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Rap is violent music, and it is not surprising that it is accompanied by violence. The following is only a small sampling of this violence (with a few drug overdoses thrown in for good measure).
Rapper Scot Sterling (aka Scot La Rock), whose debut album was titled “Criminal Minded,” died in August 1987 at age 25 of a gunshot wound.
Rapper Michael Menson, of the group Double Trouble died in 1989 at age 29 when a gang soaked him in gasoline and set him afire. Double Trouble had a hit that same year titled “Street Tuff.”
MC Rock, rapper with The Almighty RSO, was stabbed to death in 1990 at roughly age 28.
Trouble T-Roy (Troy Dixon), rapper with Heavy D and the Boyz, fell off a balcony after a concert in 1990 at age 22.
Brandon Mitchell, rapper with Wreckx-N-Effect, was shot to death in 1990 at about age 20 during an argument over a woman.
Rapper Michael Robinson (a.k.a. The Mac) was shot dead in Vallejo, California, in about 1990 while sitting in his car with his pregnant girlfriend. He was about 20 years old.
Charizma, rapper with Peanut Butter Wolf, was shot to death in 1993 at age 20.
Deah Dame, rapper with Damian Dame, died in a car crash in 1994 at age 35.
Eazy-E (Eric Wright) of N.W.A., one of the founders of Gangsta rap, died of AIDS in 1995 at age 31. His lyrics focused on themes such as guns, drugs, anti-law enforcement, and deviant sex. He had seven children by six different women.
Mr. Cee, rapper with R.B.L. Posse (Ruthless By Law), died after being shot nine times on New Year’s morning of 1996 at about age 30.
Rapper Hitman (Ricky Herd) was shot to death in 1995 at age 24.
Randy Walker (aka Stretch) of Live Squad died of unknown cause in 1995 at age 27.
Tupac Shakur (aka 2Pac, Makaveli), a gangsta rap superstar who founded the Outlawz Immortalz after he was released from prison in 1995, was shot to death a year later at age 25. Time Warner Music helped pay Shakur’s $1.4 million bail. Outlaw is an acronym for Operating Under Thug Laws as Warriors. The members of the group took the names of various tyrants, brutal dictators, and enemies of America such as Fidel Castro, Idi Amin, and Saddam Hussein.
Yafeu Fula (aka Yaki Kadafi, Young Hollywood), of the Outlawz Immortalz, was shot to death in 1996 two months after the group’s founder Tupac Shakur. He was 19. He was shot by a cousin of Napoleon, another member of Outlawz.
Mr. Cee, rapper with R.B.L. Posse (Ruthless By Law), was shot to death in 1996 at about age 30.
Rapper Seagram Miller was shot to death in Oakland, California, in August 1996 at age 26.
Rappin’ Ron of Oakland, California, who recorded with Cell Block Records, died of a car crash in January 1997.
Rapper Young Lay of Vallejo, California, barely survived a gunshot wound to the head in 1997, but his baby was kidnapped and his live-in girlfriend died in an arson house fire.
Notorious B.I.G. (aka Biggie Smalls) (real name Christopher Wallace), gangsta rapper, was shot to death in 1997 at age 24. This was only three years after the release of his successful album “Ready to Die.” This album was filled with cursing, violence, and immorality. One cut was titled “Suicidal Thoughts,” and Notorious B.I.G. sang, “When I die, -----, I wanna go to hell.”
San Francisco Rapper JoJo White of Bored Stiff was shot to death in 1997.
Rapper DJ Caravan of FunkSoulJaz died in 1997 of unknown cause.
Gangsta Rapper Dion Stewart (aka The True Lesson Giver) of the duo Black Dynasty was shot to death while trying to rob a convenience store in 1997 at about age 30.
Fat Pat (Patrick Hawkins), rapper who recorded immoral songs, was shot to death in 1998 at age 26.
Rapper DJ Crazy Rak died in 1998 in a hotel fire in San Francisco. He was about 32 years old.
