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Female rap pioneer Lola Chantrell Mitchell — Three 6 Mafia’s Gangsta Boo — has died at the age of 43.
Memphis, Tennessee, FOX affiliate FOX13 reported that the rapper was found dead on Sunday afternoon around 4 p.m., but no official cause of death had yet been reported.
According to a report from entertainment website TMZ, Mitchell’s former label mate DJ Paul appeared to confirm that she had passed away, sharing a photo of her via Instagram late on Sunday afternoon.
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Gangsta Boo worked with other rappers like Paul, Juicy J, Lord Infamous, Crunchy Black, and Koopsta Knicca — and was featured on the rap group’s first 5 studio albums, including Three 6 Mafia’s debut record. She went on to leave the group in the early 200’s and make a name for herself with solo projects as well.
Shortly after the news broke, tributes to the groundbreaking artist began to pour in via Twitter.
“Rest In Peace Gangsta Boo The first lady of Three 6 Mafia,” Andrew Barber tweeted. “An incredible artist who could ride a beat like no other & transcended generations in a fickle business. Her solo debut ‘Enquiring Minds’ remains one of the best of the Hypnotize Minds canon. Peace & love to her family.”
“Gangsta Boo wasn’t just this pioneer for women in rap. She was a foundational figure in music. you’d never know just by talking to her, because she was such a sweet, self-effacing person who’d never tout her many accomplishments unbidden. This is just f***ing awful,” another said.
Singer K. Michelle added, “You already know what it is. We FOREVER! Broke my whole heart today sis. I love you. #Memphis R.I.P. Gangsta Boo.”
— K. Michelle (@kmichelle) January 1, 2023
“According to reports, Memphis rapper #GangstaBoo of #Three6Mafia has died at the age of 43. Her cause of death is currently unknown. Our thoughts and prayers are with her family and friends,” WorldStarHipHop offered condolences as well.
According to reports, Memphis rapper #GangstaBoo of #Three6Mafia has died at the age of 43. Her cause of death is currently unknown. Our thoughts and prayers are with her family and friends. pic.twitter.com/hDyS9uBCOp
— WORLDSTARHIPHOP (@WORLDSTAR) January 1, 2023
“Gangsta Boo was such a unique artist … style wise, voice wise … energy. She was not the token woman of the crew … she really brought her own style to 3-6/Hypnotized Minds and made them a better more complete click/label …” RosenbergRadio tweeted.