The Current Status of Every Murdered Rapper's Case

It was on a late August night in New York City in 1987 when hip-hop may have first lost its innocence. Almost 14 years to the day after DJ Kool Herc spun the genre into existence with his first-ever block party in the Bronx, Scott La Rock of Boogie Down Productions was shot in the head and neck in the same borough, later dying of his wounds at Misericordia Hospital. He was 25 years old.

La Rock's murder was the first, but by no means the last, hip-hop slaying that has gone unsolved by the police. For a genre of music that is no stranger to discussing the realities of the struggles in the inner cities, hip-hop artists have fallen victim to violence far too often over the years, with authorities largely ineffective in their efforts to find responsible parties.

Consider some of the facts. In the 28 years between Scott La Rock's shooting death in the Bronx in 1987 and Dex Osama's killing in Detroit five weeks ago—the most recent case of a rapper killed—we've documented 63 rappers who have been murdered, nearly two per year. Of those 63 murders, only a handful have been definitively solved. That leaves more than 40 MCs cut down before their time whose murders have never been solved by the police. To put that number in perspective, NPR reported in March 2015 that the national "clearance rate" for homicides in the United States stands at 64.1 percent. Those numbers are so far apart they'd almost be laughable if they weren't so sobering.

Clearly, there's a disconnect somewhere between the national murder "clearance rate" and the one that exists when a hip-hop artist is involved. It's particularly jarring when considering how high-profile some of these cases are; the murders of Tupac Shakur, The Notorious B.I.G., Jam Master Jay and Big L, for example, are all among the unsolved cases, despite each of them occurring more than a decade ago. And it's led to insinuations and backlash against a segment of music that is still growing in influence. "In some respects, rap music and violence seem to go hand in hand," La Rock's manager Scotty Morris told the New York Times almost 30 years ago following his client's murder. "But it's not the music itself, it's the environment. Violence was here long before hip-hop."

Already in 2015, five rappers have been murdered in cities across the country—New York, Detroit, Oakland, Chicago and Bogalusa, La.—with no charges filed in any of the five deaths. Unfortunately, it's not a new story. Now, XXL takes a look at the current status of the cases of 63 hip-hop murders that have occurred over the past 30 years. —Emmanuel C.M., Miranda J., Roger Krastz, Sidney Madden, Dan Rys and Vanessa Satten; Additional reporting by Paul Thompson

Criminal Minded

Scott La Rock

Scott La Rock

Gov't Name: Scott Monroe Sterling
Age: 25
Birthdate: March 2, 1962
Repped: South Bronx
Affiliates: KRS-One, D-Nice
Notable Releases: Albums: Criminal Minded
Date of Murder: Aug. 27, 1987
Status of Case: Unsolved

Scott La Rock alongside KRS-One formed the collective known as Boogie Down Productions in 1986. The next year, BDP released their debut album, Criminal Minded, but the success of the group was short lived after La Rock was gunned down on Aug. 27, 1987. Attempting to squash a fight between his cousin D-Nice and a group of young men, La Rock was mortally wounded in a Jeep outside the Bronx's Highbridge projects and died hours later in the hospital from a shot to the neck. The next year, Cory Bayne and Kendall Newland were arrested for the crime, but as the case had no willing witnesses to testify, the suspects were acquitted. —Roger Krastz

Wrecks-N-Effect

B-Doggs

B-Doggs

Gov’t Name: Brandon Mitchell
Age: 20
Birthdate: Approx. 1970
Repped: Harlem
Affiliates: Wreckx-n-Effect, Teddy Riley, Redhead Kingpin
Notable Releases: Group Albums: Wreckx-n-Effect's Wrecks-n-Effect (1989); Singles: “Let’s Do It Again,” “Go For What U Know,” “New Jack Swing,” “Juicy”
Date of Murder: Aug. 8, 1990
Status of Case: Unsolved

B-Doggs was part of Wreckx-n-Effect, a New York new jack swing group founded in 1987. Other original members included K.C., Aqil "A-Plus" Davidson, B-Doggs and Markell Riley, brother to Teddy Riley (of Guy and later Blackstreet fame), who produced for the group along with Redhead Kingpin. Signed to Motown, Wreckx-n-Effect released their self-titled debut album in 1989 as a trio after K.C. left the group. The LP landed went as high as No. 16 on Billboard’s Top R&B/Hip-Hop albums chart with the help of singles “New Jack Swing” and “Juicy.” Not long after the release of the album, B-Doggs was shot and killed during an alleged argument over a woman. Very little is known about the murder besides the fact that it still remains unsolved. —Vanessa Satten

Planting A Seed

D-Boy

D-Boy

Gov’t Name: Daniel Rodriguez
Age: 22
Birthdate: Nov. 10, 1967
Repped: Dallas
Affiliates: Angie Alan, Corey Red
Notable Releases Album: Plantin’ A Seed (1989); Single: “Pick Yourself Up”
Date of Murder Oct. 6, 1990
Status of Case Unsolved

Hailing from Dallas, D-Boy was one of the first Christian rappers. A counselor at Street Church Academy, a ministry run by his parents, D was an influential figure in his neighborhood. The Puerto Rican MC rapped about both gang life, his faith and his belief in God and released his solo debut album Plantin’ A Seed in 1989 via Frontline Records. At around 4 a.m. on Oct. 6, 1990, D was shot in the chest during an alleged carjacking in East Dallas. The young rapper managed to drive a few blocks before he is supposed to have crashed into a curb, flipping the car. His murder remains unsolved and there have never been any suspects in the crime. Since D-Boy’s death, a posthumous album and tribute LP in his honor were released in 1990 and 2006, respectively. —Vanessa Satten

Big Shots

Charizma

Charizma

Gov't Name: Charles Hicks
Age: 20
Birthdate: July 6, 1973
Repped: Milpitas, Calif.
Affiliates: Peanut Butter Wolf
Notable Releases: Group Album: Peanut Butter Wolf & Charizma’s Big Shots (posthumous, 2003); Singles: "My World Premiere" and "Red Light, Green Light"
Date of Murder: Dec. 16, 1993
Status of Case: Solved

Three years before Peanut Butter Wolf would go on to start Stones Throw Records, he performed in a hip-hop duo alongside Cali MC Charizma. The two had a record deal with Hollywood Basic and a growing buzz, but Charizma was shot and killed in broad daylight in an apparent robbery gone wrong in December of 1993. While sitting in his car at a stop light in front of a church in East Palo Alto—reportedly on the way to pick up lunch for his mother—a man approached the young MC, who resisted; the man then shot the rapper, resulting in his death. The man who killed him was arrested the same day, identified by a preacher watering the lawn outside the church, and convicted after a lengthy trial. He is currently serving a life sentence in San Quentin prison in California. —Dan Rys

Pimpin Out

Pimp Daddy

Pimp Daddy

Gov't Name: Edgar Givens
Age: 18
Birthdate: 1976
Repped: New Orleans
Affiliates: Birdman, Ms. Tee, Cheeky Blakk, Mannie Fresh
Notable Releases: Albums: Still Pimpin' (1994) and Pimpin' Ain't E-Z (posthumous, 1996); Single: "Got 2 Be Real"
Date of Murder: April 18, 1994
Status of Case: Unsolved

One of Cash Money’s first signings, Edgar Givens typified the New Orleans bounce sound that had a stranglehold over the city in the early to mid 1990s, even influencing Birdman’s rapping style when the Cash Money chief still went by B-32. But shortly after he released his debut album, Still Pimpin’, Pimp was shot in the face and killed in New Orleans' Florida Projects on April 18, 1994, apparently after an argument with his girlfriend's brother or cousin, depending on reports. He was 18 years old. He had apparently been dating Cash Money's Ms. Tee, another bounce artist on the label, though a separate N.O. bounce MC named Cheeky Blakk claimed to be the mother of his child, leading to speculation that there was another angle or motive to the murder. —Dan Rys

YouTube

Stretch

Stretch

Gov't Name: Randy Walker
Age: 27
Birthdate: Aug. 21, 1968
Repped: Queens
Affiliates: 2pac, Live Squad
Notable Releases: Singles: Live Squad’s “Murderahh!/Heartless”; Guest Appearances: 2pac’s “Crooked Ass Nigga”; Productions: 2pac’s “Holler If Ya Hear Me”
Date of Murder: Nov. 30, 1995
Status of Case: Unsolved

A founding member of Queens trio Live Squad and frequent 2pac collaborator, Stretch was best known as a producer for 2pac’s 2pacalypse Now and Strictly 4 My N.I.G.G.A.Z. and for being present with ’Pac during the Quad Studios shooting in 1994, after which the two had a falling out. But almost exactly one year later, Stretch was driving through Queens after dropping off his brother when three men in a black car began chasing his own vehicle. Just after 12:30 a.m., four bullets tore through him and he crashed and flipped his minivan in the Queens Village neighborhood. No one was ever arrested for Stretch’s murder, though the timing—a year to the day since the Quad incident—was peculiar to police. In 2007, police named a suspect in Jam Master Jay’s 2002 murder, Ronald "Tenad" Washington, and also linked him to Stretch’s murder. Washington was never officially charged in Stretch’s killing. —Dan Rys

YouTube

Mr. Cee

Mr. Cee

Gov't Name: Kyle Church III
Age: 22
Birthdate: 1973
Repped: San Francisco
Affiliates: Black C, RBL Posse
Notable Releases: Group Albums: RBL Posse's Lesson To Be Learned (1992) and Ruthless by Law (1994); Singles: “Don't Give Me No Bammer,” “Bounce To This”
Date of Murder: Jan. 1, 1996
Status of Case: Unsolved

After releasing Lesson to Be Learned and Ruthless by Law, RBL Posse signed a major label deal with Atlantic Records subsidiary Big Beat in 1995. However a few months later on Jan. 1, 1996, Mr. Cee of RBL was shot nine times on Harbor Road, less than a mile from his family home. Witnesses say Cee, real name Kyle Church, was hanging out New Year’s morning with a number of friends in Hunters Point when a lone gunman came and shot at the crowd where Church was standing. The incident reportedly stemmed from a beef the gunman had with one of the people in Church's crew. An assailant wearing a hooded sweatshirt and carrying a black 9mm semi-automatic ran up to Church and began firing. When Church fell to the ground, the gunman reportedly kept shooting, suggesting an assassination, before fleeing. The murder set off a series of retaliatory killings in Hunters Point, which later included his group mate Hitman, who was shot in the head in 2003. —Emmanuel C.M.