Luis “Papo” Deschamps, rapper with Sandy y Papo, died in a car crash in 1999 at age 23.
Malcolm Howard, rapper with 4 Black Faces, was shot to death execution style in 1999 at roughly age 30.
MC Big L (Lamont Coleman), rapper with Diggin’ In the Crates Crew, was shot to death outside his home in Harlem in 1999 at age 24.
Rapper MC Ant was shot to death in 1999 at roughly age 35.
Karnail Pitts (aka Bugz) of D12 died after he was shot three times and run over with a car in an altercation in 1999. He was about 30 years old.
Freaky Tah (Raymond Rogers), member of Lost Boyz, was shot to death while leaving a nightclub in New York City at 4 a.m. on a Sunday morning in March 1999 at age 27.
Matthew Roberts of Blaggers I.T.A. died in February 2000 at age 36 of drug related causes.
Q-Don (Raeneal Quann), rapper, was shot to death outside a Philadelphia nightclub in April 2000 at roughly age 30.
Yusef Afloat Muhammad, rapper with The Nonce, was found dead alongside a Los Angeles freeway in May 2000 at roughly age 28.
Big Pun (aka Big Punisher) (born Christopher Rios) died in 2000 of a heart attack at age 28.
Johnny Burns (aka Mausburg) was robbed and shot to death in his hometown of Compton, California, in 2000 at age 21.
Bruce Mayfield (aka Chip Banks and Bankie), rapper with The American Cream Team, was shot to death over a money dispute in November 2000 at age 30.
DJ Screw (Robert Davis, Jr.), founder of the Screwed Up Click and inventor of a hypnotic, slowed-down, drug-influenced style of rap called screw music, died in November 2000 of a drug-induced heart attack at age 30. He had long abused codeine.
Erik Carson (aka Eclipse) was shot to death at 1:30 a.m. on November 14, 2000, in Oakland, California, at age 23.
Bruce Washington (aka Hussein Fatal), of the Outlawz, was imprisoned in 2000 for slashing a person’s face and stomach and another person’s arm and chest with a box cutter.
Lloyd “Mooseman” Roberts, rapper who worked with Iggy Pop, Ice-T, and Body Count, died in a drive-by shooting in February 2001 at roughly age 28.
Prince Ital Joe, reggae and rapper who worked with Tupac and Snoop Dogg, died in a car crash in May 2001 at age 37 or 38.
Tonnie Sheppard, rapper and cousin of rapper Haf-A-Mil, was stabbed to death in a recording studio during a fight with studio executives in May 2001 at age 38 or 39.
Coughnut, rapper with Ill Mannered Posse, died in a car crash in September 2001 at age 33. The California Highway Patrol report said that alcohol was probably a factor in the crash that killed two other people, including rapper D Mac.
Rapper Mastif (“How Bout Dat” and “Mild Mind”) died of possible heart disease in November 2001 at age 33.
Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes, singer with rap group TLC, died in a car crash in April 2002 at age 30. A few days before her own death, Lisa had hit and killed a 10-year-old boy with her car in Honduras.
Jam Master Jay, rapper with the popular group Run-DMC, was shot to death outside his recording studio in Queens in October 2002 at age 37 by an unknown assailant. This is the latest in a long string of violence associated with rappers, who produce a style of music that is infamously violent in nature (though Jam Master Jay himself was more positive than most).
Sabotage (Mauro Mateus dos Santos) was shot to death in January 2003 at age 29 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. It is believed he was killed by revenge from a drug dealer.
Jason Johnson (a.k.a. Camoflauge), Georgia-based rapper, was shot to death in May 2003 at age 21 in front of Pure Pain Records in Savannah.
Rapper Speedy Loc died of an unreported medical condition on June 13, 2003. He was about 30 years old.
B Brazy of Damu Ridaz died in 2003 of unknown cause. He was about 25.
San Francisco rapper Double D (Darrel Anderson) was killed in August 2003. He was about 30.
