Rappers Who Died in 2023


2023 witnessed devastating losses in the hip-hop community as influential rappers from emerging stars to seasoned veterans met abrupt, unexpected ends. While some succumbed to health declines, others faced violent demises rooted in ongoing feuds or retaliation. A few global icons towering over rap landscapes abroad saw their groundbreaking careers tragically cut short. Despite the diversity of backgrounds and circumstances, these artists shared an enduring creative impact through iconic bars, flows, and beats that shaped hip-hop’s evolution.

As the genre grieves pioneers gone too soon, their timeless tracks and barrier-breaking accomplishments live on, continuing to inspire future MCs to push artistic boundaries. Though mourned by many, their creative flames keep hip-hop’s culture alight for new generations. Here in this article, we’ll be discussing the top-known rappers who died in 2023.

Gangsta Boo

Gangsta Boo, born Lola Chantrelle Mitchell, was a renowned rapper hailing from Memphis, Tennessee. She gained prominence as the only female member of Three 6 Mafia and made significant contributions to their early albums. After leaving the group in 2001 due to financial disputes, Gangsta Boo embarked on a successful solo career. She released albums like “Enquiring Minds” and “Both Worlds *69,” collaborating with notable artists such as Eminem, Run the Jewels, and Yelawolf. In 2013, she became part of the Three 6 Mafia spin-off group, Da Mafia 6ix.

Gangsta Boo

Tragically, Gangsta Boo, one of the rappers who died from drugs, passed away on January 1, 2023, at the age of 43. An autopsy conducted on June 15, 2023, revealed that her cause of death was an accidental overdose involving fentanyl, cocaine, and alcohol. She was found deceased on her mother’s porch in Memphis, and no evidence of foul play was discovered. At the time of her untimely demise, Gangsta Boo was actively working on her album titled “The BooPrint.” 

David Jude Jolicoeur – Trugoy the Dove

David Jude Jolicoeur, also known as Trugoy the Dove, Plug Two, and Dave, was an influential American rapper, best recognized as one-third of the legendary hip-hop group De La Soul. Born on September 21, 1968, in Brooklyn, New York, he grew up in East Massapequa, Long Island. Jolicoeur, along with his fellow De La Soul members, was part of the Native Tongues collective and co-wrote the Grammy-winning Gorillaz song “Feel Good Inc.”

Trugoy The Dove

In the later years of his life, Jolicoeur faced health challenges, being diagnosed with congestive heart failure. He publicly disclosed his health issues in November 2017, explaining the impact on his ability to perform and tour with the group. Despite his health struggles, De La Soul participated in a special performance on February 5, 2023, at the 65th Annual Grammy Awards. However, Jolicoeur was notably absent.

Tragically, on February 12, 2023, at the age of 54, David Jolicoeur passed away. His representative, Tony Ferguson, announced the news without disclosing the cause of death. The hip-hop community mourned the loss of this iconic artist, offering tributes to his lasting impact on the genre.

Kiernan Jarryd Forbes – AKA

Kiernan Jarryd Forbes, known professionally as AKA, was a celebrated South African rapper, born on January 28, 1988. His impactful career included hit albums like Altar Ego (2011), Levels (2014), and Touch My Blood (2018). AKA, recognized as the greatest-selling South African hip-hop artist, collaborated with Anatii on Be Careful What You Wish For (2017). Tragically, on February 10, 2023, during his birthday celebrations in Durban, AKA was shot outside a restaurant, leading to his untimely death. The incident also claimed the life of his friend, Tebello Motsoane. A versatile artist, AKA’s impact extended internationally, as seen in his special guest appearance at WWE Live events in 2018.

AKA (Rapper)

His engagement to Nelli Tembe in 2021 was cut short by her unfortunate demise in April of the same year, marking a series of personal and professional highs and lows for the influential South African musician. This event marked a significant loss in the community of famous rappers who died, leaving fans and the music industry mourning the untimely passing of this influential artist.

BTB Savage

BTB Savage, whose real name is Darrell Gentry, was a 26-year-old rapper hailing from San Antonio, Texas. Tragically, he met a violent end in Houston on March 30, 2023, as he was shot and killed. The nature of the shooting was deemed targeted due to the presence of numerous bullet casings at the crime scene.