Dark Roads

Seagram

Seagram

Gov’t Name: Seagram Miller
Age: 27
Birthdate: April 13, 1969
Repped: Oakland
Affiliates: Geto Boys
Notable Releases: Albums: The Dark Roads (1992), Reality Check (1994) and Souls On Ice (posthumous, 1997)
Date of Murder: July 31, 1996
Status of Case: Unsolved

Bay area rapper Seagram, who repped the 69 Ville housing projects in East Oakland, was the first West Coast artist to signed to Houston’s famed Rap-A-Lot Records. During the course of his career, Seagram dropped two solo albums before being gunned down. On the night of July 31, 1996, Seagram and fellow rapper Gangsta P were both shot by an unidentified gunman while they were getting out of a van in East Oakland. P survived his wounds but Seagram died an hour after the shooting at Highland Hospital, having suffered multiple gunshot wounds. There have been no suspects in the crime. Police say Seagram released a song dissing a rival gang in 1993, which upset a local drug kingpin who then made an attempt on the rapper’s life. Seagram was unharmed at the time. Authorities have never officially connected the two shootings. —Vanessa Satten

YouTube

2pac

2Pac

Gov't Name: Tupac Amaru Shakur
Age: 25
Birthdate: June 16, 1971
Repped: Los Angeles
Affiliates: Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Suge Knight, The Outlawz
Notable Releases: Albums: Me Against The World (1995), All Eyez On Me (1996), The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory (posthumous, 1997); Singles: “Dear Mama,” “Hit 'Em Up,” “California Love,” “Me Against The World,” “Hail Mary,” “Keep Ya Head Up”
Date of Murder: Sept. 13, 1996
Status of Case: Unsolved

The murder of Tupac Shakur is one of the most notorious unsolved killings in hip-hop history. The icon was shot in Las Vegas at the age of 25 on Sept. 7, 1996, dying six days later at University Medical Center due to complications from his bullet wounds. On the night 'Pac was shot, Suge Knight was driving a black 1996 BMW with 'Pac riding in the passenger seat. A white Cadillac then pulled up on the passenger side, firing off 14 rounds. Tupac was struck four times; twice in the chest, once in the arm and once in the thigh. Knight was hit with bullet fragments, but was able to drive the car about a mile away before being pulled over by bike patrol on Las Vegas Boulevard and Harmon Avenue. Paramedics were radioed and the two were taken to University Medical Center. There, Tupac underwent two surgeries and had his right lung removed. Shakur's case remains unsolved.

A possible suspect by the name of Orlando Anderson had been identified by the LAPD though never arrested after reportedly being involved in a fight with Knight and Shakur earlier in the evening of his murder—'Pac's mother had filed a wrongful death suit against him—but Anderson himself was killed in 1998. Seven posthumous albums have been released following Tupac's death, including The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory and R U Still Down? (Remember Me?). Miranda J.

Son Rize Vol. 1

Yaki Kadafi

Yaki Kadafi

Gov't Name: Yafeu Akiyele Fula
Age: 19
Birthdate: Oct. 9, 1977
Repped: New Jersey
Affiliates: 2Pac, The Outlawz
Notable Releases: Album: Still I Rize Vol. 1 (posthumous, 2004); Guest Appearances: 2pac's “Hail Mary,” “All Bout U,” “Outlaw,” “When We Ride”
Date of Murder: Nov. 10, 1996
Status of Case: Unsolved

A member of Tupac’s Outlawz crew, Yaki Kadafi died just two months after Tupac in November of 1996. He had been visiting a girlfriend in Orange, New Jersey when he was found dead around 3:45 a.m. in the third floor hallway of an apartment building, having been shot once in the head. Kadafi had been riding in the car behind Tupac and Suge Knight the night 'Pac was shot in Las Vegas and had given a short statement to police indicating he might have been able to identify the shooter that night, though police believed the killings were unrelated. Days later, two teenagers aged 16 and 17—because they were minors, the police would not release their names—were arrested and charged with the murder. According to at least one report, however, the teenagers pleaded to lesser charges and never stood trial for Kadafi's murder. —Miranda J.

The Bloody City

Kilo G

Kilo-G

Gov't Name: Robert L. Johnson, Jr.
Age: 20
Birthdate: 1977
Repped: New Orleans
Affiliates: Birdman, UNLV, Lil Slim, Mannie Fresh
Notable Releases: Albums: The Sleepwalker (1992) and The Bloody City (1995); Single: "Coasting"
Date of Murder: January 15, 1997
Status of Case: Unclear

Cash Money's first-ever artist, Kilo-G, released his debut album The Sleepwalker at the age of just 15, selling the LP out of the trunk of Birdman and Slim’s car and gaining early recognition for his preference for Geto Boys-style horrorcore rap rather than the more danceable New Orleans bounce sound of his peers. But just a few years later, after a Mannie Fresh-produced followup album The Bloody City, the MC born Robert L. Johnson, Jr. was shot and killed in his home in New Orleans' 7th Ward on January 15, 1997 at the age of 20, leaving behind a son. There's almost no further information about his murder available. —Dan Rys

Raymond Boyd

The Notorious B.I.G.

The Notorious B.I.G.

Gov't Name: Christopher Wallace
Age: 24
Birthdate: May 21, 1972
Repped: Brooklyn
Affiliates: Diddy, Lil Kim, Lil Cease, Jay Z
Notable Releases: Albums: Ready To Die (1994), Life After Death (posthumous, 1997); Singles: “Juicy,” “Hypnotize,” “Mo Money Mo Problems,” “One More Chance,” “Sky’s the Limit”
Date of Murder: March 9, 1997
Status of Case: Unsolved

Six months after the hip-hop world suffered the loss of Tupac, another one of the biggest unsolved murders in genre’s history shocked everyone again. At the age of 24, The Notorious B.I.G. was gunned down in Los Angeles while leaving an industry party at the Peterson Automotive Museum following the 1997 Soul Train Music Awards. Shots rang out around 12:30 a.m. when police believe an unidentified dark vehicle pulled up alongside the passenger side of Big’s car, where the rapper was riding, and fired several shots at the car while at the intersection of Fairfax Avenue and Wilshire Boulevard. At the time there were more than 1,000 people exiting the party, but police claimed to have few eyewitnesses and even fewer leads.

Biggie was taken to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center where he was pronounced dead at 1:15 a.m. The rapper’s vehicle was riddled with at least five bullet holes; Big was hit four times, with the fatal shot entering his right hip and tearing through his heart and lungs. Detectives believe witnesses didn’t come forward out of "intimidation" due to the "reputations" of some of the people involved. Biggie’s sophomore album, ironically titled Life After Death, was still released on the preconceived date on March 25, 1997, just over two weeks after his death. —Miranda J.

Uptown 4 Life

Yella Boi

Yella Boi

Gov't Name: Albert Thomas
Age: 22
Birthdate: 1974/1975
Repped: New Orleans
Affiliates: UNLV (with Tec-9 and Lil Ya), Birdman, B.G., Mannie Fresh
Notable Releases: Group Albums: UNLV's 6th And Baronne (1993), Straight Out Tha Gutta (1994), Mac Melph Calio (1995) and Uptown 4 Life (1996); Singles: UNLV’s "Drag 'Em In The River," "Eddie Bow" and "UNLV Style"
Date of Murder: April 5, 1997
Status of Case: Unsolved

Few artists summed up Cash Money Records’ early days better than UNLV, the trio of gangsta rappers comprised of Yella Boi, Tec-9 and Lil Ya who made significant breakthroughs in the regional hip-hop scene with successful albums and high-profile beefs, notoriously with Mystikal and Big Boy Records. But on April 5, 1997, months after UNLV had been dropped from Cash Money over a contract dispute, Yella was gunned down in New Orleans in what appeared to be a drug deal gone bad, at the age of 22. He had been parked at the corner of Washington and Dryades when he was shot in the head and killed in his car.

The rumors at the time were that after UNLV had been dropped, Yella confronted and pistol-whipped Birdman and shot up one of his cars, leading Birdman to have him killed in retaliation. Those rumors are still floating around to this day, but Baby's never spoken on them except to say in XXL’s September 2002 issue, "That's some shit I don't know nothin' about." It's rumored that the hook to Birdman’s 2002 song "What Happened To That Boy" referenced the killing: "What happened to that boy?/He was talking shit we put a clap into that boy." Former Hot Boy BG, along with Tec and Lil Ya, cryptically addressed some of the rumors in a 2006 freestyle, with BG rapping, "I'ma speak the truth, I'ma tell no lie/I was on the scene, Yella snuck Baby in the eye" in apparent reference to the pistol-whipping incident. The case remains unsolved. —Dan Rys

Wreckshop Records

Fat Pat

Fat Pat

Gov't Name: Patrick Lamar Hawkins
Age: 27
Birthdate: Dec. 4, 1970
Repped: Houston
Affiliates: DJ Screw, Big Hawk, Lil Keke, Screwed Up Click
Notable Releases: Albums: Ghetto Dreams (posthumous, 1998), Throwed In Da Game (posthumous, 1998); Singles: “Tops Drop”; Guest Appearances: DJ DMD’s “25 Lighters,” Lil Troy’s “Wanna Be A Baller”
Date of Murder: Feb. 3, 1998
Status of Case: Unsolved

One of the original members of DJ Screw’s Screwed Up Click, Fat Pat, Big Hawk’s brother, was a legend in Houston’s hip-hop scene before his untimely death. Pat was at the Meadows Southwest Apartment complex in Houston on Feb. 3, 1998 stopping by a promoter’s apartment to collect money he was owed when he was shot once in the head and died while friends waited in a car outside. According to some reports, the promoter wasn’t home at the time and Pat was killed in the hallway of the building; other reports say he was killed by the promoter, Kenneth “Weasel” Watson, because Weasel thought Pat had set him up to get robbed. As that story goes, Weasel asked Pat to call Pat’s friend who had just robbed Weasel and while Pat was on the phone Weasel shot shot him in the head. Police put out a warrant for Weasel’s arrest, but no one was ever charged in Pat’s killing; Weasel is currently in prison on drug charges. Eight years later, Big Hawk was also murdered, with some people claiming his killing had something to do with Pat’s death. Fat Pat’s debut album, Ghetto Dreams, was released on Wreckshop Records six weeks after his murder. —Dan Rys

