On Jan. 1, Gangsta Boo, Lola Mitchell, was found dead while at her home in Memphis. She was 43-years-old.
Gangsta Boo began her rap career at 14 and joined the Three 6 Mafia at 15, becoming the second female emcee in the rap group next to K-9. However, Gangsta Boo would stand out the most and often provided more memorable lyrics than her male counterparts which included Juicy J, DJ Paul, Crunchy Black, Lord Infamous, and Koopsta Knicca.
The group rose to prominence in the mid-1990s with the hit single, “Tear Da Club Up.” At the time, hip-hop was still a genre where region played a role in an artist’s success. Rappers from New York and California often received more media attention in terms of radio play, music video placement, and TV interviews.
In terms of southern women in hip-hop, there were only a few artists who were able to make an impact. Left Eye, Mia X, Ghetto Twiinz, Trina, La Chat, and Gangsta Boo were a few women rappers from the south forced the nation to pay attention.
Gangsta Boo released her debut album, Enquiring Minds, in 1998 which went to No. 15 on the Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart and No. 46 on the Billboard 200. The album featured the hit single, “Where Dem Dollas At?” She would also collaborate with OutKast in 2000 on their hit album, Stankonia.
Her sophomore album, 2001’s Both Worlds *69, sold more records and peaked at No. 8 on the R&B/Hip-Hop chart and No. 29 on the Billboard 200.
Gangsta Boo’s work in the 1990s and early 2000s would lay the foundation for popular women rappers in the south such as Megan Thee Stallion, Latto, GloRilla, Omereta, City Girls, Flo Milli and a slew of others who are making a great impact.
Latto, GloRilla, and Gangsta Boo would recently collaborate on the song “FTCU.”
Gangsta Boo’s legacy will always be remembered as she broke through in hip-hop at a time when women needed to go above and beyond to make an impact in the genre.