25 Rappers- Take a minute to reflect on these artist that may have played a part in your life of HIP HOP. I know you can think back where you were in finding out about someone who passed. Pay tribute to them ...their music still lives on.
Who Died Too Young
( Crunkatlanta )
The drop on here from Breed was 3 days before his passing... and he was under the weather when he sent this to me . Miss ya Big Homie!!!
Too many of rap's greatest talents were taken from this mortal plane before their time.
Here's 25 microphone masters who had their best years snatched from them.
San Jose MC Charles Hicks, who rocked the mic under the name Charizma, was one of his area's most promising talents in the early 1990s. Along with his producer partner Peanut Butter Wolf, he knocked out clever, twisty rhymes that befitted his young age. After being signed to Hollywood Records, he recorded an album but it was shelved after he was mugged and shot dead in a senseless crime in 1993.
Thankfully, PBW saved the material and the album was finally released in 2003, ten years after his death.
Byrdgang member Stack Bundles barely got a chance to make a dent on the hip-hop world before being shot to death at the age of 24 outside his apartment. He first got a break from DJ Clue on some 2005 mixtapes and rapidly made a name for himself with excellent flows on cuts by Joe Budden and Jim Jones.
Alas, he never got to even drop a solo album before some hater dropped him.
Eminem's D12 posse had one real breakout star in the form of Proof, the gruff-voiced Detroit rapper who worked as Slim Shady's hypeman in 2000. His 2005 album Searching For Jerry Garcia is a bizarre classic, with the rapper getting inspiration from the former Grateful Dead frontman.
Unfortunately, the next year Proof got into an argument over a game of pool at Detroit's legendary
8 Mile club, shot his opponent in the head and was then shot to death by the club's bouncer.
Until MC Breed came along, hip-hop was a coastal affair. But the Flint, Michigan-born rapper proved that there was life
in the Midwest as well, breaking out with his 1991 hit "Ain't No Future In Yo Frontin'." His career decined through the
'90s but he was working on a comeback in 2008 when his kidneys collapsed during a basketball game. He was hospitalized
and died months later.
Ladies in the rap game have a hard time too - maybe less of them die from violence, but the reaper claims us all in the end. Such was the case with MC Trouble, born LaTasha Sheron Rogers. At the age of 20, she became the first female rapper signed to the legendary Motown Records, and had her first hit that same year with "(I Wanna) Make You Mine." Unfortunately, she was also suffering from
a brain tumor that, the next year, triggered an epileptic seizure and killed her in her sleep.
It's hard times when you try to get off the streets but the streets won't let you go. Lamont Coleman, who rapped as Big L, was one of the shining stars of the New York scene in the 90s, working with Cam'Ron, founding his own crew and releasing two awesome albums. He was about to be signed to Roc-A-Fella but in February of 1999 he was shot nine times in his own hood and died of his injuries. Speculation runs that he was being punished for indiscretions made by his brother,
who was in prison for drug charges.
Some MCs don't worry so much about dropping rhymes on wax, preferring instead to show their skills in battles and performances. One great loss was Minnesota-born MC Eyedea, who took the crown at the legendary Scribble Jam, HBO's Blaze Battle and other shows with his frenetic freestyles. Along with partner Abilities, he released a number of well-recieved albums before dying in his sleep from a drug overdose in October of 2010.
During the NWA days, Eazy E was mainly a hypeman - his lyrics were written by other members of the group, but his delivery was so insane that it made up for it. Eazy oozed the menace of the Compton streets, and you believed the insane violence coming out of his mouth. After the group broke up, he turned on his former partners with interest. Unfortunately, in 1995 he was rushed to the hospital, diagnosed with AIDS and died a month later. It's hard to argue that Eazy made the
world a better place, but he sure made it a more interesting one.