My Testimony

Big Steve aka Granpappy Mafioso

Big Steve aka Granpappy Mafioso

Gov't Name: Steven Aniekan Eduok
Age: 24
Birthdate: Nov. 6, 1974
Repped: Houston
Affiliates: DJ Screw, Screwed Up Click, Woss Ness
Notable Releases: Album: My Testimony (posthumous, 1999); Group Album: Woss Ness' Da Game Done Changed (1997); Single: "Ghetto Love"; Guest Appearance: Big Pokey’s “Who Dat Talking Down”
Date of Murder: Jan. 11, 1999
Status of Case: Unclear

According to most reports, Big Steve and Big Rue were both in a parking lot outside of a club in Houston after a studio session when they were both gunned down in a hail of bullets on Jan. 11, 1999, with Steve reportedly shot 27 times with an AK-47. Some reports say there was a hit out on Rue and the assailant failed to warn Big Steve, who was caught in the crossfire. Other reports say that Steve and Rue were in a Houston apartment and that Steve was shot 16 times with an AK, though it's hard to know for certain. "Big Steve—up and comin’ ghetto superstar, just got caught up," DJ Screw said in a 1999 interview. "Wrong place, the wrong time. Some people were doin’ bad shit on the streets. Steve just happened to be in the same place when the shit was gonna go down. He got caught up in it. It’s like Steve got it just by bein’ with the dude... Niggas comin’ back, get revenge on this cat. You with him, everybody gotta go. How you gonna just shoot this dude and not shoot this dude? That’s a witness, and you sure don’t wanna be in trouble, so you’ve gotta kill two birds...that’s how that happened. It’s fucked up.” —Dan Rys

The Big Picture

Big L

Big L

Gov't Name: Lamont Coleman
Age: 24
Birthdate: May 30, 1974
Repped: Harlem, NY
Affiliates: Cam’ron, Fat Joe, Ma$e, Kool G Rap, Kid Capri
Notable Releases: Albums: Lifestylez Ov Da Poor & Dangerous (1995), The Big Picture (posthumous, 2000); Singles: “Ebonics,” “M.V.P.” and “Put It On”
Date of Murder: Feb. 15, 1999
Status of Case: Unsolved

Big L became a popular figure in the New York hip-hop underground scene after his 1995 debut album Lifestylez Ov Da Poor & Dangerous. In 1998, he founded his Flamboyant Entertainment record label and was on his way to becoming a star of his own after Roc-A-Fella Records showed interest in his talents. On Feb. 15, 1999, however, Big L was killed at 45 W. 139th Street in Harlem after being shot nine times in the face and chest in a drive-by shooting. Gerard Woodley, a childhood friend of Big L, was arrested in May of 1999 for the crime. However, Woodley was later released due to lack of evidence and the murder case remains unsolved. In 2010, Donald Phinazee, Big L's older brother, spoke on his L's passing saying that he was not the one supposed to be targeted, that the killers were looking for their other brother Lee but killed Big L by mistake, who was reportedly wearing his brother’s chain at the time of his death. Lee was killed three years later. —Roger Krastz

YouTube

Freaky Tah

Freaky Tah

Gov't Name: Raymond Rogers
Age: 27
Birthdate: May 14, 1971
Repped: Queens
Affiliates: Lost Boyz, Mr. Cheeks, DJ Spigg Nice, Pretty Lou
Notable Releases: Group Albums: Lost Boyz' Legal Drug Money (1996), Love, Peace and Nappiness (1997), LB IV Life (posthumous, 1999); Singles: Lost Boyz' “Jeeps, Lex Coups, Bimaz & Benz,” “Lifestyles of the Rich & Shameless,” "Music Makes Me High," “Me and My Crazy World”
Date of Murder: March 28, 1999
Status of Case: Solved

On March 28, 1999, Lost Boyz rapper/hype man Freaky Tah was shot in the back of the head and killed outside the Sheraton Hotel in Queens in a case of mistaken identity. Three men were charged with second-degree murder and illegal possession of a weapon for the crime and all pled guilty. Kelvin Jones, 29, of Albany, NY, was charged as the gunman, Ryan Fritch, 24, of Queens, drove the escape van in the incident and Rasheem Fletcher, 22, was charged with providing the van. The three individuals were affiliated with a rap group called the Hellraisers, who had previous beef with the Lost Boyz' crew. Freaky Tah’s death was not the first to result from the feud; others in both crews had been killed in the aftermath of a robbery the year before, with subsequent shootings coming as retaliation. According to police, Tah was killed because he was believed to have been a relative of a man who had killed a Hellraisers affiliate months prior. —Roger Krastz

These Streets EP

Bugz

Bugz

Gov't Name: Karnail Pitts
Age: 21
Birthdate: Jan. 5, 1978
Repped: Detroit
Affiliates: D12, Eminem, Bizarre
Notable Releases: EP: These Streets (1999); Album: Mr. Obnoxious (2000, posthumous); Group Album: D12's The Underground EP (1997)
Date of Murder: May 21, 1999
Status of Case: Solved

Bugz was a founding member of Detroit hip-hop collective D12 alongside Proof, Bizarre, Kuniva, Kon Artis and Eminem and had begun to achieve some local success before the group's big breakout. But on a May afternoon in 1999, he was attending a picnic at Belle Isle Park in Detroit when a fight broke out, purportedly over a water gun. According to D12's Swift, Bugz was getting the better of his adversary in the fight, which upset the man's friend who went to his Ford Explorer and retrieved a rifle. The man shot Bugz twice times in the back and chest, then ran home over when fleeing the scene, leaving the budding MC dead in the park. Police chased the Explorer until it hit a tree, arresting Andre Hamilton for the shooting. Hamilton was convicted of first-degree murder in 2001 and is serving a life sentence for the killing. —Dan Rys

MTV

Q-Don

Q-Don

Gov't Name: Raeneal Quann
Age: 22
Birthdate: 1978
Repped: Philadelphia
Affiliates: Task Force, The Roots, NAAM Brigade
Notable Releases: Mixtapes: NAAM Brigade The Mixtape Vol. 1 and 2
Date of Murder: May 2, 2000
Status of Case: Solved

Shortly after signing to Elektra Records in 2000 with his Chicago group NAAM Brigade, Q-Don was gunned down outside of a Philadelphia nightclub on Tuesday, April 25, 2000.  Real name Raeneal Quann, Q-Don—grandson of famed soul singer Solomon Burke—was a bystander during an attempted robbery in the parking lot of The Evolution nightclub. At around 3:20am, police heard shots fired and later found the rapper dead on the ground with a gunshot wound to the head. Upon his death, the label released a statement reading, “Raeneal was a great talent with a bright future ahead of him. Elektra Records is deeply saddened by this tragedy.”

Lawrence Smith, Adalberto Corredor, Marcus Scott and Jermaine Scott were arrested after fleeing the scene and were charged with murder, robbery, conspiracy, possession of a firearm and reckless endangerment in connection with Q-Don’s death. Two months prior to the shooting, there was another fatal shooting outside of the nightclub. Police would not confirm if the two were connected. Smith, Corredor and Marcus Scott were all convicted of murdering Quann; Jermaine Scott was convicted of conspiracy and robbery charges in connection to the incident.—Miranda J.

Non Fiction

Mausberg

Mausberg

Gov't Name: Jonny Burns
Age: 21
Birthdate: 1979
Repped: Compton
Affiliates: DJ Quik, Suga Free
Notable Releases: Albums: The Konnectid Project Vol. 1 with Suga Free (2000), Non Fiction (posthumous, 2000); Guest Appearances: DJ Quik’s “Down, Down, Down,” Snoop Dogg’s “Don't Tell,” DJ Quik's “It's Like Everyday”
Date of Murder: July 4, 2000
Status of Case: Unsolved

A protégé of the famed DJ Quik, Mausberg was only 21 years old when he was gunned down in Compton. Known mostly for his appearance on “Down, Down, Down” off Quik’s 1998 Rhythm-Al-Ism album and work on the 1999 West Coast compilation The Konnectid Project, the Sheppard Lane Records artist had also collaborated on records with R. Kelly, Snoop Dogg, Warren G, Nate Dogg and Suga Free amongst others. On July 4, 2000, just a few hours after midnight, 'Berg, a known affiliate of the Campanella Park Bloods, and a friend drove to another friend’s house. Mausberg decided to stay outside while the driver went in to visit. While sitting in the car, another vehicle pulled up with two unidentified individuals who then robbed, shot and killed 'Berg as he sat in the car. The young rapper’s murder remains unsolved and there are no suspects. Berg’s solo debut album Non Fiction, which he finished recording a week prior to his death, dropped a year after his murder. —Vanessa Satten

Hot Boys

Bulletproof aka Lil Derrick

Bulletproof/Lil Derrick

Gov't Name: Derrick Williams
Age: N/A
Birthdate: N/A
Repped: New Orleans
Affiliates: Lil Wayne, Birdman, Hot Boys
Notable Releases: Mixtape: Undisputed with Kayotic (2003, posthumous); Singles: “Beef Ain’t Never Squashed,” “Cop Yo Drop” with Pimp C; Guest Appearances: Juvenile’s “Spittin’ Game,” B.G.’s “Cash Money Niggaz”
Date of Murder: Oct. 31, 2002
Status of Case: Unsolved

Lil Derrick, also known as Bulletproof, Bullet or BG, was Birdman’s nephew and an early Cash Money Records artist, associated with the Hot Boys but replaced by Turk before they put out any albums. According to Juvenile he had a reputation for being wild, while Lil Wayne referenced that in his track “Cry Out”: “My nigga Lil Derrick is quick to cop a key/Either that or load the gat and go pop a G/And because of that he's just a name in a rhyme of mine/I pray his family and his mama fine.” But there’s very little to find about his death on Halloween 2002. Rumors are that he was killed uptown due to a street beef gone bad, though there is little concrete information about the murder itself in news reports at the time. —Dan Rys

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Jam Master Jay

Jam Master Jay

Gov't Name: Jason William Mizell
Age: 37
Birthdate: Jan. 21, 1965
Repped: Queens
Affiliates: Rev. Run, D.M.C., Onyx, 50 Cent
Notable Releases: Group Albums: Run-DMC's Run-DMC (1984), King Of Rock (1985), Raising Hell (1986); Group Singles: "Rock Box," "King of Rock," "My Adidas," "Walk This Way," "It's Tricky"
Date of Murder: Oct. 30, 2002
Status of Case: Unsolved

