The rap game is fierce, unpredictable, and full of changes. Even though it’s uncertain what this industry holds for many in the future, people can continue to appreciate the many artists and influencers for their contributions and celebrate them.
Rappers taken too soon are remembered for their talent, music, and overall positive impact on the people. The rap world tragically lost various legends, ranging from Biz Markie to Paul Mooney. Below we recognize the rappers, comedians, actors, actresses and even politicians, who died in 2021.
Dearon Thompson, also known as Deezer D, was an American actor, rapper, and motivational speaker known for his role as Nurse Malik McGrath in the television series “ER.” Additionally, he played memorable parts in films like “CB4” and “Fear Of A Black Hat.” Deezer D was 55 years old and had been through surgery on his heart multiple times in the past decade. It is suspected that he died of an unexpected heart attack at home on January 7th, 2021.
Jonathan Brown, better known by his stage name Baby CEO, was taken too soon at only 20-years old on January 20th, 2021. He achieved fame after posting songs on social media about his violent lifestyle and fascination for guns and drugs. After various collaborations, Baby CEO later gained more recognition as the protege of Chicago-native Fredo Santana. The cause of death for the rap artist has not been determined.
Talk show legend Larry King was an American television and radio host who conducted over 50,000 interviews. He has two Peabodys to his credit and numerous Emmy Awards for hosting quality shows.
After fighting COVID-19, Larry King reportedly recovered from the virus. He eventually succumbed to complications. King died of sepsis at the age of 87 on January 23rd, 2021, in Cedars Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. He was survived by his widow Shawn Southwick-King.
18Veno, also known as Paul Harts, was an aspiring American rapper and musical artist. 18Veno released his album titled Pablo and EP “R4z” in 2020. However, a tragedy occurred in the 400 block of Byars Street on January 23rd, 2021. 18Veno was reportedly shot and killed inside a home in Rock Hill, South Carolina. Police responded to two teens suffering from gunshot wounds. Both victims were rushed to Piedmont Medical Center, where they later died due to their injuries.
South Korean rapper Iron, also known as Jung Hun-cheol, released his first album on September 9th, 2016, and he was one of the contestants on the hit TV series “Show Me The Money 3.” On January 25th, a security guard discovered Iron bleeding while lying in a flowerbed outside an apartment complex. He was taken to a local hospital but unfortunately couldn’t be saved.
Cicely Louise Tyson
Cicely Louise Tyson was an American actress who rose to fame for portraying strong, empowered African-American women. Her career spanned seven decades. Cicely Louise Tyson is one of the most critically acclaimed and awarded actors in American history. She has received three Primetime Emmy Awards, four Black Reel Awards, the Screen Actors Guild Award for her work on stage, and an honorary Academy Award.
Unfortunately, Cicely Louise Tyson died on January 28th, 2021, at 96. Her passing was confirmed by her longtime manager, Larry Thompson. Cicely Tyson passed away two days after her memoir “Just as I Am” was published.
Armando Anthony Corea, also known as Chick Corea, was an American jazz composer, bandleader, and keyboardist. Chick Corea was famous for his compositions such as “Spain,” “500 Miles High”, “La Fiesta,” “Armando’s Rhumba,” and “Windows” are considered jazz standards worldwide. Chick Corea was considered one of the most influential jazz musicians in history, and his influence on generations to come will be felt forever. His music has been sampled by rappers like Kanye West, Eric B & Rakim, and Busta Rhymes and others. Corea, who previously suffered from a rare form of cancer and had only recently been diagnosed, passed away on February 9th, 2021. He was 79 years old when he died, surrounded by friends and family members that loved him deeply.
Prince Markie Dee
Mark Anthony Morales was a Brooklyn-born rapper and songwriter known by his stage name Prince Markie Dee. The rapper was known for his work with The Fat Boys, a pioneering hip-hop group that also had cross-over success with movies like “Krush Groove” and “Disorderlies.” Prince Markie Dee went on to have a successful solo career writing songs for Mariah Carey and Jennifer Lopez before pursuing radio hosting later in life. Prince Markie Dee passed away on February 18th, 2021, after suffering from congestive heart failure at 53.
Vernon Eulion Jordan Jr.
