On this day, June 7, in hip-hop history…

GuttaTV via YouTube
GuttaTV via YouTube

2012: Not many are familiar with Lil Phat and his brief stint in the rap game. The 19-year-old was better known for his affiliation with Webbie’s Trill Entertainment roster, which also boasted acts such as Lil Boosie, Mouse On Tha Track and Foxx. He was a solid underdog who kept grinding with consistent street anthems and hustler music tales.

Phat was gunned down in front of a hospital in Sandy Springs, Georgia last June, where his girlfriend was giving birth. In May 2013, San Francisco State guard/forward Decensae White was arrested for his alleged involvement in Phat's murder.

On Fri., Aug. 14, 2014, three men were brought to justice for the murder of Lil Phat. Among them was 25-year-old Deandre Washington, who was convicted for the murder of the rapper. He was sentenced to life without parole and an additional 20 years. Also convicted were then-35-year-old Gary Bradford and 29-year-old Maurice Connor. Bradford and Connor were both charged with conspiracy and participating in criminal street gang activity. Bradford was sentenced to 25 years behind bars, while Connor was hit with 30. At the time, prosecutors claimed that the three men had conspired to kill Phat in response to a drug robbery they believe he orchestrated.

Years after his death, it remains clear that the Baton Rouge native will always be remembered for his guest appearances. The biggest look was on Webbie’s “Independent" off his album Savage Life 2. A standout lyric: “A independent chick, do you know what that mean/She cook, she clean, never smell like onion rings.” Other highlights were his contributions on “Thuggin’” and “Showin’ Off.”

Rest in peace to Lil Phat a.k.a. Melvin Vernell III.

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