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Tay-K c. 2016
Tay-K c. 2016
Background information
Birth nameTaymor Travon McIntyre
Also known asTay-K 47[1]
Born (2000-06-16) June 16, 2000 (age 24)
Long Beach, California, U.S.
OriginArlington, Texas, U.S.
  • Rapper
  • songwriter
Years active2014–2018
Member ofCrips
Formerly ofDaytona Boyz
Criminal information
Criminal statusIncarcerated
Criminal charge
  • Capital murder (awaiting trial)
  • Possession of a prohibited item in a correctional facility (awaiting trial)
Penalty55 years in prison (parole possible after 27+12 years)
Date apprehended
June 30, 2017
Imprisoned atBexar County Jail, San Antonio, Texas, U.S.

Taymor Travon McIntyre (born June 16, 2000), better known professionally as Tay-K (/ˈtˌk/ TAY-kay) is an American rapper and convicted murderer.[4] He is best known for his 2017 song "The Race", which peaked at number 44 on the US Billboard Hot 100 and was certified platinum by the RIAA in January 2018. The lyrics detail criminal activity carried out by McIntyre, and became popular following a nationwide manhunt for his eventual arrest in Elizabeth, New Jersey.

McIntyre was captured by U.S. marshals on June 30, 2017, the same day "The Race" was released, after three months running and hiding from authorities. The song later reached platinum. After being brought back to Texas for his crimes, McIntyre received support from his fans on social media.[5] While being held at Tarrant County Jail in Fort Worth, Texas, Tay-K's management team released his debut mixtape, Santana World, on July 29, 2017, and it received a generally positive response from critics and fans.

In July 2019, McIntyre was found guilty of murder for his involvement in a 2016 home invasion and robbery that left 21-year-old Ethan Walker dead. He was sentenced to 55 years in prison. In November 2019, McIntyre was indicted on a second murder charge, for allegedly shooting 23-year-old Mark Anthony Saldivar, an offense for which he is awaiting trial.

Early life[edit]

McIntyre was born in Long Beach, California on June 16, 2000. His father was imprisoned during McIntyre's youth.[6][7] McIntyre's mother moved him and his sister to Las Vegas, Nevada, when he was eight years old.[8] Two years later, when McIntyre's father was released from prison, he moved the family to Arlington, Texas, in search of a better environment.[7] McIntyre attended Martin High School. He dropped out during his freshman year.[9] He was influenced by Chief Keef, Eazy-E, Young Pappy, Lud Foe, and his favorite rapper Soulja Boy.[10]


McIntyre started his rap career as part of the rap group Daytona Boyz alongside rappers Pimpyz and Santana Sage in 2014.[7] The group released their first track "Drift" on audio distribution platform SoundCloud on December 25, 2014.[11] The group released a series of songs, barely getting attention as they performed at various parties attempting to create a presence in the local rap scene.[12][10]

McIntyre released his first solo song in August 2015 titled "BIFF XANNEN" on his SoundCloud account.[13] This and his September 2015 song "Sly Cooper" garnered local attention within the Arlington rap scene.[14][15] McIntyre's song "Megaman" was released on his SoundCloud on March 16, 2016, and, along with several other songs McIntyre released, became popular after he was arrested on capital murder charges.[15]

McIntyre released several songs while on the run from the police, including "The Race" which was recorded during McIntyre's stay in New Jersey. The music video was released on YouTube the same day as his capture.[10] The song debuted at number 70 on the US Billboard Hot 100 after a large hashtag campaign pursuing the release of McIntyre using the hashtag "#FREETAYK".[5] It peaked at 44 on the Billboard Hot 100 and has over 246 million views on YouTube.[16] "The Race" has been remixed by numerous artists including Tyga, Lil Yachty, YBN Nahmir, Fetty Wap, and Rico Nasty among others.[17]