Rapper Lil Bo of the Eastside Boyz was killed in 2003 at about age 25.
Soulja Slim was shot to death in 2003 in New Orleans at age 26. His “explicit content” rated album “Give It 2 ‘Em Raw” featured violent cover art. Police have said that a later murder was in retaliation for Slim’s death.
In November 2003, Anthony “Wolf” Jones,” 38-year-old former bodyguard for “P. Diddy” Combs, was shot to death in a gunfight outside an Atlanta nightclub. $7,000 was found on Jones’ body. Jones and Combs had been acquitted of gun possession and bribery charges stemming from a 1999 shooting inside a New York nightclub.
In December 2003, federal prosecutor Jonathan Luna was gunned down during the trial of rapper Deon Lionnel Smith, who was accused of running a violent drug ring.
Rapper Freako of Ghetto Stars was shot to death in February 2004 at about age 25.
Rapper Juston Potts (aka Kanyva) murdered his promoter on June 7, 2004, because “she told him he didn’t have the talent to sell records” (“Aspiring rapper arrested in killing,” San Francisco Chronicle, June 8, 2004).
Rapper Holy Quran was shot and killed in 2004. He was about 25.
Russell Tyrone Jones (aka Ol’ Dirty Bastard) of Wu-Tang Clan died in November 2004 of a drug overdose at age 36.
Rapper Andre Hicks (aka Mac Dre or Dr. Dre) was shot to death in 2004 at age 34. A news report said, “His death was as violent as the lyrics to some of his most popular songs.” Police say that Hicks was part of a gang that robbed banks and pizza parlors, and in 1992 he was sentenced to 5 years in prison. His rapper nickname, Mac, describes a man that women would pay to have sex with. Police say that at least three people were killed in retaliatory shootings after Dre’s death.
Rapper Anthony Watkins (aka Fat Tone) of Kansas City was shot to death in 2005 at age 24. He was murdered by rapper Mac Minister because he was suspected to have murdered Andrew Hicks (Mac Dre) the previous year.
In April 2005 Wipeout, a Detroit rapper, was shot to death outside a nightclub.
Blade Icewood (Darnell Lindsay), Detroit rapper, was shot to death in April 2005 at age 28. Seven months earlier he had been shot seven times with an AK-47 rifle and left paralyzed from the chest down and bound to a wheelchair. He was a member of the Lord’z underground rap group.
DeShaun Holton (aka Proof) of D12 was shot to death at a bar in Detroit in April 2006 at age 32. He was the best man at rapper Eminem’s wedding to his former wife Kim four months earlier. Proof first shot 35-year-old Keith Bender in the head and was then shot by an unknown third party.
Rapper Big Hawk (John Edward Hawkins) of Houston, Texas, of DJ Screw’s Screwed Up Click, was shot to death in May 2006 at age 36. His brother, Patrick Hawkins (aka Fat Pat), was shot to death in 1998 when he was in his 20s.
Rapper Vital of the Da Bombsquad was murdered in October 2006 when he was 28. His body was found in a field.
In January 2007 rapper Busta Rhymes (Trevor Smith) was arrested and charged with punching and kicking a man. He was also charged with assault in August 2006. In February 2006 his bodyguard Israel Ramirez was shot to death.
Stack Bundles (Rayquon Elliot), “an up-and-coming New York rapper” affiliated with Byrd Gang Records, was shot to death in June 2007 at 5 a.m. in the morning outside his home after partying all night with friends. He was 24.
Rapper Skee 64 (Toby Rios) died in March 2007 at about age 28.
Rapper Woodie of San Francisco died in March 2007 of unknown cause at about age 35.
Many other California rappers are affiliated with infamous Bloods gangs. These include DJ Quik, Suge Knight, The Game, the rappers of the Boo-Yaa Tribe, Mack 10, B-Real, and DJ Zombie (http://www.ufaqs.com/wiki/en/bl/Bloods.htm).
