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News >  Obituaries

Rapper Gangsta Boo of Three 6 Mafia dies at 43

Jan. 2, 2023 Updated Mon., Jan. 2, 2023 at 9:01 p.m.

Rapper Gangsta Boo performs during a tour stop at the Orpheum Theater in Madison, Wisconsin, Feb. 15, 2017. (Ricky Bassman/Cal Sport Media/Zuma Press/TNS)  (Ricky Bassman/Cal Sport Media/Zuma Press/TNS)
Rapper Gangsta Boo performs during a tour stop at the Orpheum Theater in Madison, Wisconsin, Feb. 15, 2017. (Ricky Bassman/Cal Sport Media/Zuma Press/TNS) (Ricky Bassman/Cal Sport Media/Zuma Press/TNS)
By Christi Carras</p><p>and Josh Rottenberg Los Angeles Times

Gangsta Boo, rap pioneer and former member of Memphis hip-hop group Three 6 Mafia, has died. She was 43.

Gangsta Boo’s representative confirmed news of her death to Variety. No cause was given.

Her work with Three 6 Mafia helped propel the group from the Dirty South hip-hop underground to mainstream success in the 1990s and 2000s. She appeared on six albums with Three 6 Mafia, including its 2000 platinum-certified release “When the Smoke Clears: Sixty 6, Sixty 1,” before departing in 2002 to focus on her solo career and a spinoff group, Da Mafia 6ix.

Gangsta Boo’s debut as a solo artist, 1998’s “Enquiring Minds,” featuring the hit “Where Dem Dollas At,” reached no. 15 on Billboard’s R&B/hip-hop chart. Her follow-up, “Both Worlds 69,” peaked at no. 8 on the same chart.

In later years, she appeared as a guest on tracks with artists like Eminem, Gucci Mane, OutKast, Lil Jon and Run the Jewels. She experienced a revival of interest last month, when Latto released the single “FTCU,” featuring Gangsta Boo and GloRilla.

Many members of the hip-hop community began posting tributes to Gangsta Boo on social media after Three 6 Mafia member DJ Paul shared a photo of the rapper Sunday on Instagram.

Among the artists who mourned Gangsta Boo in the comments section of DJ Paul’s latest Instagram post were 2 Chainz, Lil Jon, Duke Deuce, Paul Wall, Big Boi and Ludacris.

“MAN WE WAS JUS TOGETHER 3 WEEKS AGO,” Lil Jon wrote. “REST WELL (QUEEN).”

“Long Live The Queen,” Deuce wrote.

Born Lola Chantrelle Mitchell in Memphis, Gangsta Boo began rapping at age 14, according to Essence magazine, and joined Academy Award-winning collective Three 6 Mafia at age 15 in 1994, Billboard said.

Surviving current and former members of Three 6 Mafia include DJ Paul, Juicy J and Crunchy Black. Lord Infamous died of a heart attack in 2013, and Koopsta Knicca succumbed to a stroke in 2015.

“I would honestly say that I have to admit, respectfully and humbly, that I am the blueprint,” Gangsta Boo said in a recent interview with Billboard.

“I hear my cadence in a lot of men and female rappers. … My sound is a Memphis sound. It’s a Gangsta Boo sound, it’s a Three 6 Mafia sound. So, I am the blueprint and I wear that badge proudly as f—-. I used to run away from it. I used to didn’t want to even give myself flowers because I’ve been so low-key and humble, but … it’s time to claim what’s mine.”

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