Lola Chantrelle Mitchell, the Memphis rapper and former member of Three 6 Mafia who, as Gangsta Boo, helped define the genre within the South together with her confident flows and forged a path for other female artists, died on Sunday. She was 43.
She was found dead on Sunday afternoon in a neighborhood west of Memphis International Airport, the Memphis Police Department said in a press release on Monday. “There have been no immediate signs of foul play,” the police said, adding that the investigation into her death was ongoing.
With clever lyrics that were at times flirtatious and playful, forceful and proud, Gangsta Boo quickly established herself within the Nineteen Nineties as a rising rap star who hailed from and flourished within the South. As a teen, she joined Three 6 Mafia, an underground rap group that may go on to grow to be some of the influential of its era.
In 1995, Gangsta Boo and the opposite members of the group, Juicy J and DJ Paul, released their debut album, “Mystic Stylez,” a nightmarish addition to the booming rap scene on the time. The album, a part of the subgenre of rap often known as horrorcore, captivated listeners with its dark references to death and murders, eerie beats and ominous vocals. Gangsta Boo referred to herself on the album as “the devil’s daughter,” capturing the supernatural tone of the project.
Three years later, Gangsta Boo released her first solo album, “Enquiring Minds.” It featured one in every of her best-known hits, through which she transformed a teasing line into its title and a sticky and memorable hook: “Where Dem Dollas At!?”
While the one hinted at a superficial sentiment, Gangsta Boo said in an interview with HipHop DX in 2014 that it also touched on the pressures of motherhood and raising a toddler.
“How can you’ve a baby by a dude that has nothing? I feel the identical,” she said. “I feel like that much more now. That’s why I don’t have kids. It’s got to be the appropriate one and the appropriate moment.”
Lola Chantrelle Mitchell was born in Memphis, where she was raised alongside three older brothers in an environment that she once described in an interview as “rough.”
“I got a hood in me because I had plenty of hood friends,” she said in an interview with All Urban Central in June of last 12 months. Details about her mother and father, and her birth date, weren’t immediately available. A listing of survivors was also not available.
Gangsta Boo said that, as a toddler, she all the time felt comfortable around boys due to her brothers. Their neighborhood in Memphis was called Whitehaven, but Gangsta Boo said she and her siblings and friends nicknamed the neighborhood “Blackhaven,” because the realm’s residents were predominantly Black.
In class, she met DJ Paul, whose real name is Paul Duane Beauregard. Soon, the 2 bonded over their love of music.
Impressed by her lyricism, DJ Paul asked if she wanted to affix his crew, Three 6 Mafia. She did. At 16, Gangsta Boo made her first significant leap within the music industry.
“It just happened like that overnight,” she told All Urban Central, adding, “we took off type of fast.”
Gangsta Boo collaborated with Three 6 Mafia on several albums but left the group within the early 2000s to pursue a solo profession.
When asked why she left, she said in an interview with MTV in 2001: “There’s no problem. Sometimes people grow apart, and mainly that’s what it’s. There’s no drama, no beef. It’s still the identical. I just type of grew apart, and I’m not doing things that they’re doing. I’m not cursing in my music no more. We just grew apart like a wedding.”
That very same 12 months, Gangsta Boo renamed herself Lady Boo because she said that she was not “living the gangster lifestyle” and desired to align herself more closely with God. Her website still referred to her as Gangsta Boo on the time of her death.
The makeup of Three 6 Mafia evolved through the years. In 2006, after Gangsta Boo’s departure, the group won an Oscar for best original song with “It’s Hard Out Here for a Pimp,” from the film “Hustle & Flow.”
Later in her profession, Gangsta Boo collaborated with quite a few rappers, especially those with roots within the South.
She told Billboard last 12 months that “so far as female hip-hop and rap, I feel it’s in an excellent space.”
“They are saying, ‘Gangsta Boo walked so plenty of people can run,’” she added.
In recent times, she reflected on how she had been one in every of the primary female rappers to construct off the gangster rap image and sound that took off within the Nineteen Nineties, singing about smoking, payback and villainous intentions — themes typically reserved for men.
“Numerous guys in Memphis was like ‘Gangsta Pat,’ ‘Gangsta Black,’ — gangsta this, gangsta that,” she told All Urban Central.
But toward the tip of her life, the moniker had taken on an enhanced meaning.
“It’s more, you understand, just having fun with my life as a legendary gangster,” she said.
Livia Albeck-Ripka contributed reporting.