Today in Hip-Hop: R.I.P. Yella Boi (1975-April 5, 1997)
On this day, April 5, in hip-hop history...
Yella Boi was a part of the gangsta rap trio U.N.L.V., which was comprised of himself, Tec-9 and Lil Ya. U.N.L.V., short for "Uptown Niggas Living Violent," made significant breakthroughs in the Southern hip-hop scene for bringing the gritty street life of New Orleans to wax. The trio was one of the first acts to get signed to Cash Money Records and once Cash Money signed a distribution deal, their New Orleans Bounce sound was spread all throughout the region. Mannie Fresh once described U.N.L.V's sound as the "essence of hip-hop." The group's most popular song is "Drag 'Em in the River," which was actually a diss aimed towards Mystikal. The beat would be repurposed years down the line for the 2001 Juvenile single "Set It Off."
Tension between Yella Boi and Birdman began in 1996 and it was rumored Baby wanted to drop U.N.L.V. from the label. Yella allegedly pistol-whipped Baby and many believe Baby had him killed in retaliation. Though Birdman has never spoken on the matter, even saying in XXL’s September 2002 issue, "That's some shit I don't know nothin' about," it's rumored that the hook to Birdman’s 2002 hit song "What Happened To That Boy" references Yella's murder: "What happened to that boy?/He was talking shit we put a clappin' to that boy."
R.I.P. Yella Boi.
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