On Friday, May 28, funeral services were held for Karnail Pitts, b.k.a. Bugz of the Dirty Dozen|. The previous Friday night, May 21, Bugz was expected to perform at a show in Grand Rapids, Mich. as part of the Eminem tour, but he never showed up. "Saturday morning, everybody got the news," says Rico Shelton of Detroit-based Federation Records. "I got the phone call saying Bugz was dead. It was like, 'What?' Hearts were dropping. I've never seen so many sad faces. Everybody knew him; he was part of Detroit."
The day of the show, Bugz, a friend, and his friend's cousin werespending the afternoon at Detroit's Belle Isle Park. An altercation arose when a man sprayed Bugz' friend's cousin with a high-powered water gun and she took offense. A heated argument ensued which escalated into a fistfight, and Bugz intervened on his friend's behalf. At this point, a friend of the man with the water gun went into a Ford Expedition, drew a rifle, and fired at Bugz, who was looking away at the time. He was hit three times at close range, once in the neck, and once in the chest. The men then ran Bugz over in the Expedition. An ambulance was called, but due to traffic on the bridge to Belle Isle, it took them thirty minutes to get onto the island. Bugz was rushed to a nearby hospital, where he could not be saved. He had just turned 21.
Bugz untimely passing has only strengthened the resolve of Dirty Dozen members. "It just makes you look at life more serious," Proof says. ""At this point, we're trying to gather everything he recorded [to] make an LP." The Dirty Dozen, who'd been working on releasing their debut EP, are now looking to release Bugz' material in tribute.
On Thursday, June 24, the Federation Records family is holding a Bugz benefit at The Wired Frog in Eastpointe, Mich. featuring fellow Dirty Dozen member Bizarre, as well as Paradime, The Brigade, SUN, and Da Ruckus. The cost is seven dollars, with all proceeds going to the Pitts family. Bugz will also be featured on The Brigade's upcoming 4-song 12" due out on Federation Records next month.