Hot Since 82 telling about the gang armed attack
Hot Since 82 telling about the gang armed attack

DJ Hot Since 82 Attacked by A Gang Using AK-47 in Brazil

DJ Hot Since 82 Flees Brazil After Harrowing Armed Gang Attack: "I Don't Know If I'll Ever Return"

What was supposed to be another stop on the global touring circuit for British DJ Hot Since 82 turned into a terrifying brush with death at the hands of an armed gang in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. In a harrowing series of events in the early morning hours following a gig, the 41-year-old dance music artist Daley Padley and his crew had to take evasive action to escape for their lives after being targeted in an apparent set-up and attempted robbery.

“They knew exactly where we were, what car, and where we were going to be at what time, which leads me to believe we were set up,” Hot Since 82 recounted in a series of emotional video messages shared with his 520,000 Instagram followers immediately after the incident. “If it wasn’t for the heroic maneuvers of our driver, I don’t even know if we’d be alive right now.”

The terrifying ordeal began around 5 a.m. as Hot Since 82 and his team left the Casa França Brasil venue after his performance, heading to the airport for upcoming festival appearances at Warung Festival and Time Warp Brazil. Roughly 10 minutes into their drive, another vehicle carrying masked gang members brandishing AK-47 assault rifles pulled up alongside them on the motorway.

We were on a busy motorway, the car in front had braked for us to stop, and then the people hung out of the car windows with balaclavas and AK47s,” he described of the moment the attack began to unfold. Thinking quickly, Hot Since 82’s driver threw the car into reverse and raced backwards down the dark highway, weaving through oncoming traffic at high speeds as the armed gang gave chase.

“Our driver put the car in reverse and we’ve been flying down a busy motorway the wrong way, weaving in and out of cars,” he said. “If the AK47s didn’t get us, then we are really lucky we didn’t have a really bad car crash because we are weaving in and out of oncoming traffic going 60, 70 mph with the car full of AK47s following us. They were adamant they were going to get us.”

In a scene straight out of an action movie, the high-speed reverse chase continued for miles as Hot Since 82 and his team tried desperately to escape their armed pursuers. “Obviously as you can imagine it was like a scene out of Fast and Furious,” he said. “I’m giggling about it but I am broken inside.”

The near-death experience has left Hot Since 82 severely shaken and rethinking his priorities as a touring artist. As a husband and father with another child on the way in just six weeks, he says he can no longer risk being in such dangerous situations. “I have children at home, my wife is about to deliver our next baby in six weeks’ time, I can’t risk being in a position like this. It’s not worth it, no DJ show or fee is worth it.

Equally disturbing is the implication from Hot Since 82 that the attack was premeditated, suggesting someone leaked his travel details to the criminal gang. “It makes you lose faith in humanity to think somebody has told these shooters where we are going to be,” he said. “I have had to change hotel rooms and booked the first flight out of here.

The DJ, who is originally from Leeds, England and founded the respected Knee Deep In Sound label, expressed sympathy for Brazilians who have to live under constant fear of such violence. “I sympathize with the people of Brazil who have to live their daily life like this in fear. Going to a club to DJ should be about happiness and bringing joy to people’s lives, not leaving a club and wondering if I am going to get home safe.

Unfortunately, Rio de Janeiro and other parts of Brazil have long grappled with the scourge of heavily armed organized crime gangs and drug trafficking groups, who wield immense power and resources. Despite government crackdown efforts, the gangs have continued to expand their illicit operations and grip on entire neighborhoods through sheer firepower and brutality. Their involvement in local communities from a young age has created a difficult cycle of violence and criminality to break.

While he “had such a wicked time in Rio” otherwise and raved about how “the people are amazing,” the traumatic incident has made Hot Since 82 unsure if he can ever bring himself to return to Brazil out of safety concerns. “I don’t know if I’ll ever come back to Brazil now,” he said somberly. “It’s not fair. Humanity is so cruel man. I feel a bit emotional but I am a bit f**kin emotional.

In the aftermath, Hot Since 82 canceled his upcoming performances at Warung Festival and Time Warp Brazil, immediately flying home to be with his family in the UK. He is just the latest artist and public figure to experience unsettling run-ins with crime while working in Brazil, which continues to struggle to get a handle on the expansive criminal enterprises operating within its borders.

While thriving musical scenes in cities like Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo have made Brazil a frequent tour stop for international DJs and acts, this deeply troubling incident shows the very real dangers they can face when traveling to perform in certain regions.