While incarcerated, McIntyre released the mixtape Santana World.[18] WorldStarHipHop released "Coolin" on September 14, 2017.[19][20] McIntyre's official Twitter account tweeted that the version released by WorldStarHipHop was a leak and not official saying "we have something major in store."[21]

On December 14, 2017, McIntyre's debut mixtape Santana World was re-released by 88 Classic and RCA Records, which was updated with a remix of his single "The Race" featuring vocals from rappers 21 Savage and Young Nudy.[22][23] "The Race" was certified platinum by the RIAA in January 2018.[24] On February 2, 2018, McIntyre's official Twitter account tweeted two pictures of McIntyre, the first time he had been seen since May 2017. The following day, the song "After You" was released on McIntyre's SoundCloud account.[25]

It was revealed in March 2018 that McIntyre had earned around $600,000 to $700,000 with his record deal with 88 Classic and RCA Records.[6] Following the creation of the No Jumper music label,[26] Tay-K was featured alongside BlocBoy JB on No Jumper's song "Hard" which entered the Bubbling Under Hot 100 charts at number 14.[27][28] Tay-K was featured on the shortlist for the 2018 XXL Freshman list.[29][30]

On November 23, 2019, McIntyre's Twitter account was maintained by a family member, against his manager, Ezra Averill's wishes. The relative tweeted numerous claims on the rapper's behalf, citing disaffection with his contract with 88 Classic and RCA, as well as his strained communication from Averill, promising to help McIntyre "make sure the truth about my life and my character gets out with or without management or a label".[31] The tweets read:

I wanna apologize to all my fans and supporters for letting my management and label convince me that it wouldn’t be a good decision to speak out against the way the media makes me look and the complete lies they spread... but I’m gonna make sure the truth about my life and my character gets out with or without management or a label. And whoever don’t like it fuck you... the way the media inaccurately portrays me has affected my life directly. So instead of waiting on my “team” to get the bright idea to speak up on my behalf, things will be done differently... Of course I’m not perfect or nothing, but I’m most definitely not this monster that they try to portray me as. with that being said, I also apologize for the way I may have presented myself, I was young and inconsiderate.

Averill later retweeted the topic with an additional reply, "Change the narrative. It begins now #FreeTayK".[31]

In 2023, McIntyre tweeted about "one chance at adulthood" on X. He tweeted:

I really just need 1 chance @ adulthood. I bet if I was a lil white kid they wouldn’t have gave me no 55 years for a crime I was alleged to play the most insignificant role in when I was 16….they woulda rightfully argued that my mind wasn’t fully developed and gave me rehabilitation and a 2nd (1st) chance at adulthood. one of my codefendants was a white girl who was 16 jus like me…they didn’t certify her as an adult but they certified me n pimp as adults, pimp got 30, I got 55, she ended up getting 10 years of probation without no deal…that girl @ home rn.

That same year, he wrote a personal letter to his fans via Instagram.[32] It reads:

Not sure if y’all know but I got sentenced as an adult to 55 years in prison for a crime where I wasn’t even the shooter,” he wrote. “I wasn’t even alleged to have a gun. I was never even suspected to have pulled a trigger or hurt anyone. I was young and didn’t have no positive figures around. I’m sitting here thinking about all my fans. I love and miss y’all,” he wrote. “I know there’s a lot that I haven’t directly spoke on and there R many things my fans know but I’m not sure everybody else does. I’ve been here for 5 ½ years now and I feel indebted to y’all for going so crazy behind me. It’s still crazy to me that I never had a chance to live outside as an adult. I’ve been locked up and in and out of the ‘justice’ and CPS system 4 my whole life. I love my fans and I don’t want any 1 to think I’m promoting or really recommending violence,” he said. “That’s why I really dedicated a lot of my time in here to using the success of my music to have a positive impact on other young artists, even if it is something small like taking a phone call or writing a letter to keep them positively inspired, regardless of my situation. The movement is Eternal.

