Pascal Le Segretain, Getty Images / Prince Williams, WireImage / 38 Spesh via YouTube


In 2020, the hip-hop community has suffered the loss of over a dozen talented rappers who made great strides in the rap game. Throughout the year, rappers have tragically died due to drug overdoses, being shot and even suffering from COVID-19 complications.

Arguably, one of the most devastating deaths in 2020 was the passing of Brooklyn rapper Pop Smoke. The charismatic rhymer, who’s credited for elevating the Brooklyn drill rap scene, was shot and killed in Los Angeles on Feb. 19, 2020. His death stunned both his rap peers and devoted fans. Three adult males and two juveniles have been arrested and charged in connection to the late rapper’s murder.null

Later on in the year, two Chicago rappers, FBG Duck and King Von, both died in separate shootings months apart from each other. FBG Duck was killed in a shooting in Chicago in August while King Von was shot and killed outside of a hookah lounge in Atlanta in November. Their deaths have brought a dark cloud over the Chicago rap scene.

Elsewhere, the COVID-19 pandemic certainly made life challenging in 2020 as well as devastating for families who lost loved ones to the virus. Bronx rhymer Fred The Godson was hospitalized for several weeks before he passed away from complications related to the coronavirus in April.

Also, rappers like former Roots member Malik B and Jordan Groggs of the Arizona-based hip-hop group Injury Reserve passed away from unknown causes.

As we close out this year, XXL highlights and pays homage to some of the beloved rappers we’ve lost in 2020. R.I.P.

See Rappers We’ve Lost in 2020

Josh Brasted, WireImage

5th Ward Weebie

Birthdate: Feb. 19, 1978
Died: Jan. 9, 2020
Cause of Death: Heart failure
5th Ward Weebie, born Jerome Cosey, was one of the pioneers of New Orleans bounce music and is also known as the “Bounce King.” According to Weebie’s mother, Janice Matthews, the late rapper had high blood pressure, which led to him having problems with his heart. On Jan. 9, 2020, 5th Ward Weebie passed away from complications following heart surgery for a ruptured artery. He was 42 years old. “He loved the people of New Orleans. Color was nothing to him. Everybody he felt was the same,” said Matthews


Pop Smoke

Birthdate: July 20, 1999
Died: Feb. 19, 2020
Cause of Death: A gunshot wound to the torso
Pop Smoke, a lauded rapper who helped elevate the Brooklyn drill scene, was shot and killed in an apparent home invasion robbery on Feb. 19, 2020. According to the Los Angeles Police Department, at least six suspects entered the Hollywood Hills home. Two of the men reportedly encountered the rapper and fired numerous shots at him. Subsequently, the 20-year-old rhymer was rushed to L.A.’s Cedars-Sinai Medical Center where he was pronounced dead. A few days later, the Los Angeles County Coroner’s office announced in their autopsy report that Pop Smoke, born Bashar Jackson, died from a gunshot wound to the torso.

On July 9, 2020, five people — three adult males and two juveniles—were arrested in connection to the late Brooklyn rapper’s death. Two men, Corey Walker, 19, and Keandre Rodgers, 18, were both charged with murder and are eligible for the death penalty. A third adult male, Jaquan Murphy, 22, is facing charges of attempted murder. The two juveniles, ages 15 and 17, whose identities have presumably been withheld due to their age, were both charged with one count of murder and one count of robbery. The murder case is still ongoing.

Nick Blicky

Birthdate: April 18, 1999

Died: May 11, 2020

Cause of Death: Gunshot Wounds

Up-and-coming rapper Nick Blixky was shot and killed in New York City, police said Monday (May 11).
The 21-year-old, who was born Nickalus Thompson, was found with gunshot wounds in front of a building in the Prospect Lefferts Gardens neighborhood of Brooklyn at around 9:30 p.m. Sunday.
He was taken to Kings County Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. Blixky’s Spotify profile says he started rapping for fun with his crew, Blixky Crew, but decided to take it more seriously and pursue a career in hip hop when fans responded positively to his YouTube videos.

Mac P Dawg

Birthdate: Jan.14, 1997
Died: April 6, 2020
Cause of Death: Gunshot wound
Mac P Dawg, an associate of the Los Angeles-based hip-hop group Shoreline Mafia, was shot and killed in the Koreatown neighborhood of L.A., on April 6, 2020. According to the LAPD, Mac and an unidentified woman were approached by an armed male suspect on foot, who shot both of them and fled in an unknown vehicle. The 24-year-old rapper, born Joshua Andrade Galvez, was pronounced dead at the scene. The unknown female victim was transported to a local hospital and treated for her injuries. An investigation into the shooting is ongoing and police have no suspects


Birthdate: Aug. 19, 1994
Died: April 8, 2020
Cause of Death: Accidental drug overdose
Chynna Rogers died of an accidental drug overdose on April 8, 2020. According to reports, the model and rapper was found unresponsive at her Philadelphia home. She was 25 years old. Chynna’s manager, John Miller, provided XXL with a statement from the rapper’s family in regards to her passing.

