Remembering Nicholas "Lil Action" Brown

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By WSIL Manager

CARBONDALE -- Dozens of Carbondale community members said goodbye to an inspirational young man on Thursday. 24-year-old Nicholas Brown was killed early Saturday morning in a single vehicle crash in Carbondale.

Nick grew up in northeast Carbondale, a part of town that's seen its fair share of crime. But Nick and his rapping partner Courtlin Jabrae were proof that talent and hard work could take you places, and kids in their community looked up to them.
 
It was only fitting that music was the basis of Nicholas Brown's farewell, since it's always been the rhythm driving his life.
 
"He started in our backyard, in the shed back there, him and Courtlin," said his grandmother Sheila Brown.
 
Nick and Courtlin, also known as Lil Action and CG, did what so many young, aspiring rappers hope to do. They made it big as the Pop It Off Boyz with the single "Crank Dat Batman". They even performed for BET's Spring Bling in 2008 and were nominated for two BET awards.
 
"This whole time we were on a record label and doing all this stuff, we were still in high school," explains Courtlin. "So we would go fly to New York and fly everywhere and come home and be in class like this. In Carbondale, like nothing happened."
 
But while Nick was larger than life on TV, he was the quiet one in reality. Nick enjoyed being with his family, especially his two kids, 3-year-old Samiyah and 8-month-old Nicholas Junior.
 
"He was really proud of him. He's going to be a basketball player, and he's going be a rapper, and a singer," says Nick's fiancee Catrice Russell.
 
His family says he always made himself available for the young kids in the neighborhood, hoping to follow in his footsteps.
 
"He basically brought hope to the young kids that there is a way out, besides the illegal way," explains Alfred Brown, Nick's uncle.
 
So even as they said goodbye to their local celebrity, the kids will continue to wear their Batman symbols in respect for Nick Brown.
     
Courtlin says he would never dream of joining with another group. So he's going to finish the current songs he and Nick were working on and try to make it big again.
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