Atlanta rapper Carlos “Shawty Lo” Walker, a member of the rap group D4L whose “Laffy Taffy” topped the Billboard Hot 100 in 2005, died early Wednesday morning in a car crash in Fulton County, Georgia. He was 40.
Shawty Lo’s manager Johnnie Cabbell used the rapper’s Twitter to confirm that the rapper died in the single-car accident. “My brother has passed; he is no longer here but his spirit, his kind heart and his music will live on,” Cabbell wrote. “Long live Shawty Lo King of Bankhead.”
“I am so so so devastated that words can not describe how I feel right now,” Cabbell wrote on Instagram. “Shawty Lo was not just my artist he was my Brother He was My Friend. I have been Lo MGR for over 10 [years]. He was Loyal and he had my back when no one else did. I could count on him when I had no one else to turn to. We been thru so much together. If you knew Lo, then you know he was genuine. He was Real.”
Although initial reports alleged that the accident was a hit-and-run, police later told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, “it has been confirmed now that it was a single car accident.” According to police, Walker’s white Audi was driving south on I-285 when the vehicle went over a guardrail, hit two trees and burst into flames.
Walker, who was driving at the time of the accident, was ejected from the vehicle and pronounced dead at the scene. Two other people in the car were taken to the hospital and treated for non-life-threatening injuries.
The rapper rose to prominence in 2005 along with his D4L crew, short for “Down for Life,” with their hit “Laffy Taffy,” the chart-topping single that helped popularize the Atlanta-bred genre snap music. D4L also released their debut LP Down for Life in 2005, which peaked at Number 22 on the Billboard 200, but the group disbanded the next year.
D’Quincy Dukes & Carlos “Shawty Lo” Walker, both friends from Bowen Holmes & both gone too soon. Love y’all brothers. Sad day Westside
— Killer Mike (@KillerMike) September 21, 2016
Walker embarked on a solo career that included another hit, “Dey Know,” from his 2008 solo album Units in the City. For “Dey Know,” Shawty Lo was named Rookie of the Year at the 2008 BET Hip-Hop Awards, but the rapper would never release another album despite aligning with 50 Cent’s G-Unit label in 2011. The rapper continued to release mixtapes and make featured appearances throughout the past decade, rapping alongside Lil Wayne, Gucci Mane, Rick Ross, Killer Mike, Ludacris and many more.
In 2013, Shawty Lo filmed a reality show called All My Babies’ Mamas that was scheduled to air on the Oxygen channel. However, the controversial series ultimately never aired after critics panned the show’s premise, which focused on Shawty Lo and his 11 children with 10 women.
RIP Shawty Lo. Prayers to his family and friends. ATown Legend.
— DJ DRAMA (@DJDRAMA) September 21, 2016