Two members of the rap group Damu Ridaz, with ties to the Bloods, were shot and killed in 2007 while in their 20s. B-Brazy and G Spider were both shot and killed at different times by Mexican gangs. Lil Hawk of Damu Ridaz is in prison serving a life sentence.
Influential rapper Pimp C (Chad Butler) of the rap duo Underground Kingz (UGK) was found dead in a motel room in December 2007 at age 33 of an overdose of promethazine and codeine, which is called syrup (or “drank” or “lean” or “purp” or purple drank) by rappers. His songs dealt with “descriptions of sex and conspicuous consumption and triple-beam scales used to weigh drugs.” One of the rapper’s biggest hits was “Sippin’ on Some Syrup.” Underground Kingz is a very influential duo, having laid the groundwork for the explosion of hip hop in the South. Pimp C spent three years in jail for aggravated assault.
VL Mike (Michael Allen) was shot to death in April 2008 in New Orleans at age 32. He rapped with Chopper City Boyz on the album We Got This.
Toro (Derek Johnson) was shot to death in Miami in October 2008 near a strip club. He was 23.
Shakir Stewart, head of hip-hop label Def Jam Recordings, shot himself to death in Atlanta in 2008. He was 34.
Rapper Dolla (Roderick Anthony Burton) was shot to death in May 2009 outside a shopping mall. He was 21. His Myspace page said, “I’m not influenced by rappers I’m influenced by gangsters.”
New York City rapper G Baby Brown was shot to death on March 13, 2010, at age 22 by an unknown assailant as he was leaving a nightclub.
Bad News Brown (Paul Frappier, aka BNB and Briz Brown) was shot to death in February 2011 in Montreal, Quebec.
Rapper M-Bone (real name Mante Ray Talbert) of Call Swag District was shot to death in May 2011 in a drive-by shooting while sitting in a car outside a liquor store. He was 22.
Chris Kelly of rapper group Kris Kross died of a possible drug overdose in September 2011 at age 34.
Heavy D, a popular rapper (real name Dwight Myers), died in November 2011 at age 44 of unknown cause.
Killa Keise was shot to death in November 2011. He recorded with the Thizz music label, which started as Romp Records founded by Mac Dre, who was killed in 2004.
Rapper Slim Dunkin (Mario Hamilton) was shot to death in December 2011 after an altercation outside a music studio where he was shooting a video. He was about 25.
Lil Phat (Melvin Vernell III) was shot to death in June 2012 at age 19. A year earlier one of his associates was arrested for second-degree murder after a shooting at one of his concerts.
Chris Lighty, rapper mogul who managed Sean Diddy Combs and Missy Elliott, shot himself to death in 2012 at age 44.
Rapper Kenneth Cluth (Kenny Cherry Jr.) died in a shooting in Las Vegas in February 2013.
Lil Snupe was shot to death in June 2013 in Louisiana at age 18. His music was published by Dream Chasers.
Pavlos Fyssas (aka Killah P) was murdered in Athens in September 2013 at age 34.
Depzman (Joshua Ribera) was stabbed to death in September 2013 at age 18 outside of a night club in Birmingham, England. That night he had attended a tribute to a friend who had been knifed to death.
Rapper Doe B (Glenn Thomas) was shot to death outside of a bar in Montgomery, Alabama, on December 29, 2013. He was 22.
Rapper Kay Pee Lashore (Reno Glass) was shot to death in Chicago on April 15, 2014. He was 16.
Rapper Earl Hayes murdered his wife,VH-1 television star and dancer Stephanie Moseley, then committed suicide in December 2014. He was 34.
In March 2015, rap promoter James “Jimmy the Henchman” Rosemond was sentenced to life plus 20 years for a murder-for-hire plot that resulted in the death of Lowell Fletcher, an associate of the rap groupg G-Unit. Rosemond is the head of Czar Entertainment.
In April 2015, rapper Ronald “Ra Diggs” Herron was sentenced to 12 terms of life in prison plus 105 years for three murders and other violent crimes. Prosecutors used his own violent gangsta rap videos to help convict him.