Vernon Eulion Jordan Jr. was a well-known figure in civil rights circles. He has worked for several organizations that strive towards equality and justice, primarily through his work with President Bill Clinton’s administration and was known is the former Potus’ “fixer.” Born on August 15th, 1935, Vernon Eulion Jordan Jr. grew up in Atlanta before going off to college at DePauw University, where he graduated in 1957. On March 1st, 2021, Vernon Eulion Jordan Jr. died in his sleep, according to a statement from the family. However, his cause of death was not made public.
Canadian actor, Jahmil French was most noted for his role as Dave Turner in “Degrassi: The Next Generation.” The role earned him a Canadian Screen Award nomination for Best Performance in a Children’s or Youth Program or Series at the first Canadian Screen Awards in 2013. The actor, unfortunately, died on March 1st, 2021, at the age of 29.
Neville O’Riley Livingston, professionally known as Bunny Wailer, was a world-renowned Jamaican singer-songwriter and percussionist who was one of the original founding members of reggae group The Wailers along with Bob Marley. Bunny Wailer is one of the most recognized voices in reggae music, and artists have covered his songs worldwide.
Sadly, the reggae star passed away on March 2nd, 2021, at 73 in the Medical Associates Hospital in Kingston, Jamaica. It was reported that Bunny Wailer had been in and out of the hospital since suffering his second stroke in 2020.
Mad Clip was one of the most famous rappers in Greece. He released four albums, and they’ve all been met by rave reviews from critics alike. The rapper signed to the Capitol Music label. He released many popular songs such as “Dealer,” “Kotera,” and “Sinthikes,” which have grossed more than ten million page views on YouTube, and his albums include Super Trapper 2 and Still Active featuring Strat. Mad Clip, the 34-year old rapper from Greece, tragically died in a car crash in Vouliagmeni’s southern suburb on September 2nd, 2021. He lost control of his vehicle and collided with an electrical pole before hitting another tree.
Chucky Trill, the stage name of 33-year old Detiege from Sugar Land, Texas, was found dead on Interstate 85 after a shooting on March 5th, 2021. The motive, however, has not been released for his death yet. However, in December of 2021, a suspect was arrested and charged with his murder.
Rapper, actor, and producer Earl Simmons, also known as DMX, was born in 1968. His breakthrough first album, It’s Dark And Hell Is Hot, was released in 1998 and impacted American hip-hop culture. The album sold 251,000 copies within one week! In a shocking turn of events in April of 2021, DMX overdosed and was left in a coma. The 50-year-old artist passed away on April 9th, 2021, after suffering from a toxin-induced heart attack. DMX was laid to rest in an elaborate ceremony with stars like Swizz Beatz, Nas, and The Lox attended to pay their final respects.
The music world was shocked at the plight of Bad Boy Records artist Robert Ross, who went by the stage name Black Rob.
Black Rob was born on June 8th, 1968, and he is known for his famous single “Whoa!” which peaked at number 43 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 2000. The rapper was in financial straights when he passed away on April 17th after suffering cardiac arrest. Many blamed Bad Boy boss Sean “Diddy” Combs. However, the rap mogul proved he was a class act by paying for Black Rob’s funeral, which was attended by Grandmaster Caz, D-Dot, Red Alert and others.
Dallas-based rapper Dashawn Maurice Robertson aka Lil Loaded, was an American success story in 2019. His song “6locc 6a6y” went viral, and he rose to fame quickly. However, the rapper passed away on May 31st, 2021, at 20. Police confirmed that he was found by a family member with an apparent gunshot wound to his head-the motive has not yet been determined, but friends claimed relationship problems were behind it all.
Gregory Edward Jacobs, also known by his fans as Shock G, was an American hip-hop artist and a member of the 1980s hip-hop group Digital Underground. In addition to introducing Tupac Shakur to the world, Shock G performed vocals for the group’s biggest hits, including “Same Song,” Humpty Dance,” and “Doowutchyalike.” On April 22nd, 2021, Shock G passed away due to an accidental fentanyl and alcohol overdose. He was 57-years-old.
Indian Red Boy
Indian Red Boy, born Zerail Dijon Rivera, was a rapper from Los Angeles, California. Indian Red boy talked with a friend on Instagram Live when he was ambushed and shot several times in front of his viewers. The murder was broadcast over the social media network. People have varying accounts on why this happened; Some say it had something to do with girl drama, while others claim the shooting was gang-related. In the end, Compton rapper Game paid for Indian Red Boy’s funeral expenses.
