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Pioneering Memphis rapper Gangsta Boo died on Sunday, Jan 1, 2023. Born Lola Mitchell, she was a former member of the Grammy-winning rap group, Three 6 Mafia and paved the way for female rap in the South.
The official cause of death has not been released, but sources have reportedly told TMZ it could be drug-related.
The outlet states that a fentanyl-laced substance is believed responsible for her passing.
Mitchell and her brother attended a New Year’s Eve concert, and throughout the evening, he also required hospitalization due to overdosing. He is reported to be in stable condition.
Witnesses on the scene claimed narcotics were found on the rapper.
The announcement of her passing was confirmed by longtime friend and Three 6 Mafia member DJ Paul.
The post’s comment section was full of condolences and shock from the hip-hop community.
Lil Jon replied to the image, “MAN WE WAS JUS TOGETHER 3 WEEKS AGO ???? REST WELL QUEEN ????????.”
Fellow Memphis rapper Duck Deuce added, “Love With The Queen.”
Monica shared some images and a heartfelt message to the rapper.
And Freddie Gibbs showed love to his friend with a recent picture the two took.
Damn we was just together. ?
RIP Queen pic.twitter.com/Itct6s7dB8
— Big ? (@FreddieGibbs) January 1, 2023
Others shared Mitchell’s impact as an artist and how she had a hand in paving the way for female rap.
Mitchell began rapping at the age of 14. She joined Three 6 Mafia in 1994 when she was just 15 years old. She became a southern rap favorite with her single, “Where Dem Dollas At?” from her 1998 debut solo album. Enquiring Minds.
Long Live Gangsta Boo ??? I’m so sorry Latto ??????pic.twitter.com/phFMhK0atk
— Latto’s Destiny ? (fan) (@LattosDestiny) January 1, 2023
RIP Gangsta Boo. The first lady of Southern rap, a pioneer w/ mesmerizing get money bounce, and a ubiquitous influence since she kicked Satanic verses at 15 on “Mystic Stylez.” Boo defined Memphis rap as much as anyone in Three 6, and never spit a bad verse.
Gone far too soon. pic.twitter.com/N8cOhAQ03Z
— Otto Von Biz Markie (@Passionweiss) January 1, 2023
I tweeted this a while ago and she saw it and hit me up. If you are from the south and child of the 80s, 90s you understand the pain. I really am shocked by her passing. I was so happy to see her back in the limelight. Rest in power Gangsta Boo. You were a pioneer for real. ???? https://t.co/i23UzYzAdi pic.twitter.com/du0WnrVche
— C.J. Lawrence (@CJLawrenceEsq) January 1, 2023
She left the group in 2002 due to financial disputes and poor promotion of her follow-up album, Both World *69.
Speculation about Mitchell’s drug abuse has plagued her throughout her career. As a cast member of WE TV’s Marriage Boot Camp, a scene centered around therapist Dr. Ish confronting Mitchell and her boyfriend, Emmett, after a baggie with white powder was allegedly discovered in their room.
Memphis police stated there is an open investigation behind the official cause of death at this time.