Credited for being one of the pioneers in hip-hop, Jam Master Jay along with his partners Rev. Run and D.M.C. formed Run-D.M.C., one of the most influential groups in hip-hop history. Jay also achieved solo success with his own record label, Jam Master Jay Records, and is credited for being a mentor to 50 Cent in the early part of his career. Jay was inside his Queens, NY recording studio on Merrick Blvd when he was murdered execution-style on Oct. 30, 2002. At the time of the murder, there were witnesses inside the studio, but the NYPD never received tips about a suspect. According to the Daily News, JMJ refused to settle a decade-old drug debt with his old friend Curtis Scoon, leading to the murder. Authorities suspect that a man named Ronald Washington, who is currently serving a 17-year stint for armed robbery, either acted as lookout or pulled the trigger. He allegedly confessed his role in the killing to a former girlfriend, authorities have said, but Washington was never charged in the murder. —Roger Krastz

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Hitman

Hitman

Gov't Name: Ricky Herd
Age: 24
Birthdate: 1978
Repped: San Francisco
Affiliates: RBL Posse, Black C, Mr. Cee, MC Eiht
Notable Releases: Album: Solo Creep (1995); Group Albums: RBL Posse's Ruthless by Law (1994), An Eye For An Eye (1997), Hostile Takeover (2001); Group Singles: RBL Posse's “Don't Give Me No Bammer,” “Bounce To This,” “How We Comin’”
Date of Murder: Feb. 2, 2003
Status of Case: Unsolved

Two years after RBL Posse dropped Hostile Takeover in 2001, the former trio lost its second member after Hitman was shot in the head while driving his red Toyota in the Bayview district in San Francisco on Feb. 2, 2003. The rapper, real name Ricky Herd, was shot around 5 p.m. in the afternoon. The murder came seven years after fellow Posse member Mr. Cee was shot nine times on New Years Day in 1996. After finding Herd’s car, authorities initially thought he had been involved in a car accident, but when police and paramedics got to the scene investigators later found three gunshot casings at the intersection. Police suspect the murder was gang-related. The Hunters Point product was a known affiliate of a San Francisco gang known as Westmob, which had been feuding with rival bay area gang Big Block. There have been no arrests made and no one has spoken up to the police, with some reports chalking up the lack of witnesses to intimidation. —Emmanuel C.M.

Strictly 4 Da Streets

Camoflauge

Camoflauge

Gov't Name: Jason Johnson
Age: 21
Birthdate: Dec. 9, 1982
Repped: Savannah, GA
Affiliates: Crime Affiliates
Notable Releases: Group Album: Crime Affiliates' Crime Pay$ (1999); Affiliates I Represent (2000), Strictly 4 Da Streets: Drugs, Sex and Violence, Vol. 1 (2001), Keepin’ It Real (2002); Singles: “Cut Friends,” "Laying My Stunt Down"
Date of Murder: May 19, 2003
Status of Case: Unsolved

A young upstart from the Georgia crew Crime Affiliates, Camoflauge hailed from the Hitch Village projects in Savannah, GA. After shining on Crime Affiliate’s posse album, Crime Pay$, and dropping two successful solo albums under Universal Music Group, Camo started his own label, Pure Pain Records, where he dropped his third and final album, Keepin’ It Real in 2002. Throughout his career, Cam opened up for the likes of Ice-T, Birdman, and Ludacris at local shows. On the afternoon of May 19, 2003, Camoflauge was walking with his 16-month-old son outside of Pure Pain Recording Studios in Savannah when he was approached and gunned down. Camoflauge died with his son in his arms.

Though Cam’s murder was reportedly tied to a string of local homicides in 2003 that claimed five lives, locals believe that his murder was a retaliation killing for the shooting death of Kenneth "Boo" Capers back in 2000; Cam was held in county jail for three months in connection to the killing, but was never indicted. A man named Dorian Orr was arrested and convicted of murder in another killing and was a suspect in Camoflauge's murder as well, but was never formally charged in the MC's death. Orr's conviction was overturned in 2006 by the Georgia Supreme Court. —Sidney Madden

Give It To 'Em Raw

Soulja Slim

Soulja Slim

Gov't Name: James Tapp, Jr.
Age: 26
Birthdate: Sept. 9, 1977
Repped: New Orleans
Affiliates: Juvenile, Master P, C-Murder, Mia X, Silkk The Shocker
Notable Releases: Albums: Give It 2 ’Em Raw (1998), The Streets Made Me (2001), Years Later (2002); Singles: “Street Life,” “Get Cha Mind Right”; Guest Appearances: Juvenile’s “Slow Motion,” Master P’s “Mama Raised Me”
Date of Murder: Nov. 26, 2003
Status of Case: Unsolved

A No Limit soldier from New Orleans’ Magnolia Projects, Slim is best known for being featured on Juvenile’s mega hit “Slow Motion,” though he wouldn’t live to see its success. On the day before Thanksgiving 2003, Slim was shot three times in the face and once in the chest in front of his mother’s house in New Orleans. On New Years Eve of that year, Garrelle Smith, 22, was arrested in connection with Slim’s murder when police discovered a stolen pistol found in Smith’s possession matched ballistics for the gun used to kill the rapper; authorities alleged he was paid $10,000 for the murder. But police were stuck when no witnesses would agree to testify in the case and charges against Smith were eventually dropped. Smith would be a suspect in three more murders over the following five years until he was eventually found dead with wounds to the face and chest in 2011. —Dan Rys

Mac Dre

Mac Dre

Mac Dre

Gov't Name: Andre Louis Hicks
Age: 34
Birthdate: July 5, 1970
Repped: Oakland
Affiliates: E-40, Keak Da Sneak, The Jacka
Notable Releases: Albums: Young Black Brotha (1993), Stupid Doo Doo Dumb (1998) The Genie of the Lamp (2004); Singles: “Get Stupid,” “Love That Donkey,” “It Don’t Stop”
Date of Murder: Nov. 1, 2004
Status of Case: Unsolved

Andre Hicks, 34, known as Mac Dre, is credited for bringing light to Bay Area rap. Despite serving a five-year bid in the midst of his career, Dre managed to still record music while being locked and even formed a label of his own, Thizz Entertainment. On Nov. 1, 2004, just a few hours after midnight, Dre was killed in Kansas City after a stolen vehicle pulled up beside Mac Dre’s side of the van he was riding in and began shooting, police said. The van swerved across the highway median, across the southbound lanes and down a steep embankment. Hicks was thrown from the van, but police said he died from the shooting to the back of the neck on US Route 71. Police have maintained that the murder was over a financial dispute, although persistent rumors have maintained that rapper Fat Tone was responsible for killing Hicks. Tone was killed six months later, apparently in retaliation for Dre's death. —Roger Krastz

Still Spinnin'

Blade Icewood

Blade Icewood

Gov't Name: Darnell Quincy Lindsay
Age: 28
Birthdate: March 14, 1977
Repped: Detroit
Affiliates: Street Lord’z
Notable Releases: Solo album: Stackmaster (2004); Group Albums: Street Lord'z's Platinum Roleez Don’t Tic Toc (1999), Platinum Masterpiece (2001)
Date of Murder: April 19, 2005
Status of Case: Solved

Blade Icewood was most known in Detroit’s underground rap scene during the late 1990s and early 2000s as a member of the rap group Street Lord’z, who repped the Motor City’s West side. Besides notoriety for their two albums, Platinum Roleez Don’t Tic Toc and Platinum Masterpiece, the Street Lord’z were also known for their beef with local rap group the Eastside Chedda Boyz over the name “Chedda Boyz” since “Original Chedda Boyz” was the subtitle of the Platinum Masterpiece album.

On Sept. 20, 2004, Blade was hit was seven rounds from an AK-47 after a gunman broke into his house in Oak Park, Mich., leaving him paralyzed from the waist down. Many speculated Blade’s shooting was in connection to the murder of Wipeout, an Eastside Detroit rapper killed two days earlier; Blade himself suggested this in his songRide On Me.” Seven months later, on April 19, 2005, a gunman pulled up alongside Blade’s Range Rover while he was at a car wash on Detroit’s 7 Mile Road and fired 17 rounds into the vehicle, killing Blade. A man named Larry Donaldson was convicted of the murder. His 2008 appeal was denied. —Vanessa Satten

Fat Tone

Fat Tone

Fat Tone

Gov't Name: Anthony Watkins
Age: 24
Birthdate: April 29, 1981
Repped: Kansas City, Mo.
Affiliates: Nate Dogg
Notable Releases: Album: Only In Killa City (2002); Singles: “Bad Guy,” “Bouncin' Switches,” “Kansas City Niggas Keep It Real,” “Off Breeds”
Date of Murder: May 24, 2005
Status of Case: Solved

Andre "Mac Minister" Dow, 37, was sentenced to life in prison after being convicted of first-degree murder in May 2005 for the killings of 24-year-old Anthony "Fat Tone" and 22-year-old Jermaine Akins in Las Vegas. Prosecutors argued that the killings of both individuals were revenge for the November 2004 drive-by slaying in Kansas City of Bay Area MC Mac Dre, though Tone allegedly had an alibi for the night of Mac Dre’s murder. —Roger Krastz

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Proof

Proof

Gov't Name: DeShaun Holton
Age: 32
Birthdate: Oct. 2, 1972
Repped: Detroit
Affiliates: Eminem, D12, Obie Trice
Notable Releases: Group Albums: D12's Devil's Night (2001) and D12 World (2004); Album: I Miss The Hip-Hop Shop (2004); Singles: "Ja In A Bra"; Group Singles: D12's "Purple Pills," "Ain't Nuttin' But Music," "My Band," "Fight Music"; Guest Appearances: Tech N9ne's "She Devil," "Trick-Trick's "No More To Say"
Date of Murder: April 11, 2006
Status of Case: Solved, but disputed

Well-known as both Eminem’s hype man and a contributing MC in the chart-topping Detroit rap collective D12, Proof was a respected rapper and figure in the hip-hop scene before his untimely death at age 32. Conflicting reports of what occurred the night Proof died appeared in both police reports and in a July 2006 cover story in XXL Magazine, but what is not disputed is that on the night of April 11, 2006, Proof was shot three to four times and killed by a bouncer named Mario Etheridge at the CCC Club in Detroit. All reports say that the incident began over a game of pool between Proof and a man named Keith Bender, which got heated and a fight broke out.

