• Music

Rappers Who Died Young

Over the years, several successful rappers have perished before their time, due to murder, drug overdoses, natural causes, and a variety of other reasons. Some rappers were shot, while others perished from cancer and heart attacks.

Who is the best-known rapper who has left us? Which of these fallen lyrical poets had the greatest impact on today's top hip hop releases? Tupac Shakur tops our list. Tupac Shakur perished on September 13, 1996, at age 25, after being shot in Las Vegas a few days earlier. The infamous rapper death case remains unsolved to this day. The Notorious B.I.G., who many believe was involved with Tupac's demise, passed on March 9, 1997, at age 24, after being shot in an SUV. As with Pac, Biggie's case is also unsolved.

Bookmark this list for young rappers that died recently - as we'll keep updating the list - as well as memorable stars like Tupac and Biggie. It's always sad to see that a young rapper passed away. Pop Smoke and XXXTentacion were some of the youngest deceased rappers to be added to the list. Several famous rappers have perished after losing their battles with cancer. Adam Yauch, AKA MCA from the Beastie Boys, passed on May 4, 2012, at age 47, after succumbing to a cancerous parotid gland and lymph node. Guru, best known for being a part of the duo Gang Starr with DJ Premier, passed on April 19, 2010, at age 48, from cancer.  

Are you surprised that so many rappers have died? Pour one out for your homies.

  • Photo: Slyguy1255 / Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY-SA 4.0

    Young Dolph died in a shooting in Memphis, Tennessee on November 17, 2021. He was 36.

    “All of us at APA are shocked and deeply saddened by the sudden and tragic loss of our dear friend and client, Young Dolph. The world has lost an icon, a great man and beloved artist who has been taken too soon. His dedication, drive, hard work, and loyalty to all those around him always came first and he will be deeply missed. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family at this most difficult time," a representative from APA Agency said in a statement to Variety

    The shooting took place at Makeda’s Homemade Cookies in South Memphis. The store owner said Young Dolph walked in to buy cookies when someone drove up, shot, and killed him around 1 p.m., FOX News 13 reported. The rapper had previously been shot in September 2017, outside of a store in Hollywood. 

    • Age: Dec. at 36 (1985-2021)
    • Birthplace: Chicago, IL

    #152 of 195 The Best New School Rappers#1 of 46 The Very Best Memphis Rappers#115 of 130 Rappers with the Best Voices, Ranked

  • Lil Marlo

    Lil Marlo, birth name Rudolph Johnson, was shot and killed on the evening of July 11th. His body was discovered after police responded to a call about a supposed car accident on an Atlanta highway. Page Six reported that "He is believed to have been shot while driving," and he was pronounced dead at the scene. His body was then brought to the The Fulton County Medical Examiner’s Office the following morning for inspection.

    The circumstances were still being investigated at the time of the report, and neither suspects nor motive were revealed. 

    • Age: 30
  • Tray Savage

    On June 19th, E! News reported that rapper Tray Savage had been shot dead in Chicago. He was 26. In the article, they write that "Multiple outlets report that Tray was driving his girlfriend to her house in the area at the time of the shooting." and noted the statement from the Chicago PD that he had been "shot in the neck and shoulder." There were no suspects at the time of the report, and an investigation was being held.

    Savage is known not just for solo ventures but also for being a member of Chief Keef's Glo Gang.

    • Age: 26
  • Fred the Godson

    New York-based rapper Fred the Godson died April 23, 2020, after contracting the coronavirus. He was 35. The producer and musician, whose real name is Frederick Thomas, posted a photo on Instagram of himself in the hospital in early April, confirming his diagnosis and wearing a ventilator. 

    Fred the Godson was a frequent collaborator who worked with artists like Diddy, Meek Mill, and Pusha T. In 2020, he released a solo album and a collaboration album with Jay Pharoah titled Training Day. He is survived by his wife, LeeAnn Jemmott, and their two children. 

    • Age: 35
    • Birthplace: New York City, NY