debby tattoo toronto

Someone in Toronto got a memorial tattoo of Debby after she died

It's been nearly two weeks since Toronto was crushed to learn that local rapper and Instagram personality Debby had passed away, falling victim to Canada's ongoing opioid overdose crisis at just 18 years of age.

The spirited teen, whose real name was Alexis Matos, left behind little by way of family, but she did have many fans (#DebbyGang4Life) and friends around the city — some of whom have paid tribute to the young entertainer in creative, impactful ways.

One of those close friends, Matthew Ward Jackson (aka the recording artist Krucifix14), decided to honour the late Debby with a memorial tattoo.

Inked by the incredibly talented Judy Cai, who specializes in black and grey realism, the piece shows Debby as she presented herself to the world. Literally; it's a bang-on reproduction of a portrait she posted to Instagram in May.

"Debby deserves more attention and a foundation to help kids with drug addictions," said Jackson to blogTO when asked about the tattoo.

"She was very special and unique person. She still has a lot of pages in her book to be told."

Like Debby, Jackson had already gotten plenty of tattoos before commissioning his latest. He turned to Cai for the memorial piece, as they've worked together in the past and he knew that she'd be talented enough to pull it off.

"Matt had told me that they were good friends," said Cai, noting that Debby also had his name tattooed on her face.

"This piece meant a lot to him and many others in the city, so I was honored to do this tattoo and make it a beautiful memorial piece... I really enjoy doing work like that because [clients are] trusting me to put something meaningful and permanent on thier body that they can keep for the rest of their life."

While Cai didn't know Debby personally, she told blogTO that she'd heard plenty about the young 6ixbuzzTV star via Jackson, and that she, similar to so many others in the city, was sad to learn of her passing.

"I feel like she was too young and it's really tragic to hear about what she went through," she said. "Homelessness and addiction is a sad reality, this should be a real eye opener for the system and the city to take issues like this seriously."

Cai, who works out of two locations in Toronto (Odalisque Studios and Matchbox Tattoo), posted a photo of the piece on Instagram just a few days after news broke that Debby had passed away.

It clearly resonated with the local community as fans not only mourned the young woman's death but debated what kind of a role Instagram outlets like 6ixbuzz played in enabling Debby's continued harassment both online and in the real world.

"Bruh this is f*ckin everything," wrote one commenter on the photo of Jackson's new tattoo. "This is so good," wrote another. "Debbie Gang Rip," wrote another commenter still. "Everybody just watched her crash out, sad."

Many fans also paid tribute to the local icon by donating money for funeral costs through GoFundMe, though after it was learned that the City of Toronto would cover these costs (as it does for all people experiencing homelesness or whose estates do not have sufficient funds), the funds have been reallocated.

In an update published last week, campaign organizer Chantal Bos wrote that she had spoken to Debby's mother about what to do with the nearly $10,000 donated in her name. They decided to put about $2,800 of it toward a headstone for the young woman and donate the rest to charity.

"All proceeds will be going toward other youth who need help with mental health and drug addiction, and the rest to the Humane Society for her love for animals," reads the update. "It's what Alexis would have wanted."

Lead photo by

jctattoos_


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