We were psyched when hyphy broke into the mainstream - the Bay Area-born subgenre brought a sense of pleasure and lightheartedness to hip-hop that the genre sorely needed at that point in time. That's why the 2004 death of pioneer Mac Dre was so hard to swallow. While leaving Kansas City, a white van pulled up alongside his car and opened fire, forcing it off the road. Paramedics found the rapper dead at the scene, the latest victim of what appeared to be an interstate gang war.
Ah, Houston - the town that brought purple drank into the nation's consciousness. As an original member of the Screwed Up Click, Kenneth "Big Moe" Moore developed a style of rapping and singing that was a perfect accompaniment to DJ Screw's lethargic, heavily slowed down beats. His only hit, "Purple Stuff," celebrated the codeine-laced cough syrup that also presumably led to his death from a heart attack in 2007.
The Wu-Tang Clan is one of those groups that likes to share the love - if you tried to create a master list of everybody they've worked with, it would take you all day. One group was the Almighty Black Knights, a West Coast posse that got wax on the Killa Bees release and was soldiering along looking for their big break. But for MC Dante Cunningham, AKA Doc Doom, that break would never come. He was shot dead in Compton in 2007 after having been recently released from jail.
One very underrated job in the hip-hop live show is the hypeman - the bundle of energy that keeps the crowd going in between verses and gets their attention when it starts to flag. Probably the best example is Flavor Flav from Public Enemy, but there are dozens of others. One that we lost too soon was Freaky Tah, the Queens-born member of the Lost Boyz. His high-energy micwork helped the group rise to rapid fame, but his career was cut short when, leaving fellow Lost Boy Mr. Cheeks' birthday at a Queens hotel, he was shot in the back of the head and killed.
Los Angeles isn't just the home of gangsta rap - there's other stuff coming out of the City of Angels. One exciting 90s movement was the Project Blowed collective, formed around a popular open mic at the Good Life Cafe in South Central. One group that came out of that scene was the Nonce, a duo who specialized in jazz-influenced beats and laid-back rhyming. They dropped two great albums but had their run cut short when rapper Yusef Afloat was found on the side of the 110 in a ditch, dying from unknown injuries.
Onyx were one of the breakthrough rap groups of the early 1990s, with their song "Slam" being pretty much inescapable. As is the case with most successful groups, they started bringing their friends and family up with them. One MC who started to make a name for himself was X1, the brother of Onyx rapper Sticky Fingaz. He had guested on all of their albums since 1998 and signed to Mike Tyson's label in 2000. Unfortunately, he took his own life by hanging in 2007, for reasons that have yet to be explained.
Daniel Dumille, aka MF Doom, has become a cult figure in the rap world, dropping twisted rhymes from behind a steel mask. But before he went underground, he was the co-MC of the group KMD (Kausing Much Damage), along with his brother Raheem (also known as Subroc). Subroc's witty, layered production and occasional rapping helped the group build a cult following, but the group tragically dissolved after he was hit by a car trying to cross the Long Island Expressway on foot.
Puerto Rico hadn't received too much rep in the rap game, but all that changed with the rapid ascent of Christopher Rios, the man known as Big Punisher. Pun got his start rapping on tracks by the Beatnuts before starting his solo career, busting out with "I'm Not A Player," which was an inescapable jam in 1997 and made him the first solo Latino rapper to go platinum. Alas, his lifestyle caught up with him, and he suffered a fatal heart attack brought on by his morbid obesity. At his death, he weighed just slightly under 700 pounds.
Another distaff entry on our list, Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes had some titanic highs and staggering lows. As a member of TLC, she sold millions of albums with a fusion of R&B and hip-hop. But egos naturally got in the way, and the band splintered. Lopes' private life was no calmer, with the rapper making tabloids for burning down her NFL player boyfriend's Atlanta mansion. In 2002, she was driving in Honduras when she attempted to pass a truck in front of her. Oncoming traffic forced her off the road and her car flipped, throwing her out the window and killing her.