In July 2015, Chicago rapper Capo (Marvin Carr) was shot and killed. He was part of Chief Keff’s Glo Gang label.
In May 2016, one young man was killed and three wounded in a shooting at a rapper concert by T.I. (Clifford Harris Jr.) in New York City. Among the wounded was rapper Troy Ave (Roland Collins) who was opening for T.I.
On July 10, 2016, rapper Jermaine Scofield was shot to death in Baltimore, and at a candlelight vigil the next day, five people were shot and wounded by an unknown assailant.
“List of Dead Rappers” on “Hip-Hop Database Wiki,” without dates or details of death, include the following: .38 (Southpark Coalition), A.C. Chill, Apache, Baatin (Slum Village), B-Brazy (Damu), Big D.S. (Onyx), Big Punisher, Boody Mary (Bangin on Wax CD), Buff (Fat Boys), B-Grazy (Damu), CreepyFace (Kansas City Rapper), Chaos Kid (D12), Cowboy (Grandmaster Flash and Furious 5), Camu Tao, Capital Steez (Pro Era), Clip-D (ABN), Coughnut (IMP), CAS (Castro), DJ Train, Doe B (Hustle Gang), Eyedea, Flipside (O.F.T.B.), Fo’ Clips, Grym Reaper (Gravediggaz), G-Slimm, Guru (Gang Starr), Grace Bandza Samba, Half a Mill, Hittman (RBL Posse), Jimme Wallstreet, J Dilla (Jay Dee of Slum Village), Big BG, Jokez, Killa Sha, Kilo-G, KMG the Illustrator (Above the Law), Left Eye (TLC), Lil Jojo (BDK, FBG), Lil Laniak 2 (L.A. Denver Lane Bloods), Lil Jeff (BDK and FBG), Lil Bango (Luchi Ent), LA Capone (600), Lord Infamous, Mac-11 (Watts Franklin Square Crips), Real Nigga Shin (O Squad), Michael Price (Slowed Down Music), Marlon Brando (Sporty Thievz), Magic, MC Trouble, Mr Cee, MCA (Beastie Boys), Magnolia Shorty, M-1 (Raw Deal), Natina Reed (Blaque), No Game, Nut (Street Military), Nate Dogg, Professor X (X Clan), Pimp Daddy, Party Arty, Petey Parker (Prominent Sons), Rappin Ron (Bad N-fluenz), Rammellzee, Saxon Meyer, Sinnister, Stack Bundles (Riot Squad), Subroc, Tony Trapz (Toronto), Viro the Virus, Yella Boi, Wne, Woodie, X-1 (Onyx), Yaki Khadafi (Outlawz).
Screwed Up Click (also known as S.U.C., Soldiers United 4 Cash) is a rapper collective led by DJ Screw of Houston, Texas. Rappers associated with Screwed Up Click who have died young include Baytown, B.G. Gator (suicide), Big Hawk (H.A.W.K.), Big Mello (car crash in 2002), Big Rue, Big Steve, DJ Screw (drug overdose), Fat Pat, D-Pac, Fooly Wayne, Hard Jarv, Hard Ward, Jason, Lil Boo, Pat Lemmon, Tee Lee, and Trebl Treb.
Other rappers that died young of drugs or violence in the last 20 years include Karizma of San Jose, California, Plan B of Oakland, Black Cee of San Francisco, Black C, DJ Co V C of Funxsouljaz, 4-1-So-Sicc-Ass-Rell of Cold World Hustlers, Lil' Bo, Billboard of Black Wall Street, Nate Dogg (2011), Tim Dog (2011), Woodie (2007), Wake Flocka.
“Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners” (1 Cor. 15:33).
“My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not. ... My son, walk not thou in the way with them; refrain thy foot from their path: For their feet run to evil, and make haste to shed blood” (Proverbs 1:10, 15, 16).
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