Shawty Lo Dies: Today in Hip-Hop
On this day, Sept. 21, in hip-hop history...
2016: Atlanta rapper Shawty Lo suffered an untimely death on Sept. 21, 2016 when he was involved in a fatal car crash. Today marks the two-year anniversary of this unexpected hip-hop tragedy.
Shawty Lo, real name Carlos Walker, was born and raised in the ATL and got into music early. In 2003, Shawty founded the rap crew D4L, which consisted of fellow Southern MCs Fabo, Mook-B and Stoney. Together, the crew garnered mainstream success with the 2005 hit single and new millennium rap classic "Laffy Taffy." The track sampled New Edition’s “Candy Girl” and incorporated elements of Southern snap music. "Laffy Taffy" peaked at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and solidified Shawty Lo and his crew as Southern rap greats. As a soloist, L-O found a new wave of fame in 2007 with the single “Dey Know” which peaked at No. 31 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
In the early morning hours of Sept. 21, 2016, Shawty Lo was driving home from an event at Blue Flame Lounge in Atlanta. Around 2:20 a.m. Shawty lost control of the vehicle and went over a guardrail, hit two trees, and was ejected from the car. Two other passengers in the car were rushed to the hospital, but by the time paramedics got there, the MC was pronounced dead on the scene. Shawty was 40 years old at the time of death and is survived by 11 children.
In the days that followed Shawty Lo's death, hip-hop shared their condolences across social media and in real life. Rick Ross dropped a "I'm Da Man" remix, Beyonce danced to L-O while on her summer tour and D4L crew members spoke to news outlets about memorializing the Bankhead native.
“We want to put a real face on the person," Fabo said in a video. "He wasn’t just a rapper….family man, father, friend, uncle, cousin. For the whole Bankhead, he was always there, for people who couldn’t pay their rent, people who couldn’t do for themselves, he was always the one to come through, always the one to call.”
Later that same month, AJC reported that the autopsy revealed Shawty Lo had Percocet and Vicodin on him but that Lo's official cause of death was “blunt force injury to the head.”
In March 2017, Lo's camp made sure the legend of Shawty Lo lived on by releasing his posthumous album R.I.C.O. featuring T.I., O.T. Genasis, Lyfe Jennings and more.
R.I.P. Shawty Lo.
Hip-Hop Reacts to Shawty Lo's Death