On July 13th, 2021, Londre Sylvester, better known by his stage name KTS Dre was killed in what police described as an ambush. Shortly after being released from jail, the Chicago-based rapper suffered 64 bullet wounds to his head and other body parts. KTS Dre was one of three people who were shot that day. Doctors pronounced Londre Sylvester dead on arrival at the hospital.
Chucky Thompson, the singer, and songwriter, known for his catchy melodies, died on August 9th after a reported battle with Covid-19. Chucky was a member of Bad Boy Entertainment’s “Hitmen” team of in-house producers in the 1990s. He cranked out hits for The Notorious B.I.G, Faith Evans, Usher, Ice Cube, Mary J Blige, and Nas. His publicist Tamar Juda told Billboard: “It is with a very heavy heart that I can confirm the passing of Chuckie. To anyone in his orbit, you know how generous he was both creatively as well as energy-wise. He leaves behind an incredible legacy which will forever remain within our hearts.”
Juan Bautista Garcia, aka YNT Juan, passed away after being shot multiple times by unknown suspects. According to The Hartford Courant, on August 10th, 2021, police were summoned following a ShotSpotter activation. When cops arrived at the scene, they found YNT Juan – an affiliate of The Wu-Tang Clan who amassed more than 25k followers across Instagram and Facebook – dead inside a parked car.
The Wu-Tang Clan member who went by 12 O’Clock was killed in a shooting in Portland, Oregon, on August 12th. His son Divine confirmed the news. The murder was treated as a homicide by coroners because of how many shots were fired at close range without any warning signs beforehand. “I’m out of town on business and found out they just murdered my father,” he says from a loud plane. “I don’t know what to do,” He wrote. “Sad day for me. They assassinated my father in #Oregon.”
The news of Emani Johnson’s passing came as a shock to many. The young singer, known for her R&B music, passed away at the age of 22 in October 2021. Her family stated she succumbed to injuries she sustained in an accident but did not offer any more information. Record producer J Maine later confirmed it in a statement to People. “Emani 22 was a wonderful individual that literally brightened up any room she was in,” he told the media outlet.
Marcel Theo Hall, known by fans worldwide as Biz Markie, was an American rapper, DJ, and record producer. He rose to fame as a member of the legendary Juice Crew collective, one of the most respected crews ever in hip-hop culture. Biz dropped classic after classic, including records like “Vapors,” “Make The Music With Your Mouth Biz,” and “Nobody Beats The Biz.” But he was best known for his 1989 hit single “Just a Friend,” which became a Top 40 hit. In 2008, the hit “Just a Friend” made No. 100 on VH1’s list of the 100 Greatest Hip-Hop Songs Of All Time. Tragically. Biz Markie passed away at the age of 57 on July 16th, 2021. His death had come after severe complications from Type 2 diabetes.
Just weeks after Biz Markie’s untimely death, another well-known figure passed away – Gonzoe, aka Ronald Moore. Gonzoe was a founding member of the rap group Kausion alongside Cel and Kaydo. The three signed with Ice Cube’s Lench Mob record label to release their debut album South Central Los Skanless in 1995. Gonzoe was shot and killed on July 29th, 2021, at the age of 45.
On October 31st, 2021, 20-year old Marquis Lamar Hargrove, who famously went by the stage name Yung Kece was gunned down in San Diego. He became famous for his singles “Which Way? Dat Way”, “Leavin Or Staying,” and “No Love.” Israel Moreno was collared for the crime, but he has claimed self-defense after an altercation with the rapper.
Young Dolph, a 36-year old American rapper whose real name was Adolph Robert Thornton Jr., passed away on November 17th, 2021, after being shot at a bakery called Makeda’s Homemade Cookies. Dolph left behind two children and an unforgettable legacy in music history as one of hip-hop’s most dedicated artists during his lifetime. His debut album, “King Of Memphis,” was released on March 11th, 2016; it reached number 49 on US Billboard 200 Albums Chart. The rapper blew up after collaborating with O.T. Genasis on the hit single “Cut It.” Young Dolph released seven albums in his lifetime and launched his critically acclaimed record label Paper Route Empire. On January 5th, police in Memphis named a local rapper named Justin Johnson, Straight Dropp, a suspect in Young Dolph’s tragic murder.
