2016 was an intensely emotional year for hip-hop fans as a result of bidding farewell to a long list of artists. The community mourned month after month with the news of each loss: from legendary MCs to younger rappers on the rise who were taken way before their time.

Fans used Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to tweet the names, lyrics, photos and songs of the favorite rappers to celebrate their legacy. These moments of grief allowed them to come together to pay their respects.

Some artists succumbed to gun violence in their hometowns, which resulted from previous unsettled rifts. These were the unfortunate fates of Atlanta rapper Bankroll Fresh and Baltimore spitta Lor Scoota. Both were under the age of 30 and emerging as promising talent in hip-hop this past year. We’ll never know what would have come of their careers because they were abruptly cut short.

Other notable rappers who lived out their heydays, but could boast major hits and a strong fan base from a successful career, sadly spent their final days suffering from chronic illnesses that eventually took their lives. Phife Dawg and Prince Be of P.M. Dawn both faced health issues in their final years. They left behind families and legacies that can’t be replaced.

As we close out this year and enter a new one, major rappers to local underground phenomenons deserve to be highlighted and remembered for their contributions to hip-hop. Here are 12 rappers we lost in 2016.

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