February 8, 2023

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Remembering rapper Gangsta Boo’s life, cut short by addiction

3 min read

All Gangsta Boo can do is ask for help.

Lola Mitchell, who died on January 1 aged 43, was my friend. We met at a show in 2012 when he came up to me and said, “Who are you?” This interaction with Boo spawned a 10-year collaboration — songs, shows and hours of conversation and advice on everything from music to relationships. We both loved the rush and both had addictions. That’s what draws me to him.

I was aware of Gangsta Boo’s influence before I heard his music. Trap music was all the rage and “Where Dem Dollas At” was infamous. After taking Boo and his friend to Mel’s Diner in Hollywood, we’d go on to record a song for “Where My Homies Be” with Moores and Jesse Shatkin, and a few years later I’d bring him to the moon on “Solo” with Sam Barsh, where he It was very deep. When we shot the video, he said, “Cool, but if you put me in an astronaut suit on Mars, you’re going to pay me more.” I am forced to feel happy.

As Gangsta Boo, he was socially conscious. We attended a Black Lives Matter rally in Los Angeles and recorded with the nonprofit Value Culture and Holocaust survivor Sami Stigman in her hotel room on a makeshift green screen zoom for a collaborative program on Black-Jewish relations called “Solvay.” We played showcases together at South by Southwest and last year I tried to get him to perform on a TV show. Unfortunately, Boo chose to wait until the Covid restrictions change. I didn’t understand his vaccination position, considering this was someone who willingly introduced dangerous and addictive substances into his body — as I had done for many years.

I introduced myself to Boo as an intelligent person, which was always intriguing to him. He would tell me how “proud” he was of me, but I knew Bur had his own problems. Now that the music community is reflecting on their own experiences with Lola, many fear tarnishing someone’s legacy with the truth, so here’s mine.

When it comes to recovery, the least enjoyable thing is to push “recovery” onto someone else. The problem is for many of our artistic heroes, they use their personal demons to deliver great work at their height. That’s what Lola did, and successfully — she shared an Oscar win, after all — but she never got the respect she deserved or the representation she deserved. Why wasn’t he signed to a major booking agency after touring with Run the Jewels? Why didn’t he get a solo set at Coachella after appearing at the festival twice and even doing a song with Eminem? How can someone in the “drink champs” and vertuz wars sell products through CashApp instead of a proper supplement company? And why was he sometimes short of funds?

For most of his career, Buck was not properly compensated for his worth. This is going to be his year. He was right up there with a Glorilla and Latto record. His monthly streams have grown from 40,000 to over 1.7 million per month. And yet the sad ending to his story is not unique. Boo was caught in a vicious cycle faced by many hip-hop artists: the curse of success at a young age and the fear of asking for help. Instead of living paycheck to paycheck, artists hustle from CashApp to PayPal Live, as one-man armies.

Smoke a lil weed to ease my thoughts / My father died so I’m so lost / Not many friends till the end / But then again Emma wins at any cost.”

We all wanted Boo to win. Unfortunately, addiction doesn’t care Your “career” is on an uptick. It’s just one thing when It will take everything from you. We all know a Lola — someone incredibly gifted who left the world too soon. It is ultimately up to the individual to let others help them. Only then would the tricks of the gangsters be seen.

Kosha Dillz, aka Rami Even-Esh, is a rapper from New York City and a new cast member on VH1’s “Wild N Out.” With Nick Cannon. Sober since 2004, he speaks on addiction and mental health issues around the world. find him Twitter or Instagram.

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