Slim 400, real name Vincent Cohran, a 33-year old rapper best known for his song “Bruisin,” was allegedly shot and killed on Wednesday, December 8th, 2021. The rapper, who was close with YG, was reportedly a victim of escalating gun violence in Los Angeles. In 2019, he was shot nine times during a trip to his hometown of Compton. Unfortunately, Slim400 was not able to survive the point-blank shooting, which ultimately claimed his life.
Shaun Fequiere, also known as Kangol Kid, was an iconic hip-hop artist who died from complications resulting from stage four colon cancer on Saturday, December 18th, 2021, at age 55. Kangol Kid was best known for his membership in UTFO who gained popularity with their hit song Roxanne-Roxanne. And Hip hop fans worldwide loved UTFO and Kangol Kid. At the time of his death, Kangol was working on various projects, including a dating show.
Drakeo The Ruler
Drakeo The Ruler passed away after being stabbed backstage before his performance at Snoop Dogg’s Once Upon A Time In LA Music Festival. The rapper, age 28, was stabbed to death on Saturday, December 18th, 2021, during an altercation with the dozens of alleged gang members, supposedly connected to Compton rapper YG. Drakeo was pronounced dead later that night by medical professionals who could not save him due to a stab wound in the neck. The rapper and songwriter had a unique way of flowing with his words and was famously known for his creative word choices, making him stand out from other rappers.
Michael Turner, a rap and hip-hop producer, also known as Double K, was best known for his work with People Under The Stairs. He recorded 12 studio albums and over 20 singles, including EPs and compilations. Double K was an MC with DJ skills, and it all came together with music production. Double K, who released a solo album called “Clinophobia,” died at the age of 43. Per the Los Angeles County Medical Examiner, he passed away at his home.
Gift of Gab
Better known by fans as Gift of Gab, Timothy Jerome Parker was an American rapper famous for performing in the Bay Area hip-hop duo Blackalicious with DJ Chief Xcel. Gift of Gab was even a partner in Quannum Projects, a critically acclaimed Bay Area hip-hop crew, and record label. Gift of Gab also performed and recorded as a solo artist. By the time 2020 rolled around, Gift of Gab had been enduring weekly dialysis treatments for kidney failure. In January of that year, he received an emergency kidney transplant. But alas, his health could not last, and by June 2021, Gift of Gab died from natural causes.
Sound Sultan was one of the most prominent rappers in Nigeria, and his music spoke out against social injustice. He used rap to raise awareness for issues like poverty or corruption that many people never thought would be addressed through hip-hop culture with his powerful lyrics. On May 12th, 2021, Sound Sultan was reportedly somewhere in the USA receiving chemotherapy as he was diagnosed with Angioimmunoblastic T-cell lymphoma in his throat. Unfortunately, the rapper passed away on July 11th, 2021, at the age of 44, due to complications from the illness.
Virgil Abloh was a world-renowned fashion designer and entrepreneur associated with Kanye West. He was the artistic director of Louis Vuitton’s menswear collection beginning in 2018. In early 2021, Virgil Abloh was given advanced creative responsibilities across the LVMH brand. The fashion designer lived with his wife in Chicago, where they raised two children together before being diagnosed with having cardiac angiosarcoma cancer. The family kept the diagnosis private; however, on November 28th, 2021, Virgil Abloh passed away.
Archbishop Desmond Mpilo Tutu was a South African Anglican bishop and theologian best known for his work as an anti-apartheid activist. He held the position of Archbishop from 1986 to 1996, in both cases being the first black African to hold this high office within Johannesburg’s church hierarchy during Apartheid days. He opposed segregation in all aspects: from society to religion (the church), as someone who sought equality among humans regardless of race or ethnicity. The Nobel Peace Prize winner Archbishop Desmond Tutu died at the age of 90 on December 26th, 2021.
