Lola Chantrelle Mitchell, Memphis rapper and former member of the Three 6 Mafia, who, as Gangsta Boo, helped define the genre in the South with her confident flows and paved the way for the another female artist, passed away on Sunday. She was 43.
She was found dead Sunday afternoon in a neighborhood west of Memphis International Airport, the Memphis Police Department said in a statement Monday. “There was no immediate sign of foul play,” police said, adding that an investigation into her death was ongoing.
With clever lyrics, sometimes flirty and playful, strong and proud, Gangsta Boo quickly established herself in the 1990s as a rising South Korean rap star and thriving. strong. As a teenager, she joined the Three 6 Mafia, an underground rap group that would go on to become one of the most influential groups of its time.
In 1995, Gangsta Boo and the other members of the group, Juicy J and DJ Paul, released their debut album, “Mystic Stylez,” a nightmarish addition to the booming rap scene at the time. there. The album, part of a subgenre of rap known as horror, captivates listeners with dark allusions to death and murders, eerie rhythms, and ominous vocals. Gangsta Boo calls herself on the album a “daughter of the devil”, capturing the supernatural tone of the project.
Three years later, Gangsta Boo released his first solo album, Enquiring Minds. It featured one of her most famous hits, in which she turned a tease into its title and a catchy and memorable hook: “Where Dem Dollas At!?”
While the single hinted at a superficial affection, Gangsta Boo said in an interview with HipHop DX in 2014 that it also addressed the pressures of motherhood and raising a child.
“How can you have a baby with a guy who has nothing? I feel the same way,” she said. “I feel like that more now. That’s why I don’t have children. It has to be at the right time and at the right time.”
Lola Chantrelle Mitchell was born in Memphis, where she grew up with her three older brothers in an environment she once described in an interview as “rough”.
She said in an interview with All urban centers in June of last year. Details about her mother and father, and her date of birth, were not immediately available. There is also no list of survivors.
Gangsta Boo said, when she was young, she always felt comfortable around boys because of her brothers. Their neighborhood in Memphis is called Whitehaven, but Gangsta Boo said she and her siblings and friends nicknamed the neighborhood “Blackhaven” because the residents in the area were predominantly Black.
At school, she met DJ Paul, whose real name is Paul Duane Beauregard. Soon, the two bonded because of their love of music.
Impressed with her lyricism, DJ Paul asked if she would like to join his group, the Three 6 Mafia. She has done. At the age of 16, Gangsta Boo took his first leap in the music industry.
“It all happened overnight,” she told All Urban Central, adding, “we were successful very quickly.”
Gangsta Boo collaborated with Three 6 Mafia on several albums but left the group in the early 2000s to pursue a solo career.
When asked why she left, she said in an interview with MTV 2001: “No problem. People get aloof sometimes, and that’s basically it. No drama, no beef. It still is. I’m pretty far apart and I’m not doing what they’re doing. I don’t curse in my music anymore. We’re just as far apart as a marriage.
That same year, Gangsta Boo changed her name to Lady Boo because she said she didn’t “live the gangster lifestyle” and wanted to bond herself more closely with God. her website still call her Gangsta Boo at the time of her death.
The composition of the Three 6 Mafia has evolved over the years. In 2006, following the departure of Gangsta Boo, the group won the Academy Award for Best Original Song for “It’s Hard Out Here for a Pimp,” from the film “Hustle & Flow.”
Later in her career, Gangsta Boo has collaborated with many rappers, especially those of Southern origin.
She told billboards last year that “for hip-hop and female rap, I think it’s a good space.”
“They said, ‘Gangsta Boo walked so many people could run,’” she added.
In recent years, she’s reflected on how she’s become one of the first female rappers to build the gangster rap image and sound that emerged in the 1990s, singing about smoking, complete salary and evil intentions – topics usually reserved for men.
“A lot of guys in Memphis are like ‘Gangsta Pat’, ‘Gangsta Black’ – this gangsta, that gangsta,” she told All Urban Central.
But towards the end of his life, this nickname took on an uplifting meaning.
“You know, it’s more than that, just enjoying my life as a legendary gangster,” she said.
Livia Albeck-Ripka contribution report.