Criminal history[edit]

New Year's Day 2016: Bystander to a fatal shooting[edit]

McIntyre's first legal problem started on January 1, 2016.[33] After performing at a New Year's Eve celebration event in Denton, Texas, McIntyre was in a car with U.S. Marine and fellow Daytona Boyz member Eric "Santana Sage" Johnson, who shot University of North Texas student Sara Mutschlechner in the head, killing her, following an argument between occupants of the car carrying Johnson and McIntyre, and occupants of another car carrying people leaving the same party, including Mutschlechner.[33]

Witnesses stated that passengers in the car carrying Johnson and McIntyre sexually accosted Mutschlechner, while Johnson stated that passengers riding with Mutschechner called him and his fellow passengers racial and homophobic slurs, and that he had only intended to scare the passengers in the other car off after receiving threats of bodily harm.[33] Johnson pleaded not guilty but was convicted of the murder and sentenced to 44 years in prison.[33] McIntyre was not charged in the case.[33]

July 2016–2019: Mansfield burglary and capital murder[edit]

In July 2016, McIntyre and six other people were arrested on capital murder charges, related to a home invasion that ended the life of Ethan Walker in Mansfield, Texas.[34] On July 26, 2016, Megan Holt, 19, and Ariana Bharrat, 20, conspired with McIntyre and some other friends to rob 17-year-old Zachary Beloate. The pair planned to seduce him and then let McIntyre enter the house, armed with guns, to steal drugs and money. One of the two women unlocked the door and the gunmen proceeded to rob Beloate and his friend Ethan Walker, which led to a fatal confrontation and the death of Walker as they were attempting to leave. Two other non-fatal gunshot wounds were sustained.[35] McIntyre admitted his role in the botched robbery in an approximate two-and-a-half-hour interrogation, telling detectives that he searched for drugs in the house.[36]

McIntyre was transferred to an adult jail in July 2017.[37] A preliminary certification hearing to decide McIntyre's status as a juvenile was held in August 2017. Trent Loftin, a lawyer for McIntyre, said to The New York Times that McIntyre was optimistic and that they were confident he would be cleared of all charges.[38] It was decided that McIntyre would be tried as an adult in the case. The trial was eventually pushed back due to lack of evidence.[39]

In February 2018, one of McIntyre's accomplices, an unnamed minor described as a "petite, pretty blonde" was sentenced to twenty years in prison after being found guilty on capital murder and aggravated robbery charges.[40] In February 2018, accomplice Megan Holt pleaded guilty to aggravated robbery and agreed to testify against her co-defendants in exchange for a 20-year sentence. In May 2018, Latharian Merritt was sentenced to life in prison without parole after being convicted of capital murder. In August 2018, Ariana Bharrat pleaded guilty to aggravated robbery and was sentenced to 25 years in prison. In August 2018, Sean Robinson pleaded guilty to murder and was sentenced to 40 years in prison. In November 2018, McIntyre's last accomplice, Jalen Bell (Pimpyz), pleaded guilty to aggravated robbery charges and was sentenced to 30 years in prison.[41]

McIntyre's defense attorneys argued that because McIntyre's case had started in the juvenile system — which does not have a bail or bond system in place — he was now entitled to one under Texas law (as of March 2018). State District Judge Wayne Salvant denied McIntyre's request for bond, expressing concern that McIntyre's alleged crimes had been "glorified" and that he was a "high, violent assessment".[6]

In May 2018, it was confirmed McIntyre was not facing the death penalty or life imprisonment without the possibility of parole under Miller v. Alabama and Roper v. Simmons. If convicted, he faces 40 years to life in prison with the possibility of parole.[42]

On July 15, 2019, on the first day of his trial,[43] McIntyre pleaded guilty to two counts of aggravated robbery in the Mansfield home invasion case. On July 19, 2019, a jury found McIntyre guilty of murder and a third count of aggravated robbery. He faced up to 99 years in prison.[44] His single, "The Race", which was written while he was on the run from the U.S. Marshals Service, was introduced as evidence during the sentencing phase of the trial.[45]

