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Why is it so hard for young rap legends to make it past 25?

The music industry has had the curse of 27 for decades. The 27 Club members include extremely talented artists dying at the age of 27. The ongoing curse would become infamous first with artists like Brian Jones, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, and Jim Morrison and later Kurt Cobain and Amy Winehouse. While the 27 Club has more of a creepy magical vibe on Hollywood legends, young rap legends have been dying far more frequently and at younger ages. 

Many extremely talented rappers see their lives cut short before the young age of 25. Here are a few examples that show a striking pattern.


Possibly the MOST beloved rapper of all time, who’s untimely continues to be mourned by hip hop heads old and new. Tupac Amaru Shakur was murdered on September 13, 1996. The manner of his death continues to be a mystery amongst the hip-hop community and music world at large.

Tupac’s influence on hip hop is an everlasting one, which includes iconic hits as well as a budding and strong acting career. His message and activism in the Black community are also what makes him such a beloved figure. Shakur died at 25. RIP. 


Another beloved rapper with the same huge hip-hop influence realm as Tupac is Biggie AKA Notorious B.I.G. Christopher George Latore Wallace, similar to Tupac died as a result of a drive-by shooting in L.A on March 9th, 1997. Biggie Smalls was 24 years old. His legacy lives on in his music, including a posthumous album Life after Death. Forever the rapper that put Brooklyn on the map, RIP Biggie.

Lil Peep

Bringing it to more recent rapper deaths, a stream of high profile passings began with the accidental drug overdose of artist Lil Peep. Born Gustav Elijah Åhr, Lil Peep many credit the artist as being among the new school of rappers that brought emo-rap mainstream. A lethal dose of fentanyl took the life of the SoundCloud rapper whose fans idolized him for voicing their sadness, vulnerability, and mental health battles. He was working on the album Come Over When You’re Sober, Part 2 before his death. Lil Peep died just 2 weeks after turning 21.

Jimmy Wopo

Born Travon DaShawn Frank Smart, Jimmy Wopo was fatally shot on a Monday afternoon in the Pittsburgh neighborhood he helped make famous. Wopo was set to sign a contract with Taylor Gang Entertainment, the label founded by Wiz Khalifa. He died at the young age of 21.


A controversial figure in hip-hop, especially posthumously, XXXTentacion was murdered during an apparent robbery. Born Jahseh Dwayne Ricardo Onfroy, the rapper was among the rising emo-rap roster of artists. Known for both his emotionally deep music as well as his assaults on women, X died on June 18, 2018, at 20 years old. 

Juice WRLD

Another emo-rap legend, Juice WRLD died of an accidental drug overdose and subsequent seizure. Jarad Anthony Higgins often spoke about his struggle with substance abuse in his music. His posthumous album Legends Never Die was released on July 10th, 2020, 7 months after his death. Juice WRLD was 21 years old. 

Lexii Alijai

Up and coming rapper Lexii Alijai, née Alexis Alijai Lynch passed away after a drug overdose on January 1st, 2020. She was 21 years old. The Minnesota rapper sought to support her family and her community via her music. She died of a fentanyl overdose before she could see all her dreams accomplished.


Chynna Marie Rogers was a Philadelphia model who surprised the world with her rapping skills. Known mononymously as Chynna, she worked with A$AP Mob on the Cozy Tapes and released her album in case i die first in 2019. She died on April 8, 2020, at the age of 25 of an accidental drug overdose much like her mentor A$AP Yams.

Pop Smoke

The latest hip hop death to shock the community is Brooklyn’s Pop Smoke. Born Bashar Barakah Jackson, Pop was viewed as the second coming of 50 cent, with a promising career stretched out ahead of him. The King of New York was shot February 19, 2020, during a home robbery in L.A. His posthumous album Shoot for the Stars Aim for the Moon, was of great fan anticipation and artistic scrutiny. Controversy over the album cover, track selection as well as the posthumously added record-label-chosen features was high. RIP Pop Smoke, he was only 20 years old. 