BTB Savage gained attention not only for his music but also for an unfortunate incident where his girlfriend reportedly shot a robber at their home. In a distressing turn of events, BTB Savage’s mother, Bernita Ward, revealed that she had warned him to remove a post on social media where he seemingly boasted about the incident. She expressed her belief that her son’s killing was an act of revenge linked to his public statements regarding the attempted robbery.

The rapper’s untimely death occurred just hours after he shared details of the robbery incident on Instagram. The circumstances surrounding his killing point to a potential retaliation, marking a tragic end to the life of a young artist.

Costa Titch

Costa Titch, born Costantinos Tsobanoglou on September 10, 1995, was a prominent South African Amapiano rapper and dancer. His career transitioned from dance to rap after relocating to Johannesburg in 2014. In 2020, he gained acclaim with his debut album “Made In Africa,” featuring collaborations with AKA, Riky Rick, and Boity. The album’s success solidified his status as a rising star in South African music.

Costa Titch

Known for uplifting tracks like “Ayeye” and the record-breaking “Big Flexa,” Costa Titch made significant contributions to the Amapiano genre. However, tragedy struck on March 11, 2023, when he collapsed while performing at the Ultra South Africa music festival in Johannesburg. Despite briefly recovering and continuing, he collapsed again and passed away at 27.

The cause of his death remains undisclosed, leaving the music community mourning the loss of a vibrant talent. While his impact on Amapiano will be remembered, the untimely death of Costa Titch adds to the somber list of 90s rappers who died suddenly.

Big Pokey

Big Pokey, born Milton Jerome Powell Jr., was a revered American rapper, renowned for his association with chopped and screwed music and as a vital member of the Screwed Up Click from Houston, Texas. Born on November 29, 1974, he formed a lasting friendship with George Floyd during his high school days at Yates High School, where they played football together. Big Pokey emerged in the early ’90s as part of DJ Screw’s influential rap collective.


Making his mark with solo albums like “Hardest Pit in the Litter” (1999) and “Da Sky’s Da Limit” (2002), Pokey’s impact extended to collaborations with Paul Wall and features in HBO’s “Entourage.” Tragically, on June 17, 2023, while performing in Beaumont, Texas, Big Pokey suffered a fatal heart attack. Rushed to a local hospital, he passed away on June 18, 2023, at 48, with autopsy results pointing to atherosclerosis and hypertensive heart disease. His legacy endures in the Houston rap scene.

Casino Jizzle

Casino Jizzle, born Robert Tunstall, was a 27-year-old Memphis rapper known for his contributions to the hip-hop scene. With roots in East Memphis and Orange Mound, Tunstall garnered attention for his distinctive style, blending trap beats with authentic narratives that reflected the Memphis rap tradition. He marked his musical journey with notable achievements, boasting nearly 10 million streams on Apple Music and over 46 million views on music videos. Despite facing personal and legal challenges, including a 2019 shooting incident outside a Chuck E. Cheese and a 2014 guilty plea to felony theft and robbery, Casino Jizzle continued to channel his experiences into his art.


Tragically, Tunstall’s promising career was cut short when he was shot and killed on July 4, 2023, at the age of 27. The suspect, Michael Clayton, was subsequently arrested and charged with first-degree murder. Family members suggested a motive rooted in jealousy, as Tunstall and Clayton reportedly shared children with the same woman. His untimely death marked another loss in the Memphis hip-hop community, echoing the tragic fate of fellow rapper Young Dolph just two years prior.


Magoo, whose full name is Melvin “Magoo” Barcliff, was a rapper and one-half of the rap duo Timbaland & Magoo. Born on July 12, 1973, in Norfolk, Virginia, Magoo gained prominence as a collaborative partner with producer/rapper Timothy “Timbaland” Mosley. The duo formed in 1989 and achieved success with their debut album “Welcome to Our World,” featuring the hit single “Up Jumps da Boogie.”

Rapper Magoo

Tragically, Magoo passed away on August 13, 2023, at the age of 50. His former wife, Meco Barcliff, confirmed his death. Magoo’s funeral service took place on September 6, 2023, in Portsmouth, Virginia. The cause of his death was attributed to a heart attack. Magoo’s contributions to the rap scene, particularly through his collaboration with Timbaland, left a lasting impact, and his untimely demise marked the end of an era in the music industry.


