suffered a severe stroke, which paralyzed the left side of her body. That, in addition to her four-month stay in the ICU, weakened her muscles. So, she's currently undergoing speech, occupational and physical therapy to re-learn the basics.
KC says she's walking on the treadmill for 20-minute time periods and is recovering quickly. He even says she's in good spirits and bad to her old self, personality-wise. "She's feisty as ever, punchy, making jokes, laughing all day every day. She has become very spiritual these days," he told us.
While Ella is focused on recovering 100%, KC say she's definitely striving to get back to her music. Until then, however, she has quite a bit of unreleased music in their vaults which they play to begin putting out in the coming months.
Right now, The Bangz are promoting their latest single, "First Girl On the Moon," off their upcoming Girl Riot EP. A music video was recently filmed for the song, which Ella makes a small appearance in, her first since the shooting. The EP will feature production from the J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League, the Co-Stars, and Dr. Luke, while KC's Handlebarz team are overseeing and writing the entire project.
Everything is positive in Ella's world right now, but one negative her family are dealing with at the moment is how they will pay for the ongoing medical attention she needs to recover. On May 11th, Ella turns 21, thus no longer being considered a minor, and unfortunately, her health care coverage will be cut off. So, KC and Ella's family and friends are gearing up for a campaign launching the Ella Ann Foundation, aimed at helping victims of useless crime. The promotional blitz for the foundation will run alongside the promotion of their "First Girl on the Moon" single, because of its inspirational message.