According to police, Etheridge, Bender’s cousin, fired two warning shots in the air to break up the fight, but the shots caused Proof to pull his gun and shoot Bender, after which Etheridge killed Proof with four shots. However, conflicting reports state that Etheridge’s warning shots caused a panic and led to Proof pulling his own gun, at which time Bender attacked Proof from behind and Etheridge began firing at the pair, killing them both. Bender died a week later from his injuries, while Proof was killed immediately. In court, Etheridge was found to be legally defending another and was not charged with the murder, but was convicted of carrying a concealed weapon and also firing his gun inside a building. —Dan Rys

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Big Hawk

Big Hawk

Gov't Name: John Edward Hawkins
Age: 36
Birthdate: Nov. 16, 1969
Repped: Houston
Affiliates: DJ Screw, Fat Pat, Lil Keke, Screwed Up Click
Notable Releases: Albums: HAWK (2001), Wreckin’ 2004 with Lil Keke (2004), Endangered Species (2008, posthumous); Single: “U Already Know”; Guest Appearances: Lil Troy’s “Wanna Be A Baller,” Trae’s “Swang”
Date of Murder: May 1, 2006
Status of Case: Unsolved

An original member of DJ Screw’s Screwed Up Click and the brother of Fat Pat, Big Hawk was a pillar of the Houston hip-hop scene and generally regarded as a family man and beloved figure in the city. But eight years after his brother was murdered, Hawk himself was killed outside a friend’s home in Houston. Reports say that Hawk had gone to a friend’s house on the city’s south side to play dominoes, but the friend was not home when he got there; when he walked around to the side of the house to look for him, Hawk was shot several times around 10:45 p.m. Police could find no witnesses or suspects outside of a report of a white car with tinted windows leaving the scene shortly after gunshots were heard and no motive was given for the shooting. Police speculated that more than one person was involved, but no one was ever arrested in the incident, though some have speculated Hawk’s death was related to the death of his brother Fat Pat eight years before. —Dan Rys

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Stack Bundles

Stack Bundles

Gov't Name: Rayquon Elliot
Age: 24
Birthdate: Oct. 21, 1982
Repped: Queens
Affiliates: Max B, Jim Jones
Notable Releases: Singles: “Ain’t Hard To Tell,” “Hustler’s Song,” “Drunk Or High”
Date of Murder: June 11, 2007
Status of Case: Unsolved

In June of 2007, Stack Bundles was fatally shot while heading to his apartment building in Far Rockaway, Queens. Upon entering his building, he was approached by an unknown assailant and shot in the head and neck. He was pronounced dead 20 minutes later at Jamaica Medical Center. Lee Woods was arrested in connection with the murder; Woods' name was given by informants after he allegedly shot two cops in NYC a month later. Charles White was also a suspect in the murder but was found murdered execution-style in June of 2007.

As Bundles' success grew bigger after joining The Byrd Gang headed by Jim Jones, the rapper felt threatened still residing in the local housing projects. Those around him say that after he acquired his 2006 Porsche Boxster convertible, it only heightened his profile around the area as tension blossomed. Bundles’ brother believes the 2015 murder of fellow Rockaway MC Chinx may be connected to the 2007 fatal attack on his brother. No one was ever convicted of Bundles' killing. —Miranda J.

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Cavlar

Cavlar

Gov't Name: Leval Lyde
Age: 36
Birthdate: October 20, 1971
Repped: Brooklyn
Affiliates: Papoose, Big Truck
Notable Releases: Mixtape: Know What I’m About (2007); Single: “Riot Music”
Date of Murder: March 25, 2008
Status of Case: Unsolved

Up and coming Brooklyn rhymer Cavlar had begun making a name for himself with his Step Your Game Up DVD series, street singles and beefs, most notably with Uncle Murda, when he was killed in the middle of the day in Brooklyn’s Fort Greene neighborhood. Cavlar was leaving Fish & Crustaceans Quality Seafood just before 5 p.m. and approaching his Jaguar when he got into an argument with three people, one of whom shot Cavlar once in the torso, killing him. The three people fled the scene and police never made any arrests in connection with the killing. But tragically, the story doesn’t end there; five days later, a 27-year-old mother of three named Nancy Williams was shot and killed while passing out “In Remembrance of Cavlar” pins at a memorial gathering in Bed-Stuy by a man who fired 12 shots from an automatic weapon. —Dan Rys

The Truth

VL Mike

VL Mike

Gov't Name: Michael Allen
Age: 32
Birthdate: Jan. 19, 1976
Repped: New Orleans
Affiliates: B.G.
Notable Releases: Group Album: Chopper City Boyz' We Got This (2007); Mixtapes: Place Yo Betz (2007), I'm The Truth (2007); Singles: "Money In Here," "Make 'Em Mad"
Date of Murder: April 20, 2008
Status of Case: Unsolved

VL Mike first made his name alongside B.G. as part of the former Hot Boy’s post-Cash Money label Chopper City Records beginning in 2004, but after the 2007 compilation We Got This he fell out with his label boss. But while gearing up to release his Epic Records debut album, It’s Only One Me, VL Mike was gunned down on April 20, 2008 at the age of 32 while getting out of his car between Paris Avenue and Overton Drive in New Orleans. A man reportedly shot him several times and escaped on foot. Allen began beefing with B.G. on wax after going solo in 2007, eventually releasing a diss song called "Ether" on his Place Yo Betz mixtape that February that called out B.G. for being a fake gangster. His death was never solved, though he may have been connected to two other murders that happened at a similar time, with rumors circling that he had killed two of B.G.’s associates in the beef and had been targeting more at the time of his death, though the rumors have never been substantiated or publicly investigated. —Dan Rys

3,000 Miles From Home

29-E

29-E

Gov't Name: Joseph Michael Ryan
Age: 24
Birthdate: 
Repped: New York/Seattle
Affiliates: Black Senate, 1st Black Prez, Young Soprano
Notable Releases: Album: 3000 Miles from Home (2008)
Date of Murder: Jan. 4, 2009
Status of Case: Solved

29-E had been living in Seattle for a year trying to build up his name within the city’s hip-hop scene when he was killed around 12:30 in the morning in January 2009. A local promoter and rapper named Avery Turner, aka 1st Black Prez, was hosting a hip-hop night at the Chop Suey nightclub, which 29-E was attending though he wasn’t scheduled to perform, when two men knocked on a side door of the club. According to reports, Prez opened the door and the two men opened fire, killing E and injuring Prez and Trama, a rapper from the group Black Senate. E’s mother told the Seattle Times that police believed her son to be an innocent bystander, while other reports called the shooting gang-related; one promoter said that he had been warned there was a possibility of gang violence and had been urged to cancel the show.

Eighteen-year-old Carlos Bernardez confessed to shooting 29-E and 1st Black Prez and told police that 25-year-old Roger LaBranche shot Trama inside the club after he fled from the backstage area, reportedly because of Trama’s alleged involvement in a robbery months prior. Bernardez was sentenced to 30 years in prison for the murder; La Branche’s murder and assault charges were dropped due to lack of evidence. —Dan Rys

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Dolla

Dolla

Gov't Name: Roderick Anthony Burton II
Age: 21
Birthdate: Nov. 25, 1987
Repped: Atlanta
Affiliates: Da Razkalz Cru, Akon
Notable Releases: Mixtape: Dolla And A Dream (2008); Singles: “Who the Fuck Is That?,” “Make A Toast”
Date of Murder: May 18, 2009
Status of Case: Solved

Southern rapper Dolla, formerly known as Bucklyte, was an MC with endless potential. After spending time in Da Razkalz Cru, a hip-hop crew he formed, Dolla broke out on his own and linked up with Akon in 2007. He was riding high on a contract with Akon’s Konvikt Muzik via LaFace Records in 2008 when he dropped his mixtape, Dolla And A Dream. Following an altercation at an Atlanta nightclub on May 7, 2009 between Dolla and a man named Aubrey Berry, Dolla was shot by Berry in Los Angeles at the Beverly Center Mall on May 18, 2009. Witnesses to the shooting included Dolla’s friends Scrapp Deleon and DJ Shabbazz. Berry was detained at the Los Angeles International Airport and subsequently arrested for Dolla’s murder that same evening. Berry’s lawyer claimed that Berry was acting in self-defense after Dolla’s attack in Atlanta and that Dolla had gang ties to the California Crips. A jury acquitted Berry of Dolla’s murder and all other charges on May 21, 2010, winning with a self-defense argument. —Sidney Madden

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Mike Beck

Mike Beck

Gov't Name: Mike Becht
Age: 36
Birthdate: 1973
Repped: East New York, Brooklyn
Affiliates: Fat Joe, Rakim, Kill All Rats, Maino, Pistol Pete
Notable Releases: Mixtape: Joey Crack & Pistol Pete presents K.A.R. (2009); Single: “300 Brolic”
Date of Murder: Oct. 30, 2009
Status of Case: Unsolved

Prior to his death, Beck was on the come-up in Brooklyn's hip-hop scene. After being released from prison after serving five years on murder charges in his early 20s, Beck toured with Rakim on the 18th Letter Tour in the late 1990’s. He later joined the Fat Joe associated K.A.R. (Kill All Rats) group; throughout his career, Beck worked with Fat Joe, DJ Khaled, Ace Hood, Sheek Louch, Jadakiss and more. But Beck was shot dead on Logan and Belmar Streets in Brooklyn in 2009, reportedly in an attempted robbery. Many were stunned by the attack as the rapper was described as a man with few enemies. Police concluded that a botched robbery attempt could have been the motive, though no arrests were made. —Miranda J.

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Magnolia Shorty

Magnolia Shorty

Gov't Name: Renetta Lowe
Age: 28
Birthdate: Sept. 30, 1982
Repped: New Orleans
Affiliates: Soulja Slim, Birdman, Lil Wayne, Juvenile, the Hot Boys
Notable Releases: Album: Monkey On The D$ck (1997); Single: "Magnolia $horty" featuring B.G. and Juvenile; Guest Appearances: Juvenile's "3rd Ward Soulja," Hot Boys' "Blood Thicker"
Date of Murder: Dec. 20, 2010
Status of Case: Suspects indicted

One of Cash Money's first female artists, Magnolia Shorty was shot to death at the age of 28 while sitting in a car in her own New Orleans neighborhood. Having made a name for herself as a local bounce artist in the city, Shorty gained recognition for her work with fellow Cash Money artists Juvenile and the Hot Boys in the late 1990s. In the middle of the day on Dec. 20, 2010, the MC had pulled her car into her apartment complex when another car blocked her vehicle from behind; two men got out and fired more than 50 rounds through the car windows, hitting Shorty 26 times and killing her and 25-year-old passenger Jerome "ManMan" Hampton.

