Friends, family, fans celebrate the life of Memphis rapper Gangsta Boo
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Gangsta Boo’s Celebration of Life send-off took place Friday night at Railgarten.
Memphis rapper Lola Mitchell, better known as Gangsta Boo, died at the age of 43 after she was found unresponsive at a home in Memphis.
For Gangsta Boo’s first cousin, Karlisha Benymon, she will always be known as her loving Lola.
“Lola had a heart of gold. She would give whenever she could. She would give to people she didn’t know, not just in a monetary way but also just kind words,” said Benymon.
A crowd of hundreds gathered in Midtown Friday night to reflect and celebrate the late rapper’s legacy.
“We just wanted to celebrate her life and give Memphis an opportunity not just to do it at the funeral, but to do it at the last place that she performed, where she gave her gift to the world,” said Former Three 6 Mafia member and friend “Mr. Del” Lawrence.
Gangsta Boo was the first female member of Three 6 Mafia, known as The Queen of Memphis.
She helped paved the way for hip-hop and rap in Memphis, especially for female artists.
“She just made a really big impact. A powerful Black woman who pioneered her way through this male-dominated field,” said Gangsta Boo’s best friend, Joi Fowler. “She made her mark. She was legendary. She will continue to be legendary and of course, the celebration has to be legendary.”
Her celebration of life at Railgarten was completely sold out.
Lawrence says the turnout shows the love the Bluff City had for his sister and friend.
“It says that the City Of Memphis is overwhelmingly appreciative of the gift that is called Gangsta Boo. I mean she touched so many people, so many lives including the future generation of femme MC’s,” said Lawrence.
Gangsta Boo’s best friend agrees.
“She wanted people to know that you can make your own story, Fowler said. “You really can do what you want to do.”
Friends and fans say The Queen of Memphis did just that.
Gangsta Boo, known as the woman who gave the blueprint for up-and-coming females in the rap game like La Chat and Glorilla, started her career as a teenager.
While rising to fame and joining Three 6 Mafia in the 1990s, Grammy-Award winning and Super Producer Drumma Boy credits her for kick-starting his career.
“She just always believed in everything I had going on, and so she was a close friend and a big sister. She was a role model and she influenced us,” said Drumma Boy.
Before Friday evening’s Celebration of Life at Railgarten, loved ones, including Momma Boo, expressed respect saying, “Tonight will be both sweet and sorrowful.”
Close friend Hot 107 radio host DJ Superman said the 43-year-old will always be a pentacle piece of Memphis hip-hop.
“I’m glad that at an early pebble phase of my career, I was able to hang out with her, get to know her, and we exchanged our values in music. She shared her music with me,” said DJ Superman.
A funeral for The Queen of Memphis will be held at Brown Missionary Baptist Church in Southaven at noon, Saturday.
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