The music industry lost a number of rappers in 2020 — from OGs like MF Doom and Ecstasy of Whodini to up-and-coming artists such as Pop Smoke and King Von. Moving into 2021, many people were hoping the new year would be better, but there have unfortunately been several losses this year as well. To honor them, let’s count down all the rappers who died in 2021.
Born Jonathan Brown, Baby CEO was an artist from Memphis who found fame at 13 for controversial songs focused on guns and money. He gained greater attention under the tutelage of Chicago drill rapper Fredo Santana, who died of cardiovascular disease at age 27 in 2018 (via The Chicago Tribune). But just three years later, in January 2021, he lost his life in unknown circumstances. Distractify reports he was 20.
18veno, a 19-year-old rapper from South Carolina, had just started to see success thanks to his 2020 R4z EP and debut project Pablo, when he was shot and killed on Jan. 23. Pitchfork was one of the first outlets to break the news, but the details of the shooting have not yet been publicized.
Prince Markie Dee
Prince Markie Dee of The Fat Boys died in February of unknown causes. He was 52. Group manager, Louis Gregory, confirmed the news on Twitter, writing (via Rolling Stone): “Forever in my Heart. Prince Markie Dee was more than a rapper; he was one of my very best and closest friends. My heart breaks today because I lost a brother. I’ll always love you Mark and I’ll cherish everything you taught me. Tomorrow is your birthday, swing my way big bro.”
Hailing from Houston, Chucky Trill (born Corey Detiege) was a rapper best known songs such as 2018’s “Streets Don’t Love A Soul,” as well as collaborations with artists including Texas legend Lil’ Keke and Dallas rapper Trapboy Freddy.
NME reports he had been in Atlanta on March 5 for All-Star Weekend when he was shot and killed on a local highway. Police have yet to make an arrest in the 33-year-old’s murder, at the time of this writing.
DMX — real name Earl Simmons — was one of rap’s most beloved figures. Known for his gravel-voice and fiery rap anthems, he ruled the late 90s and early 2000s with hits such as “Party Up” and “Get at Me Dog” and later made history as the first act to have their first five albums hit No. 1.
Though his music career later slowed, fans still held him in high regard until his death on April 9, which was the result of a heart attack. He was 50.
Though they’re no longer here, each of these artists left behind music and loved ones to carry on their legacies. We at Showbiz Cheat Sheet send our condolences to their families, friends, and fans.
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