Leonard Nelson Hubbard, also known by his fans as Hub, was an American musician who played with The Roots from 1992 to 2007. He joined them when they were still based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and left after playing on all of their records up until that point – including 1999’s Things Fall Apart as well 2004’s Tipping Point. Hub studied at Settlement Music School during his youth before going onto Carnegie Mellon University. The musician was diagnosed with cancer in 2007. Leonard Nelson Hubbard’s passing on December 16th, 2021, was confirmed by his wife Stephanie, who revealed the cause of death to be multiple myeloma.
Flow La Movie
José Ángel Hernández, famously known as Flow La Movie, was a Puerto Rican music producer who started his career in the music industry in 2011. He produced several albums and songs for Latin artists like Bad Bunny, Ozuna, Nio Garcia, and others. Flow La Movie, his wife, and their 4-year-old son were among the people who perished when their Gulfstream IV crashed during an emergency landing near Las Américas International Airport on December 15th, 2021.
Born on September 7th, 1936, Joe Simon’s career began in the Bay Area, where he performed with Golden West Singers. He started as a gospel artist but eventually became more famous for his soulful songs. His music was favored by hip-hop musicians, who sampled his music. His classic single “Theme From Cleopatra Jones” was turned into a monster hit by Compton’s Most Wanted in the form of their song “Growing Up In The Hood.” Unfortunately, the Soul and R&B musician died on December 13th, 2021.
The Ruff Sqwad crew is an English grime group formed in 2001. They are responsible for developing the early days of the music genre with their distinctive production style, which helped them gain popularity among other crews and producers alike.
The world learned of DJ Scholar’s passing on December 7th, 2021. At this time, it is unknown how the grime pioneer died.
Gregory Stephen Tate was a revolutionary in the world of music. He was a critically-acclaimed American writer, musician, and producer who helped establish hip-hop as an essential genre through his writings. His passion for African-American culture has been vital at every step along the way. Gregory Tate died on December 7th, 2021, in New York City. He was 64 at the time, and that night, his name went up into lights across Harlem – a testament to what he achieved as a journalist and personally for those around him.
Monster Kody, real name Sanyika Shakur was a member of the Eight Tray Gangster Crips. He received his moniker at the age of 13 when he beat up an innocent victim so severely that it left him disfigured. Monster Kody claims to have been reformed in prison when he joined the New Afrika Movement. His enlightenment led him to write his 1993 memoir, “Monster: The Autobiography Of An L.A. Gang Member.” On June 6th, 2021, Sanyika Shakur was found dead in a tent at a homeless encampment in Oceanside, California. The cause of his death is still under investigation, but it appears that Shakur died from natural causes and not foul play.
Wanda Young was a songstress who rose to fame with The Marvelettes and later as the lead singer of their sister group Martha & the Vandellas. The Marvelettes single Please Mr. Postman” dropped in 1961 and became an instant hit when it topped charts around America – becoming the first #1 Pop Single for a fledgling label known as Motown. Wanda Young died at age 78 on December 15th, 2021.
Michael K. Williams
Michael K Williams was a world-famous actor best known for his roles as Omar on “The Wire” and Albert “Chalky” White on the HBO series “Boardwalk Empire.” At 54, Michael K Williams was found deceased at his Brooklyn apartment on September 6th, 2021. His cause of death was an accidental overdose of cocaine and heroin mixed with fentanyl.
Dennis “D.T.” Thomas
Dennis “D.T.” Thomas was one of the founding members of the long-running soul-funk R&B band Kool and The Gang, who introduced many audiences to new sounds with their soulful funk and R&B songs. Dennis “D.T.” Thomas served as the band’s emcee during shows which featured his saxophone playing skills alongside some percussion on various tracks like “Who’s Gonna Take The Weight?” However, he became most well known for his spoken word vocals, in which he delivered powerful messages. Sadly, on August 8th, 2021, the music artist family announced to the public the passing of Dennis “D.T.” Thomas at the age of 70.
Paul Mooney was often considered one of America’s greatest comedians and writers. He had worked closely with Richard Pryor for years, contributing material on his albums and films. Mooney was also the head writer on 1977’s short-lived TV series, “The Richard Pryor Show.” Paul Mooney produced multiple standup specials and published his memoir in 2007. Paul Mooney’s death was reported on May 19th, 2021, at 79.