“Chynna was deeply loved and will be sorely missed,” the statement reads. “We would like to thank each and everyone one of you for the love shown to our family for the loss of our beloved daughter, sister, niece, cousin and friend, Chynna Rogers.” Chynna is survived by her father, Michael Magness; two brothers, Jeremy Payne and Michael Magness; and a sister Nala Magness. Chynna’s mother, Wendy Payne, died in 2017

Fred The Godson

Birthdate: Feb. 22, 1979
Died: April 23, 2020
Cause of Death: Complications related to the coronavirus
Fred The Godson, born Fredrick Thomas, passed away on April 23, 2020, after testing positive for the coronavirus. He was 41 years old. Fred The Godson’s wife, LeeAnn Jemmott, told XXL that the Bronx rapper was rushed to the ICU on April 6 after having breathing difficulties and was diagnosed with COVID-19. On the following day, Fred was placed on a ventilator because his lungs were not working and his kidneys were also affected. On April 23, Fred lost his battle and died. Fred The Godson’s survivors include his wife, LeeAnn Jemmott, and two daughters.


Birthdate: Sept. 12, 1987
Died: June 25, 2020
Cause of Death: Gunshot wound
Rapper Huey, known for his 2006 hit “Pop, Lock & Drop It,” was shot and killed on June 25, 2020, in St. Louis. According to St. Louis County police, Huey was one of two people who were shot in a drive-by shooting in front of a Missouri home. Police said the suspects drove down the street and opened fire on those standing outside of the house. Huey, born Lawrence Franks, Jr., was rushed to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead. He was 32 years old. The other shooting victim was taken to the hospital and treated for non-life-threatening injuries. The investigation into the shooting is still ongoing.

Stepa J. Groggs

Birthdate: June 1,1988
Died: June 30, 2020
Cause of Death: Unknown
Jordan Groggs, the rapper known as Stepa J. Groggs of the Arizona hip-hop trio Injury Reservepassed away on June 30, 2020, at the age of 32. The cause of death has not been officially disclosed. “REST IN POWER Jordan Alexander Groggs a loving father, life partner and friend,” wrote the surviving members of the group on their Instagram and Twitter accounts. Groggs is survived by his girlfriend Anna and their four children Joey, Jayden, Toph and Ari. A GoFundMe account was created for the family following his death. You can donate here.


Birthdate: May 1, 1990
Died: July 11, 2020
Cause of Death: Gunshot wound
Quality Control Music signee and Atlanta rapper Marlo was shot and killed in Atlanta on July 11, 2020. According to reports, Atlanta police responded to a car crash on I-285 near the Benjamin E. Mays overpass at 11:30 p.m., and found Marlo dead inside with a gunshot wound on July 11. They believe he was the target of the shooting. He was 30 years old. Marlo, born Rudolph Johnson, has been on the Quality Control label since 2017. The investigation is still ongoing and police have no suspects in the case. Marlo is survived by his four children: Kemora, Rihanna, Marlo and Rudy.

Malik B

Birthdate: Nov. 14, 1972
Died: July 29, 2020
Cause of Death: Unknown
Malik B, a founding member of Philadelphia-based hip-hop band The Roots, died on July 29, 2020, at the age of 47. The cause of death wasn’t disclosed. Malik’s untimely passing was confirmed by his cousin Don Champion. “Mourning my beloved cousin today,” Champion tweeted on his Twitter account. “He was so talented and had a huge heart. I still remember when he and The Roots were starting out. He’d give me and my dad their cassette tapes to listen to. I miss you already, Mailk.” Malik B, real name Malik Abdul Basit, appeared on The Roots’ first four albums, before leaving the group in 1999. He released two albums as a solo artist

FBG Duck

Birthdate: Dec. 6, 1993
Died: Aug. 4, 2020
Cause of Death: Murder
Chicago rapper FBG Duck was shot and killed while shopping in the city’s Gold Coast neighborhood on Aug. 4, 2020. He was 26 years old. In addition, a 28-year-old woman and a 36-year-old man were wounded during the shooting. According to the Chicago Police Department, four suspects exited from two cars and opened fire at the trio standing on the sidewalk at the time. FBG Duck, born Carlton D. Weekly, was struck three times and later died at a local hospital. The second victim was seriously injured with gunshot wounds to his back and torso. The woman was shot in the hand. The case is still under investigation and police have no suspects. FBG Duck is survived by his mother, LaSheena Weekly, and his four children

King Von

Birthdate: Aug. 9, 1994
Died: Nov. 6, 2020
Cause of Death: Murder
Chicago rapper King Von, born Dayvon Bennett, was killed in a shooting outside Monaco hookah lounge in Atlanta on Nov. 6, 2020. He was 26 years old. Von was shot after a fight broke out amongst two groups of men, reportedly King Von’s crew and Quando Rondo’s crew. Another man, Mark Blakeley, 34, also died at a local hospital following the shooting incident. Timothy Leeks, 22, was charged with King Von’s murder and is facing a felony murder charge. His arrest closes the investigation into Von’s death. Leeks is allegedly friends with Quando Rondo, and shot Von after the rapper and Quando began fighting.


Birthdate: May 31, 1993
Died: Nov. 11, 2020
Cause of Death: Gunshot wound
On Nov. 11, 2020, Mo3 was shot and killed by an unknown gunman in his hometown of Dallas, Texas. He was 28. The late rapper, born Melvin Noble, was driving northbound on I-35 near Clarendon Drive in Dallas when he was approached by an armed suspect who had gotten out of his car with the gun. Mo3 got out of his vehicle and began running southward on the highway. The suspect gave chase and shot at the rapper multiple times, with one bullet striking him in the head. Mo3 was transported to a local hospital where he died. An innocent bystander was also shot at the scene and was treated for non-life-threatening injuries. Police have no suspects and a motive for the shooting is unknown.

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