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15.8k voters

The Greatest Rappers Who Are Already Dead

Updated September 29, 2020 75.4k votes 15.8k voters 232.3k views43 items

List RulesVote up the hip hop artists who made the greatest bodies of work before they died

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The Notorious B.I.G. once rapped, "I wonder if I died / Would tears come to her eyes / Forgive me for my disrespect / Forgive me for my lies." Biggie, we forgive you. Several famous rappers and hip-hop stars have unfortunately passed away. This list ranks the best of them. Some of these musicians were shot during an illegal activity, while others died of natural causes. Two famous rappers are suspected to have died in conjunction with the East/West rap rivalry of the 1990s.

Who is the best rapper who is already dead? Tupac Shakur tops our list. Tupac died on September 13, 1996 after being shot in Las Vegas. He was 25 years old. The Notorious B.I.G. died on March 9, 1997 after being murdered in a drive-by shooting in Los Angeles. Though many believe that his death was retaliation for the murder of Tupac, no arrests have been made in correlation with either murder. 

Adam Yauch, aka, MCA of the Beastie Boys, died on May 4, 2012 after a three year battle with cancer. He was 47 years old. On August 25, 2001, Aaliyah was killed, along with eight others, when her flight to the Bahamas crashed shortly after takeoff. She was 22 years old.

Are you surprised that so many famous rappers have died? Take a look at this list and share your thoughts in the comments section.

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  • 1

    Tupac Shakur

    All Eyez on Me, Me Against the World
    6,774
    1,266
    Tupac Shakur died on September 13, 1996 after being shot in Las Vegas. He was 25 years old.
  • 2

    The Notorious B.I.G.

    Ready to Die, Life After Death
    5,352
    1,092
    The Notorious B.I.G. died on March 9, 1997 after being shot in a drive-by shooting in Los Angeles. Many believe that his death was a retaliation for Tupac's death in their ongoing East Coast/West Coast rivalry. 
  • 3

    Eazy-E

    Eazy-Duz-It, It’s On (Dr. Dre) 187um Killa
    4,167
    1,251
    In 1995, NWA rapper Eazy-E was diagnosed with AIDS when he went to the hospital to treat what he thought was asthma. He died from complications from AIDS less than a month later.
  • 4

    Nate Dogg

    Music & Me, Welcome To The Dogg House
    2,618
    1,109
    Nate Dogg died March 15, 2011 due to complications with multiple strokes. He was 41 years old.
  • 5

    Nipsey Hussle

    The Marathon Continues, The Marathon
    1,489
    443
  • 6
    5,382
    1,151

    XXXTentacion was tragically shot and killed while sitting in a car in Florida on June 18, 2018. 

  • 7
    r-a-menizz added

    Big L

    The Big Picture, Lifestylez ov da Poor & Dangerous
    2,370
    1,246

    On February 15, 1999, Big L was killed in his native Harlem after being shot nine times in the face and chest in a drive-by shooting. 

  • 8

    Ol' Dirty Bastard

    Return to the 36 Chambers: The Dirty Version, The Trials and Tribulations of Russell Jones
    1,783
    1,037
    Ol' Dirty Bastard died on November 13, 2004 from a drug overdose at the age of 35.
  • 9

    Big Pun

    Capital Punishment, Yeeeah Baby
    1,880
    1,206
    Big Pun died on February 7, 2000 after suffering a fatal heart attack in New York. He struggled with maintaining a healthy weight for much of his life.
  • 10
    Jay Clayton added

    Prodigy

    H.N.I.C., Return of the Mac
    1,611
    682

    Prodigy died June 20 2017 in Las Vegas N.V. at the age of 42 ... he died from a lifelong Battlle with Sickle-Cell Anaemia Disease, the average life expectancy ranges form 40 to 60 for people who suffer of this disease 

  • 11

    Aaliyah

    Aaliyah, One in a Million
    1,459
    904
    On August 25, 2001, Aaliyah and eight others were killed when her airplane crashed shortly after takeoff. She was 22 years old. 
  • 12

    Proof

    Searching for Jerry Garcia, Grown Man Shit
    1,476
    994
    Proof was shot and killed in Detroit on April 11, 2006. He was 32 years old.
  • 13
    Boris Daems added

    Phife Dawg

    Ventilation: Da LP, Flawless
    751
    504

    On March 22, 2016, Phife Dawg died from complications relating to diabetes at age 45. 

  • 14
    RichardBeecher added

    Mac Dre

    The Genie of the Lamp, Don't Hate The Player
    777
    501

    On November 1, 2004, Mac Dre died in a drive by shooting.

  • 15

    Guru

    Jazzmatazz, Volume 1
    1,018
    731
    Guru died on April 19, 2010 after falling into a coma after having surgery due to cardiac arrest.
  • 16
    Jason Mizell, aka, Jam Master Jay, was shot and killed on October 30, 2002. His murder remains unsolved.
  • 17

    Lisa Lopes

    Supernova, Eye Legacy
    927
    623
    Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes was involved in a fatal car accident in Honduras on April 25, 2002. A documentary, entitled The Last Days of Left Eye, was made in commemeration.
  • 18

    Heavy D

    Vibes, Waterbed Hev
    687
    545
    Heavy D died on November 8, 2011 after experiencing a a pulmonary embolism. He was 44 years old.
  • 19
    bigmeth187 added

    DJ Screw

    Fallen Soldiers, 3 'n the Mornin': Part Two
    463
    315

    On November 16, 2000, DJ Screw died from a codeine overdose inside his Houston recording studio. 

  • 20

    Soulja Slim

    The Streets Made Me, Years Later... A Few Months After
    572
    485
    Soulja Slim died on November 26, 2003 after being shot four times in New Orleans. He was 26 years old.
  • 21

    J Dilla

    Donuts, The Shining
    823
    742
    J Dilla died as the result of a blood disease on February 10, 2006.
  • 22
    r-a-menizz added

    Pimp C

    The Naked Soul of Sweet Jones, Pimpalation
    773
    675

    On December 4, 2007, Pimp C was found dead in his West Hollywood hotel room due to "purple drank" overdose.

  • 23
    Carlos Antonio Navarro Aguirre added

    Capital STEEZ

    King Steelo
    746
    569

    On December 23, 2012, Capital STEEZ committed suicide by jumping off the rooftop of Cinematic Music Group headquarters in New York. 

  • 24

    Adam Yauch

    Drum Machine
    537
    445
    Adam Yauch, aka, MCA of the Beastie Boys, died on May 4, 2012 after a three year battle with cancer. He was 47 years old.
  • 25
    openmind added

    Sean Price

    Monkey Barz, Jesus Price Supastar
    531
    396

    On August 8, 2015, Sean Price died in his sleep at age 43 due to unknown reasons.