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Gone But Not Forgotten: R.I.P. Records

I know most of the rap world woke up this morning pre-occupied with Lil Wayne going to jail. It’s going to be a long 12 months without the “Best Rapper Alive” in the mix. Well, if he were actually going in today… Pause.

In all honesty, though, I’m actually dealing with a loss much closer to home today. This morning I woke up to find the lifeless body of my nephew’s goldfish, Nemo, lying in his bowl. I feel really bad for Nemo’s passing. In fact, I feel personally responsible.

It’s all my fault.

I’ve been caring (and not doing a very good job of it) for Nemo ever since my nephew left him at my house a few weeks ago. His stay was only supposed to be temporary, but I was starting to bond with the lil’ dude. I don’t do pets, but a goldfish was okay. Problem was I’m hardly ever home and the lil’ guy needed to eat on a regular schedule. Long story short, I think he either died from starvation or overfeeding with me trying to make up for missing a day or two.

I haven’t told my nephew yet, but every time I think about how I’ll do it I remember The Cosby Show episode when Rudy’s goldfish, Lamont, died and they held a funeral in the bathroom.

Of course watching that got me to thinking about all the dope R.I.P songs in hip-hop. Joints like D.R.S’ “Gangsta Lean” and Master P’s “I Miss My Homies.” You know the generic ode to a lost friend that hits home for everyone.

There aren’t enough of these songs to go around anymore. How come rappers hardly make these as singles anymore? Has hip-hop lost its compassion for the dearly departed? In memory of those that we’ve lost I wanted to make a list of some of my favorite R.I.P. records. This goes out to you, Nemo. —Rondell Conway

1. Pete Rock & CL Smooth “They Reminisce Over You”

2. D.R.S “Gangsta Lean”

3. The L.O.X. “We’ll Always Love Big Poppa”

4. T.I. “Touch The Sky”

5. Puff Daddy “I’ll Be Missing You

6. 2Pac “I Ain’t Mad At Cha”

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