Gangsta Boo, the pioneering Memphis rapper who was a member of Three 6 Mafia, has died. According to a report from Fox 13, Boo – real name Lola Mitchell – was found dead at her Memphis home this afternoon. Her Three 6 Mafia bandmate DJ Paul then confirmed the news in a social media post. She was 43 years old.
Gangsta Boo was born on August 7, 1979 and grew up in the Whitehaven area of Memphis, Tennessee. She started rapping at around age 14 and joined Three 6 Mafia after catching the attention of her then-classmate DJ Paul during a school talent show. She remained in the group until 2001, appearing on their 1995 debut Mystic Stylez, a defining album in the horrorcore rap genre, and on through 2001’s Choices: The Album.
Boo had already embarked on a solo career by the time she left the group, with her debut solo LP, 1998’s Enquiring Minds, boasting the hit single ‘Where Dem Dollas At?’. She followed it up with Both Worlds *69 in 2001 and Enquiring Minds II: The Soap Opera in 2003 before putting out a number of mixtapes, the latest of which was 2018’s Underground Cassette Tape Music 2. More recently, she appeared on Run the Jewels’ RTJ4 track ‘Walking in the Snow’ and joined Latto and GloRilla for the single ‘Fuck the Club Up’.
In an interview with Billboard published last month, Gangsta Boo discussed her influence on the new generation of rappers. “I have to admit, respectfully and humbly, that I am the blueprint. I hear my cadence in a lot of men and female rappers. 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 fuck.”
“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 I’m on some fuck that shit,” she said. “It’s time to claim what’s mine. I’m one of the main bitches. And it feels fun to still be able to look good and be relevant in a place where I don’t have this million-dollar machine behind me and I have all my natural body parts, no shade to the ones that don’t. But it just feels great to stand in yourself and look in the mirror and be like, ‘Wow, you did that.’”