Lola Mitchell — better known as the pioneering Southern female rapper Gangsta Boo who was a member of Three 6 Mafia — has died at age 43, Fox 13 in Memphis reports, with her rep confirming the rapper’s death to WREG 3 Memphis. According to Fox 13, she was found dead on Sunday afternoon. The cause of death has not been publicly released.
DJ Paul, who founded Three 6 Mafia alongside Juicy J, shared a photo of Mitchell on social media on Sunday, in an apparent tribute. “Man we was jus together three weeks ago,” Lil Jon wrote in response to DJ Paul’s Instagram post. “Rest well quenn.”
The Memphis-born artist began rapping as a teenager, and was the second female rapper to join the group. She appeared on their debut studio album, Mystic Stylez, on through 2001’s Choices: The Album. By the late Nineties, she was also carving out a solo career, beginning with 1998’s Enquiring Minds, which reached Number 46 on the Billboard 200 and spawned her hit “Where Dem Dollas At?”
Her sophomore effort, Both Worlds *69, climbed up to Number 29. Gangsta Boo’s third album, Enquiring Minds II: The Soap Opera, arrived in 2003.
She also dropped a number of mixtapes, including collaborative ones with DJ Fletch, Trap-A-Holics, La Chat, and one with Three 6 Mafia spinoff, Da Mafia 6ix, 6ix Commandments.
Over nearly three decades, she made countless guest appearances on other artists’ singles, a testament to her influence. In December, she teamed up with Latto and GloRilla for the single “Fuck the Club Up,” a play on Three 6 Mafia’s “Tear Da Club Up.” She also appeared on Run the Jewels’ “Walking in the Snow” from 2020’s RTJ4. “Love you Lola thank you for your friendship,” El-P posted, including a broken heart emoji, on Twitter.
In an interview published in Billboard last month, Gangsta Boo spoke of her legacy. “I would honestly say that I have to admit, respectfully and humbly, that I am the blueprint. I hear my cadence in a lot of men and female rappers… my sound is a Memphis sound. It’s a Gangsta Boo sound, it’s a Three 6 Mafia sound. So, I am the blueprint and I wear that badge proudly as fuck.
“I used to run away from it. I used to didn’t want to even give myself flowers because I’ve been so low-key and humble, but I’m on some fuck that shit. It’s time to claim what’s mine. I’m one of the main bitches,” She said. “And it feels fun to still be able to look good and be relevant in a place where I don’t have this million-dollar machine behind me and I have all my natural body parts, no shade to the ones that don’t. But it just feels great to stand in yourself and look in the mirror and be like, ‘Wow, you did that.’ And not sell your soul and go to bed at night with a smile on your face. Because I don’t have any pressure.”
This is a developing story…