Dead Rappers Society

There are a lot of uncertainties in life, but death is the only certainty in this world. The irony of it all is that death literally means the end of life. I guess to put it in perspective, it just means that in everything, there is a beginning and there is an end. We, as people, accept death when it’s a person’s time to die, or I guess when we think it’s acceptable. But, when people die young, it leaves unanswered questions; the “what ifs”, and all the “could’ve beens”, and I believe this sentiment applies to all the late hip-hop artists of our time.

Like, imagine if DJ Scott La Rock was still alive, and him and KRS-One continued as Boogie Down Productions, and made more than two albums?

How about a Wu-Tang reunion at a major music festival, where Ol’ Dirty Bastard is actually there?

Imagine Eazy-E and Tupac being featured on Kendrick Lamar’s “Good Kid, M.A.A.D. City”?

Picture a Notorious B.I.G. and Nas beef, and how crazy that would’ve been (minus the violence, of course)?

Visualize hip-hop without Pete Rock & CL Smooth’s “They Reminisce Over You (T.R.O.Y.)”, a song dedicated to Trouble T Roy of Heavy D & the Boyz.

Do you think MF DOOM would’ve been the same if his brother, DJ Subroc, didn’t die?

Stones Throw Records was started by Peanut Butter Wolf to release albums him and his friend, Charizma, created (who was shot during a robbery). Maybe we wouldn’t have had J Dilla’s Donuts or Madvillian’s Madvilliany, which were both released under the label, and are considered two of the greatest albums in hip-hop.

Imagine Big L and Jay-Z creating an album à la “Watch the Throne”?

These artists’ deaths have shaped hip-hop to what it is now. KRS-One started a “Stop the Violence Movement” after the death of DJ Scott La Rock, and it inspired a lot of conscious rappers to separate hip-hop and violence. Some of the greatest songs are inspired by these deaths, and upcoming rappers try to emulate or continue their late idols’ legacies (e.g. Kendrick Lamar – Tupac). In some cases, death opened up other opportunities for the people that these late artists left behind, turning that negative energy into something positive (e.g. Peanut Butter Wolf, MF DOOM).

As a hip-hop fan, it is crazy to see the history behind some of my favourite deceased artists, and how they came to be. Thankfully, even with their short time here on earth, their legacies continue to live on through the music they have created and left behind. Hip-hop would not have been what it is today without them.

*RIP to all the late rappers that created and inspired the songs on this playlist*