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you cannot say pop and forget the smoke 🙏🏾🙏🏾🙏🏾⁣ ⁣ @realpopsmoke was more than a rapper. his artistry was a movement and it instilled in us a new kind of confidence. ⁣ ⁣ it was just last summer that we pulled up to his album release party for his debut project Meet the Woo. back then we knew there was something special about him. we knew he was going to pop. ⁣ ⁣ you could feel the energy in the room and in that moment it felt as if the room stood still as dior played and everyone was dancing to his music. ⁣ ⁣ there were a lot of great things in store for this young man. may we woo forever 😤⁣ .⁣ .⁣ .⁣ #popsmoke #meetthewoo #woo #brooklyn #bkstandup #drillmusic #drillartist #restinpower #rippopsmoke #gonetoosoon #legendsneverdie #tooyoung #justice #findthem #prayersneeded #sadday #thisdayinhistory #rapmusic #upcomingrappers #legacy #meetthewoo2 #diordior #lifestylechange

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Many of these young rappers died as a result of murder or due to an accidental drug overdose. Their fans were among the most shocked, as they were anticipating hearing much more from the artists.  Most had much more life and music to give. 

But what do their similar and untimely deaths say about the status of hip hop and rap?

The rap community needs to raise awareness around substance abuse, mental illness, and squashing beef in healthier ways. We don’t want to lose any more young artists to these preventable issues.

RIP to all we’ve lost.

Suge Knight still thinks Tupac is still alive somewhere, but he ain’t

Since Tupac’s fatal shooting in 1996 the theory of him being alive has always been thrown around. People have come up with insane theories like the classic, “hiding in Cuba with Elvis.”

The CIA has even been accused of harboring the late rapper as a witness, although they’ve cleared that one up.

Millions of fans still have a hard time accepting Pac’s death. Many celebrities have egged on these theories and now we can add Suge Knight to that list. And, a couple of years ago, TMZ uploaded a clip of Suge Knight revealing to Ice-T that Tupac might still be alive.

The clip TMZ was able to get their hands on comes from an upcoming TV special called Who Shot Biggie & Tupac? The show will focus on Ice-T and Soledad O’Brien as they lead an investigation to uncover new accounts from the fateful night. Ice-T clearly took that Law and Order role to heart.

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In the clip, the Death Row CEO is speaking to investigators over the phone due to his imprisonment after his 2015 hit and run incident. Knight begins his exposition with,

“When Pac died….if he really did, you know.”

When asked what he meant, Suge went on to say,

“When I left that hospital me and Pac were joking… So I don’t see how someone can go from doing well… to doing bad…”

I have to take this as a joke, coming from a 52-year-old facing life in prison. At this point, I’m sure he’s just talking to talk as there’s not much else he could do.

For years the theory that Knight set Tupac up has been one of the more prominent conspiracies by fans. After 20 plus years since Tupac’s death, Knight still finds ways to use the late rapper’s name for entertainment.

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Since Biggie and Pac’s death we’ve seen probably 100 documentaries dissecting their fates.

The question of “who killed Tupac and Biggie” has been ringed out by the media to squeeze every last drop of the situation. The world never got closure on its favorite rappers and is still looking for answers.

The special will air this Sunday, September 24 on FOX.

5 of Tupac’s realest quotes that still hold true today

Tupac Shakur is truly one of the most important artists in American music, let alone hip-hop.

He changed hip-hop fundamentally, taking it from a niche genre in the inner-cities to a global phenomenon that has become the preeminent style of music in the world.

Tupac transcended hip-hop, along with Biggie, Puff, Dr. Dre, and the rest of Death Row Records, the early 90’s became a period of crossover mega-stars in hop-hop for the first time.

Middle America and the mainstream became exposed to the sounds of hip-hop. For some, it was transformative, for others it was shocking.

What is so particularly interesting about Tupac is how multi-faceted and diverse his lyrical content is. He was able to effortlessly transition from ‘conscious’ songs like “Brenda’s Got A Baby” and “Dear Mama” to the harder “Ambitionz Az A Ridah” and “Death Around The Corner,” demonstrating that he, as well as his art form, was not a monolith.

Tupac was an endlessly fascinating and deeply thoughtful character. Some thought that he was a prophet, some thought he was a thug, but he always forced people to honestly examine their own feelings, prejudices, and insecurities.

With the new Tupac biopic All Eyez on Me slated to come out this week on the artist’s birthday (June 16th), we thought it would be appropriate to put together a couple of Tupac’s most prophetic and profound quotations.

Whether discussing his own brutal honesty, the nature of the afterlife, income inequality, and American greed (that Donald Trump reference is eerie), Tupac was always eloquent and thoughtful.

Tupac Shakur was taken from the earth far too soon and it feels like we could use him now more than ever, but we can put his wisdom and vision into action to honor his life.

Watch the video above to for the realest sh*t you’ll hear today.