MohBad, born Ilerioluwa Oladimeji Aloba on January 3, 1996, was a highly acclaimed Nigerian rapper, singer, and songwriter hailing from Lagos. Formerly associated with Naira Marley’s Marlian Records, he gained fame for hits like “Ponmo,” “Peace,” and “KPK (Ko Por Ke).” Departing the label in 2022, he continued to make waves with his own imprint, Imolenization.


Tragically, MohBad’s life took a turn on September 12, 2023, when he passed away at the age of 27, joining the somber list of rappers who died young. His death followed treatment for an infection administered by an unlicensed nurse. The circumstances raised concerns, leading to a police investigation after his body was exhumed on September 21, 2023. MohBad’s impactful career, marked by successful releases like the “Blessed” EP, faced controversies, including an NDLEA arrest in 2022 and allegations against Naira Marley and Sam Larry, adding layers to his complex journey in the Nigerian music scene.

Young Capone

Born in 1987 in Atlanta, Georgia, United States, Young Capone, also known as Dopeboy Ra and RaRa, tragically passed away at the age of 35. His publicist, Aleesha Carter, confirmed the news on Instagram, expressing deep sorrow without disclosing the cause of death. Initially feared missing and last seen in Chicago, Young Capone’s untimely demise marked the conclusion of a career that left a significant impact on the Atlanta rap scene.


A protegé of Jermaine Dupri and a signee to So So Def record label, he collaborated with industry heavyweights like Daz Dillinger. His notable tracks include “What It Iz,” “Lights, Camera, Action,” and “Dope Boy Fashion.” Born Rodriguez Smith in 1987, he rose to prominence in the mid-2000s underground hip-hop scene. His final project, “SlumMade 2.0,” released in December 2022, stands as a testament to his lasting influence in the music industry. The cause of his death remains undisclosed.

Lefty SM

Lefty SM, born Juan Carlos Sauceda on April 22, 1992, in San Luis Río Colorado, Mexico, was a prominent Mexican rapper signed by Alzada Records. Known for collaborations with artists like Luis R Conriquez, Carin Léon, and C-Kan, his song “Soy Mexicano” stood out as one of his biggest hits. Lefty SM, aged 31, had a massive social media presence, boasting 2.7 million YouTube subscribers, 1.5 million Facebook followers, and 1.3 million Instagram followers.

lefty sm

Tragically, on September 3, 2023, Lefty SM was fatally shot in Zapopan, Jalisco, near his home in the La Cima neighborhood. The announcement of his death was made by Alzada Records on Instagram, expressing profound sadness and offering condolences to his wife, María Isabel, and their two daughters. The circumstances surrounding the shooting indicated that Lefty was attacked near his residence. Carlos Félix, a PR representative for Alzada Records, confirmed that Lefty was shot twice and declared dead at a local hospital.

Arnez Blount – C-Knight

C-Knight, born Arnez Blount in 1971, was a cornerstone of West Coast hip-hop, making significant contributions to the genre’s evolution. As a founding member of the G-funk group Dove Shack, alongside Bo-Roc and 2Scoops, he played a pivotal role in their breakthrough with Warren G’s 1994 album “Regulate… G Funk Era.” The iconic 1995 hit, “Summertime in the LBC,” from their debut album “This Is the Shack,” solidified their legacy as influential figures in hip-hop. C-Knight’s impact extended beyond the group, as he released a solo LP titled “Knight Time” in 2001, further contributing to the West Coast G-Funk movement.


Tragically, C-Knight’s journey concluded on November 7, 2023, at the age of 52, succumbing to complications from a stroke suffered on October 18, intensified by diabetes. His untimely passing leaves a void in the hip-hop community, mourning the loss of a pioneer whose contributions shaped the West Coast G-Funk movement and resonated across the genre. The hip-hop world reflects on rappers who died recently, and C-Knight’s name stands among those whose legacies will forever echo through the beats and rhythms of West Coast hip-hop.


In 2023, we lost some amazing rappers who played a big role in hip-hop. They had unique styles and stories that resonated with people. These rappers faced unexpected and sometimes tragic ends. Despite the sadness, their impact on the music world and the communities they represented will always be remembered. Their songs told stories of struggles and successes. Even though they’re gone, their music lives on, inspiring new artists to share their own stories. The stage might be quieter, but the beat of hip-hop continues, keeping their legacies alive for everyone who loves the rhythm and stories they brought to the world.

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