MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Memphis rapper Lola Mitchell, widely known as Gangsta Boo, died New Year’s Day. As news of her death circulated, artists in Memphis are remembering her legacy.
You can’t listen to music, particularly hip hop, and not hear the Memphis influence in a lot of songs. One of those powerful voices behind the legacy is Memphis rapper Lola Mitchell, also known as Gangsta Boo and the Queen of Memphis.
“She was a boss chick because she turned nothing into something. That’s what bosses do. Rest in peace Gangsta Boo,” said former Three 6 Mafia manager Artemis “Peppa” Williams.
She was a trailblazer, force, businesswoman, and icon.
“When I heard the news, I was honestly devastated. I was one of the people who got a chance to see her on stage bringing up our friends 8Ball and MJG bringing in the new year. We literally saw her hours before hearing the news,” said Tonya Dyson, Memphis Slim Collaboratory Executive Director.
Gangsta Boo was a former member of rap group, Three 6 Mafia. Williams was their first manager. “Shocked. I sat back and started reminiscing on the role she played in my life,” said Williams. “We would have conversations and talk about her dreams and aspirations…She most definitely is the queen of Memphis hip hop.”
Gangsta Boo was a queen whose work reigned far beyond city limits.
“When you think about the south and the emergence of hip hop in the late 90’s and during that era, you can’t really put your finger on a lot of women who made the mark. Gangsta Boo was the first of her kind,” said Dyson. “She was always willing to join the future and not resist it.”
Gangsta Boo influenced up and coming artists such as Memphis Rapper, Tori “Tori Who Dat” Evans.
“The first time Boo and I came in contact with each other was when I opened for Juicy J literally a decade ago at Minglewood Hall,” said Evans. “Beyond the music, Boo was an example of being unapologetically yourself. She empowered other women to be strong and confident in spaces typically dominated by men.”
“She believed in herself. She knew exactly what she wanted out of life,” said Williams.
“She was the epitome of support and the epitome of Memphis,” said Dyson.
The Memphis community, though hurting, will never forget her indelible work and influence. On New Year’s Eve, Gangsta Boo’s last post on Instagram highlighted moments of 2022. She wrote, “So fun and productive … Climbed out my shell a lot. 2023 go be 23’n.”