The streets of South Central are as stained with blood as just about any place on Earth, and some of that blood belongs to potential hip-hop stars. One example was Johnny Burns, who rapped under the name Mausberg. Discovered by DJ Quik, he pulled guest spots on a bunch of recordings from artists like Snoop Dogg before dropping his first and only solo joint, Non Fiction, in 2000. Unfortunately, he wasn't around to see its success as he was robbed and shot to death in his home at the tender age of 21.
Keith "Cowboy" Wiggins
Before you think that rappers dying young is just a modern thing, let's take a trip back in the Wayback Machine as tragedy strikes one of the innovators of the movement. Keith "Cowboy" Wiggins was one of the original members of Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, appearing on tracks like "The Message" and "White Lines." Unfortunately, the anti-cocaine message of the latter was lost on Cowboy, who developed a monolithic crack habit. When the group split up for the second time in '89, Cowboy's soon died of complications from the AIDS virus.
Life on the East Coast can be just as rough as down in South Central. Hard-working rapper Eric Smith, better known as E-Moneybags, found that out with his life. After cutting tracks with artists like Tupac, Prodigy, Noreaga and Nas, he dropped his one and only solo joint in 1999. Unfortunately, he came into conflict with some of the biggest names in the game - mogul Jay-Z and drug kingpin Kenneth "Supreme" McGriff. It was the latter who ordered Smith's murder in 2001, in retaliation for E-Moneybags capping an associate of McGriff's. Sordid, sordid business.
This entry was known primarily as a DJ and producer, but he did drop a rhyme here and there and he is sorely, sorely missed, so let's get to it. J Dilla, born James Yancey, first came to wide attention as a member of the group Slum Village, but embarked on a solo career as well. He was signed to MCA but disagreements with the label (they wanted a more commercia sound) caused him to go independent. Unfortunately, as he was in the prime of his career a rare blood disease made it more and more difficult for him to work and perform, and he died of a heart attack in 2006, three days after the release of his final album.
Ol' Dirty Bastard
You know, the Ol' Diry Bastard died at the age of 35 - a bit older than most of the people on this list - but that was still too soon for Big Baby Jesus to be taken from us. The true wild card of the Wu-Tang Clan, ODB wrestled with drugs and mental illness throughout his life, going in and out of jail in between recording albums. In 2004, he collapsed on the floor of the RZA's studio, dead from a lethal cocktail of cocaine and Tramadol. Imagine the chaos he would have wreaked had he survived.
When we look at the grotesque beast that horrorcore rap has become (yes, Juggalos, I'm talking about you) it's easy to forget that the genre started out with a bona fide supergroup. When master producers Prince Paul and the RZA united with rappers Frukwan and Poetic to form the Gravediggaz, heads were shocked by their dark, esoteric rhymes and creepy production. A good part of those lyrics were contributed by Poetic, known here as the Grym Reaper. After the group's second album, he was diagnosed with colon cancer, an ailment that would eventually take his life.
It's crazy to think that Tupac was just 25 years old when he was shot to death in Las Vegas, Nevada. Few rpapers have made so much impact in so short a time. Starting out as a backup man for Digital Underground, Shakur quickly became famous for his detailed, socially conscious lyrics - he was a voracious reader who was unafraid to tackle tough topics in his songs. He had a tremendous work ethic, writing and recording hundreds of songs, and his post-death output has been almost as great as his pre-death output. He influenced scores of rappers and, had he not died, would be one of the most important artists in the game today.
And the flipside of the coin - the Notorious B.I.G. was only 24 when he died. Christopher Wallace broke out huge in the rap game with 1994's Ready To Die and quickly became the face of the New York scene, bringing members of his Junior M.A.F.I.A. to stardom with him. His feud with Tupac is the stuff of legends, with both sides claiming the other is responsible for the carnage that followed. In 1997, Biggie was shot in a drive-by in Los Angeles by an unknown assailant who has never been caught.
SHOUT OUT TO JAM MASTER JAY!!!!!! thanks..Brian Marcus (Revolutionary Records)
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