The rapper had been in LA recording his debut album
Los Angeles police have charged a man over the killing of US rapper Dolla, who was shot dead outside an upscale shopping mall earlier this week.
Aubrey Louis Berry, 23, is accused of shooting the 21-year-old rapper, whose real name was Roderick Anthony Burton II, in the head on Monday.
If convicted of murder and two other assault charges, Mr Berry faces a maximum of life in prison.
Lawyer Howard Price said his client had pulled the trigger in self-defence.
Dolla was shot after a fight reportedly broke out. He later died at Cedars Sinai Medical Center.
The LA District Attorney's office said Mr Berry drove away from the scene of the crime and was later arrested at Los Angeles International Airport, where he was allegedly carrying a loaded gun.
Police have not discussed a motive for the killing, but Price said Mr Berry, a music promoter, feared for his life after he and the rapper had an altercation at an Atlanta nightclub earlier this month.
He said his client was trying to leave the city because he feared for his safety.
Price claimed that on the day of the murder, Burton had threatened Mr Berry in the toilets and followed him to the valet area, which was why he opened fire.
He added that his client did not file a police report after the earlier altercation in Atlanta because "he knew who he was dealing with", alleging the rapper was affiliated with the notorious LA Crips gang.
A spokeswoman for the district attorney's office would not comment on the evidence, but said that details presented by detectives were sufficient to support the murder and assault charges.
Mr Berry made his first court appearance on Wednesday, when his bail was raised from $1.1m (£702,000) to $5m (£3.2m). He postponed entering a plea until a court hearing on Friday.
Burton had been in LA to record his debut album, which was due to be released this summer.
The up-and-coming rapper caught the attention of R&B singer and producer Akon at the age of 12 as he performed with friends at showcases around Atlanta.
The two collaborated on Dolla's first single, which also featured rapper T-Pain.
Another single, Feelin' Myself, was on the soundtrack of 2006 dance film Step Up.