North Carolina rapper Cam Coldheart died at 33 in his hometown of Charlotte. Although he released a steady stream of music, an infamous altercation with fellow Charlotte rapper DaBaby brought his name to the forefront. In 2019, Cam Coldheart went viral after he got into a fight with DaBaby inside a Louis Vuitton store, inside the South Park Mall in Charlotte. Despite the infamous altercation, cam cold heart continued to release music until his death of unknown causes on April 24th.
Alberto “Alpo” Martinez
Alberto “Alpo” Martinez was shot and killed in Harlem in the early morning hours of October 31st, 2021. Alpo was a bona fide legend in the hip-hop game, thanks to his run as a drug baron in the 1980s with Azie Faison, Rich Porter, and Wayne “Silk” Perry of Washington DC. Alpo’s life story was told in the classic film “Paid In Full,” directed by Damon Dash. He served 35 years at ADX Florence Supermax prison for his involvement in at least 14 murders. Alpo became infamous after snitching on his co-defendants to receive a reduced sentence. He decided to leave the witness protection program sometime after his release from prison in 2015. Alpo, 55, was hit with a hail of bullets on the corner of West 147th Street near Frederick Douglass Boulevard around 3:00 am.
Ricky Powell was a world-renowned photographer who was sometimes labeled the fourth Beastie Boy. Powell, who began shooting in 1985, captured images of various young superstars at the time, including Madonna, Run-DMC, LL Cool J, and others. Ricky Powell died on February 1st, 2021, from heart failure at age 59.
Nicki Minaj’s 64-year-old father Robert Maraj, was among the casualties of 2021. Nicki’s dad was killed in a hit-and-run accident in Mineola, New York, in February of 2021. Police eventually identified the car driver who killed the rap star’s dad as Charles Polevich. He was arraigned for death on December 17th, 2021.
It may sound odd, but Larry Flynt, the legendary founder of nudie mag Hustler, was critical to hip-hop culture. In addition to publishing Hustler, Larry Flynt also oversaw another magazine – the legendary publication Rap Pages, the premier West Coast Hip-Hop magazine of the 90s. Sadly, Larry Flint died at the age of 78 on February 10th, 2021. His cause of death was never revealed.
Duke Bootee was a co-writer of one of the most legendary songs in hip-hop history – “The Message” by Grandmaster Flash and The Furious 5. “The Message” was among the first 50 songs entered into the National Recording Registry in 2003 and helped get the group into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Duke Bootee ended his career as an educator when he died at age 69 of heart failure on January 13th, 2021.
Kardone was best known as Beyonce’s rapping cousin before his untimely demise. The rapper, born Martell Derouen, was making a name for himself independent of his famous cousin. January of 2021, his family noticed he was missing for a few days. When police and San Antonio, Texas, went to his apartment, they discovered that Kardone had been shot and killed. Another rapper named Sasha Skare was eventually charged with the 34-year-old’s death.
Adolfo “Shabba Doo” Quinones
Adolfo Quiñones, aka Shabba Doo, was a pioneer of hip-hop culture starting in the 1970s. He was a member of The Original Lockers, and the group’s fantastic dance moves first hit mainstream TV during an episode of “What’s Happening!!” which starred fellow locker, Fred “Rerun” Berry. Quiñones would go on to even greater fame as the star of the hit movies “Breakin'” and the follow-up, “Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo” as the hot-headed dancer Ozone. In later years, Quiñones choreographed tours for Madonna, Lionel Richie, and Luther Vandross. He also handled the choreography for Three 6 Mafia’s performance at the Oscar Awards when the group won the statue for their hit song “It’s Hard Out Here For A Pimp” from the movie “Hustle & Flow.” Quiñones died on December 29th, 2021, of unknown causes at the age of 65.
Snoop Dogg’s Mom Beverly Tate
Rap star Snoop Dogg mourned the death of his mother, Beverly Tate, in 2021. Snoop Dogg’s mother was fighting an unknown ailment since May of 2021. In July, he revealed her condition had worsened in a post on Instagram from the hospital. Mrs. Tate transitioned on October 24th, 2021. Snoop Dogg’s mom was very active in the hip-hop community. She was an ordained minister and a well-known community activist who created The Mothers of Entertainers (M.O.E.) in 2005.