Nearly three years later, a gang member named Gregory "Rabbit" Stewart admitted to federal prosecutors as part of a plea deal that he was involved in a plot to kill Hampton, the intended target of the 39ers, an alliance of the 3-N-G and G-Strip street gangs. A month after Stewart flipped, four men—McCoy "Rat" Walker, Terrioues "T-Red" Owney, Rico "Freaky" Jackson and Tyrone "T-Bone" Knockum—were indicted on two counts each of second-degree murder in the killings. In June 2015, all four, along with nine others, were named in a 45-count RICO indictment that included the murders of Lowe, Hampton and 10 additional victims. —Dan Rys

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M-Bone

M-Bone

Gov't Name: Montae Talbert
Age: 22
Birthdate: Sept. 17, 1988
Repped: Los Angeles
Affiliates: Cali Swag District
Notable Releases: Group Album: Cali Swag District's The Kickback (2011); Single: Cali Swag District's “Teach Me How To Dougie”
Date of Murder: May 15, 2011
Status of Case: Unsolved

Immortalized by an infectious dance craze, Cali Swag District’s M-Bone was all about having fun. The group’s debut single, “Teach Me How to Dougie,” shot M-Bone and the rest of the group to fame in 2010 and propelled the release of their 2011 debut album, The Kickback, via Spinx Music Entertainment. In the late night hours of Sunday, May 15, 2011, Bone was killed in a drive-by shooting on the 400 block of North La Brea Ave. in Inglewood, Calif. Talbert was found by police seated in the driver’s seat of a black vehicle with two gunshot wounds to the head. Although no one identified the shooter, witnesses report that the gunman pulled up alongside Talbert’s car and began to fire.

Talbert’s girlfriend claimed that a man living in their apartment complex in Inglewood was jealous of M-Bone’s success in the music industry and made threats of violence towards the MC, but no arrests have been made in the case. Three days after his death, Cali Swag District released the song, “How To Do Thatin his honor, which was later included on their 2011 mixtape, Deeper Than The Dougie. Police have no stated motive in the murder. —Sidney Madden

Tommy Hill

Tommy Hill

Tommy Hill

Gov't Name: John Wilson
Age: 36
Birthdate: 1975
Repped: Philadelphia
Affiliates: R.A.M. Squad, Nelly, Sticky Fingaz
Notable Releases: Group Albums: R.A.M. Squad's Operation Lock the City (1996), Thee Album Regardless (1997), Random Access Money (2001); Single: "Ballers (Up In Here)"
Date of Murder: Dec. 4, 2011
Status of Case: Unsolved

Controversial Philly MC Tommy Hill, who had gained notoriety in the late-1990s and early-2000s as part of the hip-hop group R.A.M. Squad, was outside Reuben's Marc Bar in his hometown of Philadelphia in the early hours of Dec. 2, 2011 when he was approached by three masked gunmen and shot in a hail of gunfire. Hill was shot in the chest and lower body and died two days later at a local hospital of his wounds. While the gunmen also robbed Hill, many thought the murder to be related to testimony that Hill gave in a 2004 trial against a trio of drug dealers, with some labeling him a snitch after he received a two-year sentence for dealing drugs himself. Hill had denied the snitching allegations. There have been no arrests in Hill's murder. —Dan Rys

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Slim Dunkin

Slim Dunkin

Gov't Name: Mario Hamilton
Age: 24
Birthdate: Aug. 20, 1987
Repped: Atlanta
Affiliates: Gucci Mane, Waka Flocka Flame
Notable Releases: Mixtape: Menace II Society (2011)
Date of Murder: Dec. 16, 2011
Status of Case: Unsolved

1017 Brick Squad affiliated rapper Slim Dunkin had a bright future in the rap game ahead of him before his 2011 death. Dunkin released his debut mixtape Menace II Society that featured Southern heavyweights like Gucci Mane and Pastor Troy in 2011. But on Friday, Dec. 16, 2011, Dunkin got into an altercation with a man at a recording studio on Memorial Drive in Atlanta, reportedly over a piece of candy, which led to a fistfight in the street. The scuffle ended when the man pulled out a gun and shot Slim once in the chest. Vinson Hardimon, otherwise known as the rapper Young Vito, was indicted for the crime in 2011 but was found not guilty. Vito was, however, convicted of aggravated assault and possession of a firearm and sentenced to 25 years in prison. The case was unusual in the fact that the jury convicted Vito of the assault that led to Dunkin's death, but not the murder itself. In late 2013, Slim Dunkin's father sued Brick Squad founder Gucci Mane along with ABC CORP. and Warner Brothers Music in 2013 for wrongful death. —Sidney Madden

Death Before Dishonor

Lil Phat

Lil Phat

Gov't Name: Melvin Vernell III
Age: 19
Birthdate: July 25, 1992
Repped: Baton Rouge
Affiliates: Lil Boosie, Webbie, Foxx
Notable Releases: Group Albums: Trill Fam's Survival Of The Fittest (2007), All Or Nothing (2010); Mixtapes: Life Of A Yungsta (2008), Death Before Dishonor (2009), Never Use A Pen Again (2011); Singles: "So Much," "Countin' Money"; Guest Appearances: Webbie's "Independent" and "Thuggin'"
Date of Murder: June 7, 2012
Status of Case: Solved

Melvin Vernell III, son of Trill Ent. CEO Melvin Vernell, Jr., was next in line for the successful Baton Rouge-based label that had produced Boosie BadAzz and Webbie before him, first making his name with a guest spot on Webbie’s Top 10 hit “Independent” in 2007. But before he could release his debut solo album, Phat was shot multiple times in his car outside the Northside Hospital Women’s Center in Sandy Springs, Ga. while awaiting the birth of his son on June 7, 2012 at the age of 19. Phat’s death was allegedly related to a drug robbery involving four men and the Russian mob. On April 29, 2013, Russian mobster Mani Chulpayev was accused of ordering Phat's murder and was arrested along with three other men, having allegedly tracked Phat using GPS on his car. In August of 2014, Deandre Washington was convicted of murdering Lil Phat, while two others, Gary Bradford and Maurice Conner, were convicted of conspiracy and gang activity related to the case. Washington was sentenced to life in prison, Conner to 30 years and Bradford to 25 for the crime. On March 31, 2015 Chulpayev, who had turned FBI informant, had his murder charges dropped in connection with the case due to the Bureau's mishandling of the case. —Dan Rys

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Lil JoJo

Lil JoJo

Gov't Name: Joseph Coleman
Age: 18
Birthdate: April 4, 1994
Repped: Chicago
Affiliates: Chief Keef, Lil Reese
Notable Releases:  Singles: “3HunnaK (BDK),” “Put In Work,” “Tied Up”
Date of Murder: Sept. 4, 2012
Status of Case: Unsolved

Plenty of rappers emerged when Chicago's drill music scene exploded in the 2010s, led by Chief Keef, Lil Reese and Lil Durk, but JoJo was a member of a rival hip-hop collective that was making noise in different parts of the city. JoJo was shot in Chicago’s Englewood neighborhood while riding a bicycle in September of 2012 when n unidentified car pulled up to the 18-year-old, shooting him in the back at around 7:30 p.m. He was pronounced dead at the hospital. Prior to his death, Lil JoJo posted a tweet that appeared to identify his location, tweeting, “I'm on #69. I'm out here." He was said to have belonged to the Brick Squad gang and recently made a song called “3hunnaK,” which mocked rivals rappers the 300 squad—which included Chief Keef and Lil Reese. At the time of his death, Coleman’s beef with his fellow Chicago rappers was readily apparent. A YouTube video had been released days prior that showed JoJo mocking Lil Reese in the streets. Hours after his death, Keef came under fire for mocking the young rapper’s death online, leading to speculation that he was involved. Police believe JoJo’s killing is linked to a war of words within the hip-hop community, while JoJo's mother has publicly pointed the finger at Keef in the killing. No arrests have been made. —Miranda J.

RNIC

Lil Snupe

Lil Snupe

Gov’t Name: Addarren Ross
Age: 18
Birthdate: June 13, 1995
Repped: Winnifield, La.
Affiliates: Meek Mill
Notable Releases: Mixtape: R.N.I.C. (2013)
Date of Murder: June 20, 2013
Status of Case: Unsolved

As one of the signees on Meek Mill’s Dream Chasers label, Lil Snupe was on the rise. The Winnifield, LA native had released just one mixtape, R.N.I.C, but was working on much more. On June 20, 2013, Snupe was shot and killed while playing video games at a friend’s house. Five days later, 36-year-old Winnifield, La. resident, Tony Holden turned himself in after police identified him as the shooter, saying he executed Snupe after the two got into an argument while playing video games; Holden was charged with first-degree murder, armed robbery and illegal possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. On July 3, police arrested 21-year-old Edrick O. Stewart of Monroe, La. and charged him with manslaughter in the killing; Stewart claimed he was defending Snupe at the time of the MC's death. Little info has been released since the suspects’ respective arrests, though a 2014 report indicated that a special investigator was still pursuing a grand jury indictment in the case. —Vanessa Satten

Instagram

Jimme Wallstreet

Jimme Wallstreet

Gov't Name: James Davis IV
Age: 34
Birthdate: 1979
Repped: Philadelphia
Affiliates: Don Cannon, 50 Cent, Meek Mill, Lil Snupe
Notable Releases: Mixtape: Twin Towers with Big Ooh! (2013)
Date of Murder: June 20, 2013
Status of Case: Unsolved

Jimme Wallstreet was fatally shot on the steps of his mother's house in his hometown Philadelphia, killed a day after the shooting death of Meek Mill's Dream Chasers signee Lil Snupe. Born James Davis IV, the Philly upstart was shot in the groin at 12:47 p.m. in the 900 block of East Church Lane; at 1:25 p.m., he was pronounced dead at Einstein Medical Center. He was 34-years-old. Police think Jimme Wallstreet’s killing was targeted; they found seven shell casings at the scene along with a handgun magazine. Before the shooting Wallstreet dropped a mixtape with the Trenton rapper Big Ooh! titled Twin Towers. Jimme performed at a Stop The Violence Rally in Philly a week prior of his death. There have been no arrests made since the shooting. —Emmanuel C.M.

