According to the Memphis Police Department, officers responded to a person-down call in the 1600 block of Raines Road at 2:18 p.m. A female was pronounced dead at the scene, later identified as Boo, whose birth name is Lola Mitchell. There were no immediate signs of foul play. Boo’s death is being investigated, and the results of her autopsy are pending.
More from Variety
“The Mitchell family would like to thank everyone for their condolences regarding the untimely death of Lola ‘Gangsta Boo’ Mitchell,” her mother, Veronica Mitchell, and family said in a statement. “The family is asking you for your continued prayers and privacy as we process the loss of our loved one.”
A product of the Dirty South school of hip-hop in the 1990s, Boo’s edgy raps and frank sexuality made her an energetic Memphis counterpart to Philadelphia rapper Eve, Brooklyn’s Lil’ Kim and Miami’s Trina.
Like those female rappers, Boo’s start came with a prominent regional crew — Three 6 Mafia, founded by DJ Paul, Juicy J and Lord Infamous — with whom she recorded a handful of studio albums until her departure in 2002. But, along with a prominent solo career starting with 1998’s “Enquiring Minds” and its signature single, “Where Dem Dollas At,” Boo guested on tracks with Eminem, Gucci Mane, Run the Jewels, OutKast, Lil Wayne, Blood Orange, Latto and more.
Born in the Whitehaven neighborhood of Memphis, Tenn. on Aug. 7, 1979, Boo began rapping in her early teens. When Three 6 Mafia formed in 1991, they enlisted Boo early on, recording the group’s 1995 debut album, “Mystic Stylez,” with her as one of its featured rappers.
“Being in Three 6 Mafia did give me a lot of confidence,” Gangsta Boo told Vibe in 2016. “I started noticing that not only am I hot, but that I’m talented… But you’d be surprised at how many motherfuckers don’t know that I was in Three 6 Mafia.”
While Gangsta Boo stayed as part of Three 6 Mafia though 2001’s “Choices: The Album,” she left the hip-hop unit in 2002 to pursue her solo career to the fullest — just several years shy of T6M’s platinum success with its “Most Known Unknown” album, and its 2006 Academy Award win for best original song with “It’s Hard Out Here for a Pimp” from the film “Hustle & Flow.”
Along with recording solo albums such as “Both Worlds *69” (2001), “Enquiring Minds II: The Soap Opera” (2003) and “The Memphis Queen Is Back” (2007) and mixtapes such as “It’s Game Involved” (2013) and “Candy, Diamonds & Pills” (2016), Boo made her mark by lending her tart raps and taut flow to other artists. Before she left Three 6 Mafia, Gangsta Boo recorded on Foxy Brown’s 1999 “Chyna Doll” album and 2000’s “Stankonia” from OutKast. After 2002, Gangsta Boo dropped feature verses on Lil Jon’s “Crunk Juice” (2004), Yelawolf’s “Radioactive” album in duet with Eminem on “Throw It Up” (2011), the Jeezy/T.I./Lil Wayne trio album “Prime Time Players” (2013) and on Run the Jewels’ song “Walking in the Snow” from “RTJ4” (2020).
In 2022, Boo appeared on WEtv’s “Marriage Boot Camp: The Hip Hop Edition” with her boyfriend, Emmet Flores. In December, she and GloRilla teamed up with Latto for the track “Fuck the Club Up” (also known as “FTCU”), the video for which was just released two weeks ago.
Members of the rap community took to social media to pay tribute to Boo including DJ Paul, who posted a photo of her DJing without a caption. In response to that post, fellow rappers such as 2 Chainz, Ty Dolla $ign, Ludacris, Outkast’s Big Boi, Cypress Hill’s B-Real, and Lil Jon chimed in with their own tributes on Paul’s Instagram.
Juicy J also posted a photo of him with Boo, captioning the image with a broken heart emoji.
Drumma Boy, who produced Boo’s 2003 album “Enquiring Minds II: The Soap Opera,” remembered the late rapper in a statement via a press release.
“Gangsta Boo was like a sister to me and told the world about me the way my blood brother did,” he wrote. “We both are Leos and share the same energy towards unity and seeing people happy! This is just such a devastating loss cuz she always wanted to see others win! RIP to the Queen of Memphis, forever my sister.”
Best of Variety