Keyshia Cole’s Mom Frankie
Keyshia Cole’s mother, Frankie Lyons, died from a drug overdose. Frankie, who starred in her reality show “Frankie & Neffe,” which was a spin-off of her daughter’s reality show “Keyshia Cole: The Way It Is.” Frankie had been living clean and sober before she relapsed while celebrating her 61st birthday, which would be her last. Unfortunately, Frankie died on July 18th, 2021.
Huey Haha was a TikTok and YouTube comedian who rose to stardom with his funny clips on both social media platforms. Huey was known for his “diamond-encrusted” grills. His quirky humor helped him amass a TikTok following that had over 4.5 million viewers and 450,000 subscribers on YouTube. Huey Haha died on October 25th, 2021. While the cause of death was never confirmed, multiple sources stated Huey died from suicide.
Bay Area rapper Lil Theze was down with the buzzing rap group SOB x RBE. Lil Theze was killed during an attempted robbery in Oakland. Reports say Lil Theze and two other men approached a man named Ersie Joyner, a retired Oakland police captain. Lil Theze and his accomplices attempted to rob Joyner at a gas station. Joyner opened fire on the trio and struck Lil Theze, who died on the spot. The rapper was 20-years-old when he was killed on October 21st, 2021.
Freeway’s Daughter Harmony
Freeway’s daughter Harmony lost her bought with a terminal at the tender age of 21. The rapper had been chronicling his trips to the hospital with her as a supportive father as she underwent chemotherapy. Unfortunately, Harmony transitioned on October 24th. Harmony’s death came as Freeway was still morning the death of his son, Jihad Pridgen. His son died in October 2020, reportedly due to a drug overdose. “You know the saying sugar and spice and everything nice, well that’s my Harmony! ❤️ I promise y’all she was the sweetest most kind most caring generous loving adorable person I know. Allah Really blessed me putting her in my life. I love her so much and this hurts so bad 😢 this video was February of this year on her 21st birthday,” Freeway said of Harmony.
Bay Area rapper Baba Zumbi from the rap group Zion I died on August 13th, 2021, due to complications of COVID-19. Baba Zumbi, K-Genius and Amp Live helped shape a generation of Golden State emcees through 13 studios albums, including releases like Mind over Matter (2000), Deep Water Slang V2.0 (2003), True & Livin’ (2005), Break a Dawn (2006) Heroes in the City of Dope (2006) (with The Grouch) and others. Baba Zumbi was 49-years-old when he transitioned.
Lee “Scratch” Perry
Reggae legend Lee “Scratch” Perry died at the age of 85 on August 29th, 2021. Perry’s career spanned seven decades. He was beloved by artists like The Rolling Stones and Afrika Bambaataa, who said Lee Perry’s sound “inspired us to start hip-hop. Lee Perry died at the Noel Holmes Hospital in Western Jamaica.
Phil Pabon was a legendary designer/executive who helped merge the worlds of hip-hop, fashion, and business and turn them into one giant billion-dollar industry. Using Pabon’s marketing and branding expertise, companies like Mecca, Phat Farm, ENYCE, Fila, and FUBU made hundreds of millions of dollars. Pabon died at the age of 51 on August 13th, 2021, after a battle with pancreatic cancer.
Edai was a pioneering drill rapper from the rough streets of Chicago. Edai represented the notorious O Block like King Von, Lil Durk, and others. He recorded with Chicago greats like Chief Keef, 600 Breezy, and others during his career. Edai was a victim of Chicago’s escalating gun violence. Edai was shot multiple times on July 31st. He died at The University of Chicago Hospital.
Anthony Johnson, aka AJ Johnson, died suddenly in Los Angeles in September of 2021. AJ Johnson had roles in many great hip-hop movies, including “Friday,” “Menace to Society,” “House Party,” “How to Be A Player,” “The Player’s Club,” and “I Got The Hook Up” (both 1 and 2), to name a few. He was rushed to the hospital on September 6th, but he died due to unknown causes. AJ Johnson was 55 at the time of his death.
Malcolm X’s daughter Malikah Shabazz was found dead in her apartment in Brooklyn in November of 2021. She was one of six children sired by Malcolm X and his wife, Betty Shabazz. Malikah was born after her father was killed in 1965 by members of the Nation of Islam. Malikah was found dead in her Brooklyn, New York apartment on November 22nd, 2021, of natural causes at the age of 56.