YouTube

Doe B

Doe B

Gov't Name: Glenn Thomas
Age: 22
Birthdate: June 13, 1991
Repped: Montgomery, Ala.
Affiliates: T.I., Juicy J, Young Dro, B.o.B, Kevin Gates
Notable Releases: Mixtapes: Trap Life (2012), Baby Jesus (2013), Hustle Gang’s G.D.O.D. (2013); Singles: “Let Me Find Out (Remix),” “2 Many,” “Trap Muzik”; Guest Appearances: T.I’s “Kemosabe,” Kevin Gates' "Amnesia"
Date of Murder: Dec. 28, 2013
Status of Case: Suspects awaiting trial

After gaining momentum with his contributions to Hustle Gang's G.D.O.D. mixtape, his work with T.I. and a solid solo offering titled Baby Jesus, Doe B’s rising rap career was cut short early. The one-eyed MC was fatally shot on Dec. 28, 2013 in his hometown of Montgomery, Ala. at the Centennial Hill Bar and Grill at the age of 22. Two days later, Jason McWilliam was arrested as a suspect; On Jan. 3, 2014 a second suspect, Darius Thomas, turned himself in. They were both charged with three counts of capital murder in the deaths of Doe and two others during the shooting. Thomas grew up with Doe B and was even in Doe's music video for "Let Me Find Out" in 2012.

Detective Andy Magnus testified saying witnesses said the incident came about after Doe B wouldn't help Darius Thomas get into the club. Another factor in the shooting was Doe B and McWilliams’ bad history; McWilliams had stolen a bag from Doe that contained money and jewelry in the past, which McWilliams admitted in a statement to police. A total of eight people were injured in the shooting; two other victims, 21-year-old Kimberle Johnson and 20-year-old Tim Hamilton, died from gunshot wounds. Montgomery County District Judge Jimmy Pool denied bond for Jason McWilliams and Darius Thomas on Jan. 29, 2014 and the two suspects are still awaiting trial. —Emmanuel C.M.

Twitter

Blood Money aka Big Glo

Blood Money aka Big Glo

Gov't Name: Mario Hess
Age: 30
Birthdate: 1984
Repped: Chicago
Affiliates: Chief Keef, Glo Gang
Notable Releases: Mixtape: Drug Wars (2013); Guest Appearances: Chief Keef's “Boss Shit” and "Fuck Rehab"
Date of Murder: April 9, 2014
Status of Case: Unsolved

Two weeks after inking a deal with Interscope Records, Blood Money, who was a cousin of Chief Keef, was shot and killed in the West Englewood section of Chicago and was found laying on a sidewalk with at least 10 gunshots wounds. Hess was taken to Stroger Hospital following the attack where he died at 10:29 pm. A 28-year-old who also shot at that time was taken to the hospital with abdomen wounds. Hess had a lengthy criminal history including guilty pleas to drug charges in 2003 and 2013. That March, the rapper appeared on his cousin Keef’s “Fuck Rehab” track, which garnered more than 13 million views on Worldstarhiphop in less than a month. According to his manager, he had been on the way to a studio and had stopped to speak to a few women in a car when two men walked up and fired more than two dozen rounds, killing the MC. Police have suggested jealousy as a motive for the murder, but no arrests have been made.—Miranda J.

Instagram

OTF NuNu

OTF NuNu

Gov't Name: McArthur Swindle
Age: 21
Birthdate: Oct. 15, 1992
Repped: Chicago
Affiliates: Lil Durk
Notable Releases: Single: “OC”
Date of Murder: May 31, 2014
Status of Case: Unsolved

Just a few months shy of his 22nd birthday, OTF Nunu lost his life due to gun violence. The cousin of Lil Durk was shot in the Southside of Chicago while sitting in a parked white SUV at Chatham Village Square Mall at 3:20 p.m.; an unknown assailant walked up to the vehicle and murdered the 21-year-old in a parking lot. The rapper did not die immediately after the attack and attempted to drive away, moments later crashing into a B*Fresh Clothing storefront. He was pronounced dead at the scene and his body remained there slumped into the early evening. A shooter was never apprehended. OTF Nunu was a student at Joliet Junior College at the time and was additionally pursuing his rap career. The murder came as a surprise to those close to him, as they could not pinpoint what initiated the attack. Swindle’s father was also shot dead in 1995. —Miranda J.

The Jacka

The Jacka

The Jacka

Gov't Name: Dominic Newton
Age: 37
Birthdate: Aug. 12, 1977
Repped: Oakland
Affiliates: Mob Figaz, E-40, Mac Dre, C-Bo, Dru Down
Notable Releases: Albums: C-Bo’s Mob Figaz (1999), Jacka Of The Mob Figaz (2001), Tear Gas (2009), Broad Daylight (2010), Flight Risk (2011); Singles: "All Over Me," “Glamorous Lifestyle”
Date of Murder: Feb. 2, 2015
Status of Case: Unsolved

Starting his career with Pittsburg, Calif. group Mob Figaz, Jacka was the leader behind C-Bo’s Mob Figaz before dropping his first studio album, Jacka Of The Mob Figaz, in 2001. Known for his socially conscious street anthems, Jacka went on to drop four solo albums in total and work with many Northern Cali rap cohorts like Mac Dre and Dru Down. On the evening of Feb. 2, 2015, Jacka was shot in the head on MacArthur Boulevard in East Oakland. Witnesses did not describe the shooter, telling reporters that “bullets don't have no name,” but did note that seven or eight people were hanging out rapping in a van with the Jacka standing outside on the sidewalk when the bullets flew. As of today, no suspects have been named in the shooting death, but the Bay Area continues to remember the MC with tribute concerts. —Sidney Madden

Brad Barket/Getty Images

Chinx

Chinx

Gov't Name: Lionel Pickens
Age: 31
Birthdate: Dec. 3, 1983
Repped: Queens
Affiliates: French Montana, Diddy, Stack Bundles
Notable Releases: Album: Welcome To JFK (posthumous, 2015); Mixtapes: Cocaine Riot series; Singles: “Feelings,” “Couple Niggaz,” “I’m A Coke Boy”
Date of Murder: May 17, 2015
Status of Case: Solved

Although not yet at superstar status, the entire hip-hop world was in mourning when news spread that Queens MX Chinx had been murdered. The Coke Boys rapper was gunned down while driving in the Briarwood section of Queens on Sunday May 17, 2015 at 4:04 am. He was rushed to Jamaica Medical Center and pronounced dead on arrival. Prior to the shooting, the rapper performed at Club Red Wolf in Brooklyn and later, after attempting to go to a hookah bar which was closed, proceeded to drop off his friend Yemen Cheese, who was in the car at the time of the shooting, when bullets riddled his Porsche. The following day, three men were taken in for questioning but were later released. There is no known surveillance footage of the murder. The NYPD has ruled that the case will be a long-term investigation but to this date, have yet to come across defining evidence. Some have linked his murder to the 2007 killing of fellow Queens rapper Stack Bundles. Chinx’s posthumous debut album was released on Aug. 14, 2015. Two years after the rapper's murder, two suspects were arrested for his death. On Dec. 14, 2017, Quincy Homere, 32, and Jamar Hill, 26, were arrested for their part in Chinx's killing. According to NYPD Lt. Richard Rudolph, Quincy murdered Chinx over a six-year grudge.—Miranda J.

YouTube

Young Ready

Young Ready

Gov't Name: Shannen Hudson
Age: 31
Birthdate: July 8, 1983
Repped: Baton Rouge
Affiliates: Lil Phat, Yo Gotti
Notable Releases: Mixtapes: Goon Incorporated (2011), Goon Related (2012); Singles: "What You Been Thru," "What Up"
Date of Murder: June 23, 2015
Status of Case: Unsolved

Young Ready was a consistent presence in the Louisiana music scene as the founder of Bow Entertainment when he was shot and killed just weeks before his 32nd birthday. According to reports, Ready was in Bogalusa, La. around 3:30 in the afternoon when he and a friend were both shot and killed within the city limits, reportedly while sitting in their car, in what was described as a shootout. Police have not identified any suspects or released many details about the shooting, but Ready had been involved in some serious situations prior; in 2012, three men were arrested for kidnapping and torturing a man while asking repeatedly for Ready's location. According to his manager, the MC had recently changed his name to Racked Up Ready and was in talks about a label deal with Interscope Records at the time of his death. —Dan Rys

Capo

Capo

Capo

Gov't Name: Marvin Carr
Age: 22
Birthdate: Apr. 22, 1993
Repped: Chicago
Affiliates: Chief Keef, Lil Durk, Meek Mill
Notable Releases: Mixtape: Glo Life Or No Life 2; Singles: "Chiraq," "Hate Me"
Date of Murder: July 11, 2015
Status of Case: Suspect arrested

Capo was a member of Chief Keef's Glory Boyz label and Glo Gang crew in Chicago when he was gunned down in a drive by shooting in the middle of the afternoon this July. According to police reports, Capo was on the street in the city's south side when a car drove up and a man shot Capo in the hip and back around 1:45 in the afternoon. Video of the aftermath of Capo's shooting exists showing witnesses attempting to keep him conscious as they wait for an ambulance, but the young MC died shortly after arriving at the hospital. The two people in the car fled the scene and tragically, 20 minutes later, drove their car onto a sidewalk and struck and killed a toddler sitting in a stroller. Police took the two in for questioning and days later charged 21-year-old Antoine Watkins with murder and eluding police in connection with the toddler's death, but no charges were filed in the shooting of Capo. Authorities have said Capo's death was gang-related and Watkins is currently being held without bail. —Dan Rys

The Truth

Dex Osama

Gov't Name: Byron Cox
Age: 21
Birthdate: 1989
Repped: Detroit
Affiliates: Meek Mill, DeJ Loaf
Notable Releases: Singles: "Death On Me," "Heavy"; Guest Appearances: Oba Rowland's "Lifestyle Pt. II (Remix)" featuring DeJ Loaf
Date of Murder: Sept. 7, 2015
Status of Case: Unsolved

Dex Osama was a local Detroit rapper who had started making a name for himself, getting a buzz in his city and reportedly nearing a deal to sign with Meek Mill's Dream Chasers Records. But early in the morning of Sept. 7, 2015, the MC got into an argument inside the Crazy Horse strip club in his hometown when a fight broke out; security reportedly pushed the group outside the club where at least seven shots were fired, leaving Dex dead and a second person injured around 1:30 a.m. He was shot once in the chest and once in the stomach and had enough time to run to a nearby gas station and call for help before succumbing to his injuries. Authorities are still searching for his killer. —Dan Rys

DAVID G via YouTube

Zoe Realla


Gov't Name: Lorenzo Dixon
Age: 32
Birthdate: Aprox. 1985
Repped: Baton Rouge, La.
Affiliates: D'Mari Harding, Tec & Maine Muzik, Mista Cain
Notable Releases: ‘Bloody Murda,’ ‘Fuck Yo Mixtape’
Date of Murder: April 22, 2017
Status of Case: Unsolved
On the afternoon of Sat., April 22, 2017, Baton Rouge, La. rapper Zoe Realla was shot multiple times as he sat in his car Wayne Drive and Winbourne Avenue. Six days later, the 32-year-old, born Lorenzo Dixon, succumbed to his wounds and died on Fri., April 28, 2017. At the time of his death, the rapper had been signed to Travis James Entertainment for four years. According to The Advocate, the rapper left a girlfriend and two sons. As of this writing, a suspect in the case has yet to be arrested.

