Rappers Who Died In 2022

The music industry mourns the lives of many rappers throughout 2022, all of whom we lost way too soon. Consisting of Grammy Award winner Coolio, Migos rapper Takeoff, 2017 XXL Freshman Class member PnB Rock, Gen Z rapper Lil Keed, and DJ Kay Slay, this year's hip-hop musician death roster contains some of the greatest artists of all time. This list of deceased rappers and producers will serve as your reference for all of the hip-hop artists who have passed away throughout 2022, from the musicians who died today to those who recently died. 

To honor these musical geniuses' inspirational legacies, let's continue listening to their incredible music and keeping their influence alive. Check back weekly for the most recent deaths of every famous rapper who left an unparalleled mark on the music world. 

  • Takeoff
    Photo: thecomeupshow / flickr / CC-BY 2.0

    Takeoff passed away on November 1, 2022. The youngest member of rap group, Migos, was found dead outside of a bowling alley in Downtown Houston, he suffered a gunshot wound. He was 28. 

    Takeoff, whose full name was Kirshnik Khari Ball, was a part of a rap trio that included his uncle, Quavo, and his cousin, Offset. The rap trio dominated the rap scene and parties around the world with their catchy, party anthems like “Bad and Boujee,” “Stir Fry,” “Motorsport,” “Versace," “T-Shirt,” “Walk It Talk It” and more. They've been releasing music together for 15 years. 

    Takeoff released some solo music as well with successful solo album “The Last Rocket.” He also collaborated with his uncle Quavo on new album “Only Built For Infinity Links” which was released on October 7, 2022. 

    “When you’re around Takeoff, there’s a sense of peacefulness about his aura,” Mr. Findling, a lawyer for Takeoff, said. “He listens to you, he looks at you, he’s more focused on what you have to say than what he has to say. The world was starting to learn about Takeoff. It was his time to shine.”

    Read More: NYT, CNN

    Age: Dec. at 28 (1994-2022)

    Birthplace: Lawrenceville, Georgia, USA

  • Coolio
    Photo: Duane Prokop / Getty Images

    Coolio passed away on September 28, 2022. He was 59. 

    Coolio, also known as Artis Leon Ivey Jr., was a Los Angeles rapper who rose to fame as a member of the gangsta rap group WC and the Maad Circle. He eventually achieved mainstream success in the mid-90s with albums “It Takes A Thief,” “Gangsta's Paradise,” and “My Soul.” When he wrote “Gangsta's Paradise” for the Michelle Pfeiffer film Dangerous Minds,  his popularity skyrocketed and the song stayed at #1 on the Billboard Charts for three weeks. 

    Coolio's talent manager, Sheila Finegan, told TMZ, "We are saddened by the loss of our dear friend and client, Coolio, who passed away Wednesday afternoon. He touched the world with the gift of his talent and will be missed profoundly. Please have Coolio's loved ones in your thoughts and prayers."

    Read More: TMZ, NYT

    Age: Dec. at 59 (1963-2022)

    Birthplace: Compton, California, USA

  • PnB Rock
    Photo: Philadelphia 76ers / Facebook

    Rakim Allen, known by his stage name PnB Rock, was fatally shot during a robbery while dining at Roscoe’s House of Chicken and Waffles in South Los Angeles on September 12, 2022. He was 30. 

    According to an Instagram post, Atlantic Records wrote that "PnB Rock was more than an artist. To many, Rakim Allen was a great friend. He was also a wonderful father to two beautiful little girls."

    A member of the 2017 XXL Freshman Class, PnB Rock released two studio albums throughout his career, Catch These Vibes (2017) and TrapStar Turnt PopStar (2019). His hit single “Selfish” also peaked at number 51 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart in 2016. 

    Read more: NYT, CNN

    Age: Dec. at 30 (1991-2022)

    Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA

  • Rapper Trouble - real name Mariel Semonte Orr - passed away on June 5, 2022, after being shot during a home invasion in Conyers, Georgia. He was 34.

    His label, Def Jam Recordings, confirmed his death on Instagram that same day. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the children, loved ones, and fans of Trouble. A true voice for his city, and an inspiration to the community he proudly represented. RIP Skoob,” the statement read

    Trouble was apparently at the house of an unidentified female companion when Jamichael Jones, who is wanted on allegation of murder, broke into the home. An information officer with the Rockdale County Sheriff's Department said that Jones and Orr did not know each other, but that Jones had previously been involved in a “domestic dispute” with the woman of the house.

    Orr first came onto the rap scene in 2011, thanks to his breakout mixtape, December 17th. He was signed by producer Mike Will Made-It in 2018, who went on to produce his album Edgewood, which featured stars such as Drake, The Weeknd, Quavo, Offset, and Fetty Wap.

    Read more:

    New York Post, Los Angeles Times

    Age: Dec. at 34 (1987-2022)

    Birthplace: Atlanta, Georgia, USA

  • Lil Keed
    Photo: Young Stoner Life Records

    Rapper Lil Keed - real name Rahqid Render - died on May 13, 2022, per a tweet from his record label, Young Stoner Life (YSL). He was 24. No cause of death was given. 

    “A member of our family is gone. Lil Keed was one of the most genuine and heartfelt human beings. He was an artist who loved his fans more than anything else. We lost a brother, a son, a father, and a friend. Keep him in your prayers and his legacy alive. Long Live Lil Keed," the tweet read. His brother Lil Gotit also shared the news in a post to Instagram.

    In 2018, Lil Keed got a record deal with Young Thug's YSL records (via 300 Entertainment). His debut album Long Live Mexico (2019) peaked at No. 26 on the Billboard 200. 

    Read more: 

    CNN, Page Six

    Age: Dec. at 24 (1998-2022)

    Birthplace: Atlanta, Georgia, USA

  • Graffiti artist and DJ Kay Slay passed away on April 17, 2022, due to complications from COVID-19. He was 55. 

    His passing was confirmed by his family in a statement: “Our hearts are broken by the passing of Keith Grayson, professionally known as DJ Kay Slay. A dominant figure in Hip Hop culture with millions of fans worldwide, DJ Kay Slay will be remembered for his passion and excellence with a legacy that will transcend generations. In memory of DJ Kay Slay, our family wishes to thank all of his friends, fans, and supporters for their prayers and well wishes during this difficult time. We ask that you respect our privacy as we grieve this tragic loss.”

    He had been admitted to the hospital to deal with complications from the virus in December 2021. A week prior to his passing, the Wack 100 Instagram account had posted that Grayson was "still fighting," and asked for prayers. 

    Born in New York City, Grayson began his career as a graffiti artist and performed hip-hop in his spare time. He went on to appear in the 1983 hip-hop documentary Style Wars. He released his album The Streetsweeper Vol. 1 in 2003, then released five more albums. In his last Instagram post, in January 2022, the DJ promoted his single with Tre Williams, Papoose, and AZ, called "In My Soul."

    Grayson was known for his dedication to preserving the integrity of hip-hop, as well as for his dis tracks. The New York Times even dubbed him "hip-hop's one-man ministry of insults." 

    Read more:

    The New York Times, New York Post

    Age: Dec. at 55 (1966-2022)

    Birthplace: New York City, New York, USA