On this day, May 1, in hip-hop history...

su4c via YouTube
su4c via YouTube

2006:  Houston rap legend Big Hawk was shot and killed on May 1, 2006. He was an integral part of DJ Screw's Screwed Up Clique and one of the biggest personalities of the whole crew. He was also one of the best freestylers in the camp, always stealing the spotlight during the squad's signature sessions and eventually earning the nickname Five Star General.

Back in 1994, he started a group with his little brother Fat Pat, DJ Screw, Lil Keke and Koldjack called D.E.A. and a record label called Dead End Records. Four years later they released the independent album Screwed for Life, a cult classic south of the Mason-Dixon.

In 2002 Hawk released the biggest song of his career with "You Already Know" on his HAWK album, which charted at No. 45 on Billboard R&B and Rap albums. He also got a nice profile boost with a feature on Trae's 2005 single "Swang."

On that fateful day in 2006, Hawk was gunned down on a sidewalk in south Houston. Police had few leads on a suspect, but Paul Wall thought, "It's got to either be a case of mistaken identity or an attempted robbery by somebody who didn't realize who they were robbing. Hawk was all about positivity and bringing people together."

"There were no chinks in this man's moral armor," said Bun B. "Because he was a rapper there will be people who will take his death the wrong way, but he was a peaceful guy and a family man who had no beefs with anybody."

R.I.P. to the legendary Big Hawk, whose murder remains an unsolved case.

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