On July 23, 2019, he was given 55 years for murder, 30 years for one count of aggravated robbery, and 26 years for the remaining two counts of aggravated robbery. The four prison terms will be served concurrently. He will be eligible for parole after serving twenty-eight years.[46] He was fined $21,000, $10,000 for the murder charge and $11,000 combined for three counts of aggravated robbery.[47]

January–June 2017: House arrest, manhunt and "The Race"[edit]

McIntyre was placed under house arrest in January 2017 while awaiting certification hearings.[48] A few days before the hearings were held, on March 27, 2017, McIntyre and Bell cut off their ankle monitors and fled to San Antonio, Texas.[49] Just before cutting his ankle monitor off and going on the run, McIntyre wrote the following on Twitter: "fuck dis house arrest shit fuck 12 they gn hav 2 catch me on hood".[50] McIntyre made his way to Elizabeth, New Jersey where he recorded the song "The Race", which described his run from the police and his legal troubles. The song opens with "Fuck a beat, I was tryna beat a case/but I ain't beat that case, bitch I did the race”.[7][51]

The suspect that McIntyre fled with was captured in May 2017.[49] On June 30, 2017, McIntyre was captured by the U.S Marshal Service in Elizabeth, New Jersey.[34][52] When McIntyre was captured, in order to avoid custody, he claimed to have swallowed a bottle of pills and was taken to a hospital. When nothing was found wrong with McIntyre, he claimed that he was hearing voices, and was then taken to a psychiatric ward for evaluation, where he was kept for a day and a half before being taken into custody.[53]

April–May 2017: San Antonio shooting and Arlington mugging[edit]

While on the run after cutting off his ankle monitor, on April 23, 2017, McIntyre allegedly shot and killed twenty-three year-old Mark Anthony Saldivar while participating in a robbery outside of a Chick-fil-A in San Antonio, Texas.[54][55] According to the allegations, McIntyre and Bell lured Saldivar into a black SUV to try to steal his photography equipment. Saldivar escaped the SUV and started to shout for help. McIntyre accelerated in an attempt to hit him. Saldivar jumped onto the hood of the SUV, kicking the windscreen until McIntyre allegedly left the car and shot him once before driving away.[54][55]

A month later, on May 25, McIntyre allegedly attacked and robbed sixty-five year-old Owney "Skip" Pepe in Cravens Park, Arlington, Texas.[56] McIntyre allegedly held a gun to Pepe's head before knocking him unconscious in the park, where Pepe was later found by a jogger.[57] Pepe later identified McIntyre during a photo lineup.[58]

On October 3, 2017, additional capital murder charges were added to McIntyre's case involving the incident in San Antonio.[59] Police claim that McIntyre was in the vehicle during the shooting and that there is surveillance footage of the incident.[54] At the time, McIntyre was held on $500,000 bail.[60] In February 2018, the bail was revoked.[61]

In August 2019, less than two weeks after his sentencing for the Mansfield home invasion and murder, McIntyre was extradited to the Bexar County Jail to await trial for the Mark Saldivar murder case.[62] In November 2019, a Bexar County grand jury indicted him for capital murder.[55]

Other criminal activities[edit]

While in jail on August 2, 2018, McIntyre was charged with possession of a prohibited item after a mobile phone was found hidden in his sock during a search.[63][64] McIntyre was moved from Tarrant County Jail to maximum-security Lon Evans Corrections Center on August 14, where he spent 23 hours in solitary confinement with one hour allotted to go to the gym.[65] During his time in Tarrant County Jail, he allegedly shouted profanities and made death threats toward a Tarrant County Sheriff sergeant, threw his food tray and wet toilet paper, and went over his allotted phone time.[44] McIntyre won a legal battle on August 16, when the Texas Second Court of Appeals ruled that State District Judge Wayne Salvant made a mistake in refusing to set bail for McIntyre concerning his aggravated robbery case. However, he was still denied bail for the case involving the murder of Ethan Walker.