Yung Mazi via YouTube

Yung Mazi


Gov't Name: Jibril Abdur-Rahman
Age: 31
Affiliates: Kevin Gates, (friends Rich Homie Quan, Young Thug)
Notable Releases: 'Free My Bruddas 2,' 'Physical Therapy,' "Take My Life"
Date of Murder: Aug. 6, 2017
Status of Case: Unsolved
Roughly eight months after being shot in the chest at a Waffle House and living to tell about it, Atlanta-based rapper Yung Mazi was gunned down in front of a pizza shop in the city's Kirkwood community on the night of Sun., Aug. 6. According to Atlanta law enforcement authorities, Mazi's shooter was a Black male with a white t-shirt and dreadlocks. As of today, no suspect has been arrested. Before his death, Mazi had generated a fairly sizable buzz, linking with Kevin Gates' BWA clique and increasing his fan base with projects like 'Free My Bruddas 2' and 'Physical Therapy.' Eerily, Mazi had dropped a video for his song "Take My Life"--which was a track chronicling the aftermath of the Waffle House shooting he had survived earlier—just two weeks before his tragic demise.

Leila Wills via YouTube

TC Izlam


Gov't Name: Tony Bell
Age: 51
Birthdate: April 4, 1966
Affiliates: Kurtis Blow, Afrika Bambaataa, Van Silk and DJ Kevie Kev Rockwe
Notable Releases: “Sucka MCs,” “Funky Fresh New England,” and “Enter Planet 2020,”
Date of Murder: June 8, 2017
Status of Case: Unsolved
The life of former Zulu Nation Minister of Information Grandmaster TC Izlam came to an end when the accomplished rapper/producer/rap scholar was accosted by two men and shot once in the chest on the afternoon of Thurs., June 8, 2017. According to a police report, the Izlam, born Tony Bell, was pronounced dead after being transported to Atlanta's Grady Hospital just five miles away. Although he'd been a talented rapper who'd created the rap sub-genre, hip-step, he'd ultimately become at least as well-known for his contributions to the Zulu Nation years after he began rapping as a teen in the 1980s. Rap legends like Kurtis Blow, Grand Mixer DXT, Kool Kyle and Kevie Kev praised Izlam for his leadership and rap scholarship shortly after his death at the age of 51. 19-year-old Trelle DeShawn Hough and 36-year-old Taleeb E. Paige were arrested for their alleged roles in the robbery and murder of Izlam on June 12 and June 28, 2017 respectively. Both are currently incarcerated in Fulton County jail.

john blaze via YouTube

Sizzlac


Gov't Name: Mustafa Omar
Age: 29
Birthdate: 1988
Repped: Toronto, Ontario
Notable Releases: "Realest in the 6"
Date of Murder: April 23, 2016
Status of Case: Unsolved
Days after dropping a video for his alleged diss track, "Realest in the 6," Toronto rapper Sizzlac was shot and killed in Malton neighborhood of Mississauga, Ontario, Canada on the morning of Sat., April 23, 2016. According to the The Mississauga News, three other men were shot in the incident, but none received life threatening injuries. Born Mustafa Omar, Sizzlac was only 29 years old at the time of his murder, and no suspects have been arrested for his shooting.

Laka Films via YouTube

ShootaShellz


Age: 21
Repped: Chicago, Ill.
Affiliates: N/A
Notable Releases: “Death of 150”
Date of Murder: July 10, 2017
Status of Case: Unsolved
On the morning of July 10, 2017, ShootaShellz became an addition to the tragically long list of Chicago rappers taken too soon. The 21-year-old MC, who had allegedly dissed G Herbo in his song "Death of 150" a couple of months beforehand, was reportedly walking to his car on 8100 block of Chicago's South Paulina when he was approached by three unidentified gunmen who fired several rounds into the rapper's face, killing him outright. Unfortunately, his killers are presumably still on the loose, and the rapper's friends and family are as close to finding justice now as they were the day he was killed.

Lor Scoota via YouTube

Lor Scoota


Gov't Name: Tyriece Watson
Age: 23
Repped: Baltimore, Md.
Notable Releases: 'Still N the Trenches Volume 2,' 'Live From The A,' "Bird Flu"
Date of Murder: June 25, 2016
Status of Case: Under investigation
Rising Baltimore rapper Lor Scoota was driving away from an anti-violence rally at Morgan State University when he was shot and killed on June 25, 2016. According to Baltimore police, his alleged killer, 22-year-old Cortez Mitchell, shot Scoota because his friend Fred Catchings had shot his friend earlier that day. "It's like the old saying: If I can't get you, I'll get someone close to you," Detective Curtis McMillion told The Baltimore Sun. "That's just the way the streets is." Before his untimely death at the age of 23, Scoota had gained plenty of buzz with his trapping anthem "Bird Flu," which ultimately got the remix treatment from Shy Glizzy. Some time after that, he'd gotten cosigns from Meek Mill and The Game. Mitchell was shot and killed on Mon., Oct. 10, 2016.

EBE X EVERYBODYEATs via YouTube

Kid Cali


Gov't Name: Justin Lishey
Age: 30
Birthdate: 1986
Repped: Los Angeles, Calif.
Affiliates: Desean Jackson, Snoop Dogg, Nipsey Hussle Jaccpot Records
Notable Releases: Kid Cali
Date of Murder: Aug. 20
Status of Case: Unsolved
Justin Lishey was attending a pool party in Los Angeles' Granada Hills community when shots rang in the air. In the chaos, two were left injured, while Lishey, better known by his rap name Kid Cali, died on the scene. The rapper was signed to NFL wide receiver Desean Jackson's Jaccpot Records on the day of his untimely death, and celebrities like Snoop Dogg, Nipsey Hussle and Jackson himself paid homage to the fallen rapper in the days after his demise at the age of only 30. On Sept. 13, then-19-year-old Kenny Birdineman was arrested for the murder. As of today, he remains incarcerated Men’s Central Jail in Los Angeles and is being held at $3 million bail.

AstonishWho via YouTube

DinnerWithJohn


Gov't Name: Walter Long Jr.
Age: 24
Repped: Chicago, Ill.
Affiliates: Saba, Pivot Gang
Notable Releases: Get Happy 2.0, "Kemo Walk"
Date of Murder: Feb. 8, 2017
Status of Case: Unsolved

Tragedy once again befell the beleaguered, but thriving Chicago hip-hop scene DinnerWithJohn (John Walt), who co-founded Pivot Gang along with his cousin Saba, was stabbed to death near the city's Metra tracks on Weds., Feb. 8, 2017. According to The Chicago Sun Times, the 24-year-old rapper, born name Walter Long Jr., was involved in a scuffle with Kevin Alexander CTW Green Line before his death. The fight lasted until the train stopped at the Clinton station. From there, Alexander allegedly asked his friend for a knife before he followed DinnerWithJohn down Chicago's 400 block where he eventually stabbed the rapper twice in the upper body. The rapper was pronounced dead on the scene. Although Alexander is in jail and being held on $2 million bond.

Ryda Muzik Records via YouTube

BTY YoungN


Gov't Name: Desmone Jerome
Age: 27
Birthdate: Dec. 12, 1989
Repped: New Orleans, La.
Affiliates: Birdman, Rich Gang
Notable Releases: I Ain’t Sorry for the Wait.
Date of Murder: April 29, 2017
Status of Case: Unsolved
The burgeoning rap career of promising New Orleans MC BTY YoungN came to a tragic end when he was found lying face-up after being shot at a New Orleans Shell gas station in the city's Hollygrove section on April 29, 2017. Before his untimely demise, the rapper, born Desmone Jerome, had established a significant buzz, aligning himself with Birdman and Rich Gang while taking home the trophy for a NOLA Music Awards for "Breakout Artist of the Year." On May 15, 31-year-old Darryl Bannister Jr., who'd had an extensive history of violence in the area, was arrested and charged with second degree murder after his cell phone was found at the scene of the crime.

Cam Kirk

Bankroll Fresh


Gov't Name: Trentavious White Sr.
Age: 28
Birthdate: Aug. 2, 2017
Repped: Atlanta, Ga.
Affiliates: Gucci Mane, Jeezy, 2 Chainz
Notable Releases: Life of a Hot Boy 2: Real Trapper, Life of a Hot Boy 2: Real Trapper,
Date of Murder: March 4, 2017
Status of Case: Solved
Bankroll Fresh had established a sizable fan base before he was killed in a shootout in front of Atlanta's Street Execs studio on March 4, 2016. The shootout and Bankroll's resulting death was surprising. Perhaps even more surprising was the identity of his killer: his childhood friend and fellow Atlanta rapper, No Plug. In a 2016 interview with DJ Vlad, the rapper, who's a 21 Savage affiliate, explained that Bankroll had approached him with a gun, and that he'd shot the rapper in self-defense. In February 2017, Atlanta police released footage of Bankroll brandishing an assault rifle that night onto the internet, seemingly corroborating No Plug's story. To this day, No Plug has never been charged or considered a suspect in the case.

choptvmedia via YouTube

Mr. 3-2


Gov't Name: Christopher Barriere,
Age: 44
Birthdate: 1972
Repped: Houston, Texas
Affiliates: The Convicts, Southside Playaz and Blac Monks, Z-Ro,
Notable Releases: 'Still N the Trenches Volume 2,' 'Live From The A,' "Bird Flu"
Date of Murder: Nov. 11, 2016
Status of Case: Under investigation
Nicknamed “The Governor,” Mr. 3-2 had been a staple of rap groups The Convicts, Southside Playaz and Blac Monks before he was shot and killed at a gas station in southwest Houston. According to police, 3-2, born name Christopher Barriere, was one of four men at the gas station who knew each other that fateful night. A short while after entering the station, one man pulled out a shotgun from his trunk and shot 3-2 in the head, killing him on the spot. On Nov. 15, police arrested 39-year-old Vincent Depaul Stredic and charged him with the murder of 3-2.