On March 1, 2019, several online outlets reported that McIntyre was on the verge of forming a prison gang to affiliate with the Crips, called the Rug Ratz, named after the Nickelodeon animated series of the same name, to fuel a rivalry with the Texas-based Puro Tango Blast. A warden received a tip from an informant and as a result, McIntyre was placed in solitary confinement.[66][67][68] The Fort Worth Star-Telegram was informed that a list of rules for the gang called the “Laws Of Power” was being set up. They are not to inform police nor correctional officers “if caught in illegal activities, never to steal from a fellow Rug-Rat or disobey a higher rank and no hurting or slaughter of children, unless necessary.” Members were to be “jumped in or voted in by a sergeant and couldn’t leave unless jumped out or two sergeants gave the member their blessing. Above all, Love, respect, protect and cherish your fellow Rug-Rat always.”[69][70]

Industry responses[edit]

On May 10, 2018, Tay-K's management team claimed that his music was removed from playlists sponsored or curated by Spotify, alongside XXXTentacion and R. Kelly, as part of the platform's "Hate Content & Hateful Conduct" policy.[71] A spokesperson for Spotify stated, "when we look at promotion, we look at issues around hateful conduct, where you have an artist or another creator who has done something off-platform that is so particularly out of line with our values, egregious, in a way that it becomes something that we don't want to associate ourselves with."[72]

These decisions were met with criticism, citing the streaming platform's lack of confidence and cancellation of other controversial artists' content including Michael Jackson, David Bowie, Dr. Dre, Eminem and Kanye West despite criminal, legal or non-legal, but critical actions they have also been accused of. On May 31, the CEO of Spotify, Daniel Ek, admitted that the policy was "handled wrongfully".[73]

On June 1, Spotify received a threatening letter from Kendrick Lamar, who was once an artist of Top Dawg Entertainment, as well as its founder, Anthony "Top Dawg" Tiffith, wanting to remove the label and its artists' back catalogue from Spotify if the service did not reconsider its policy. Ultimately, Spotify reversed the decision to pursue the "anti-hate" conduct policy. XXXTentaction's music was recovered through Spotify's playlists and recommendations, but not Tay-K nor R. Kelly.[74][75]


McIntyre has been involved in three lawsuits as a result of his alleged participation in the murders of Mark Saldivar, Ethan Walker, the attempted murder of Zachary Beloate and the robbery and assault of Skip Pepe.[76] In June 2018, Saldivar's family, the victim of the San Antonio shooting, filed a wrongful death lawsuit seeking more than $1 million in damages.[77] A month later, Walker's family and survivor Zachary Beloate jointly sued McIntyre and his former record labels, 88 Classic and RCA Records, for the profits of his music following Walker's death and Beloate's injuries.[78]

On May 2, 2019, McIntyre, his former manager Ezra Averill, labels 88 Classic and RCA Records were filed suit by Skip Pepe and his wife. "These Defendants chose to financially profit from McIntyre’s violent crimes, and take money for themselves from the sale of his music that otherwise would be available to compensate McIntyre’s victims", as read by Pepe's attorney in the lawsuit.[79][80] As of 2023, the outcoming of this lawsuit is currently unknown.[citation needed]



List of mixtapes, with selected details and chart positions
Title Details Peak chart positions
  • Released: July 4, 2017[82]
  • Label: Self-released
  • Format: Digital download, streaming
Santana World 128

Extended play[edit]

Extended play with selected details
Title EP details


As lead artist[edit]

List of singles as lead artist, with selected chart positions and certifications
Title Year Peak chart positions Certifications Album


"The Race" 2017 44 17 12 69 Santana World
"I Love My Choppa (Remix)"
(featuring Rich the Kid)
Non-album singles
"After You"[89] 2018

As featured artist[edit]

List of singles as featured artist, with selected chart positions and certifications
Title Year Peak chart positions Certifications Album


(No Jumper featuring Tay-K and BlocBoy JB)
2018 14 4 Non-album single


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