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20 Rappers Who Overdosed: Tragic Stories of Those Taken Too Soon

rappers who overdosed rapper coolio on the red carpet
Image from Shutterstock.

Within the hip-hop industry, a significant issue plagues numerous talented rappers: abuse of illicit drugs. Numerous rappers have seen their careers and their lives plummet due to the devastating impact of drug abuse.

In this article, we will explore the lives of renowned and talented rappers who overdosed.

20 Rappers Who Overdosed

1. DMX

dmx on stage rapping in a brown shirt
Image from Shutterstock.

First on our list of rappers who overdosed is multi-platinum rapper DMX. On April 9, 2021, the “Party Up (Up in Here)” rapper suffered a heart attack that was triggered by a cocaine overdose. 

Sadly, DMX wasn’t able to recover despite medical efforts, and he passed away at the age of 50.

2. Mac Miller

mac miller on stage singing
Mac Miller kicked off his tour with a hometown performance in Pittsburgh September 18 at Stage AE. Miller is touring in support of his latest album, ??The Divine Feminine, released September 16. Image from Shutterstock.

Legendary rapper Mac Miller is another artist whose life tragically came to an end due to drug use. His death still remains a huge and sad loss to both his fans and the music industry, shedding light on the importance of mental health awareness.

Miller died from mixed drug poisoning, which includes the combination of cocaine, fentanyl, and alcohol. He passed away on September 7, 2018, at the age of 26 years old. Two dealers have been sentenced to prison in connection with Mac Miller’s fatal overdose. 

Related: How Did Mac Miller Die?

3. Juice WRLD

Juice Wrld in Las Vegas holding up his hands
LAS VEGAS – MAY 1: Juice Wrld at the 2019 Billboard Music Awards at MGM Grand Garden Arena on May 1, 2019 in Las Vegas, NV. Image from Shutterstock.

Next on our list of rappers who overdosed is another young talented rapper who was gone too soon, JuiceWRLD. At the young age of 21, Jarad A. Higgins, or JuiceWRLD, died as a result of oxycodone and codeine toxicity.

The “Lucid Dreams” rapper had been known to grapple with drug addiction and depression, and his passing stands as a heartbreaking loss for both his fans and the music industry.

Related: How Did Juice WRLD Die?

4. Lil Peep

lil peep on stage singing into a microphone
Image from Shutterstock.

Rolling Stone hailed him as “this generation’s Kurt Cobain,” but tragically, Lil Peep passed away due to opioid addiction shortly after celebrating his 21st birthday. 

Lil Peep, or Gustav Elijah Åhr, passed away on November 15, 2017, and his death was ruled as accidental overdose. His passing represented a notable loss to the music industry, marking yet another star claimed by the opioid epidemic.

5. HellaSketchy

image of a black man holding his hat in front of his face
(No licensable photos available) Image from Shutterstock

The fifth entry on our list of rappers who overdosed is the 18-year-old rapper Hella Sketchy. Jacob Tyler Thureson died on June 27, 2019, from an accidental drug opioid overdose. 

According to his father, Hella Sketchy was initially revived and rushed to the emergency room. However, he remained in a coma for 14 days before ultimately passing away.   

“Never in a million years would I have imagined that it would end like this,” his dad said.

Related: 21 Best Rap Songs

6. Coolio

rapper coolio on the red carpet
Image from Shutterstock.

Another rapper who tragically fell victim to substance use is the Grammy-winning hip-hop star Coolio. The “Gangsta’s Paradise” rapper, Artis Leon Ivey Jr., tragically passed away on September 28, 2022, at the age of 59.

His untimely death resulted from an accidental overdose that involved addictive substances including fentanyl, heroin, and methamphetamine.

7. Lexii Alijai

a female rapper on stage with a dance crew performing
Image from Shutterstock.

Singer, songwriter, and rapper Lexii Alijai also makes our list of rappers who overdosed. She died on New Year’s Day of 2020 due to a mix of alcohol and fentanyl poison. The “Love Me for Me” singer was found unconscious after suffering a cardiac arrest in the Loews Minneapolis Hotel.

Her unexpected passing was a profound loss that was felt by her fans and fellow artists. Ari Lennox, Ella Mai, and Kehlani have all paid tribute to the promising young rapper.

“Please please please please be safe out there. This shit was so much deeper than music[,] that was my little sister” Kehlani said in tribute.

8. Pimp C 

a rapper on a foggy stage holding a microphone
(No licensable photos available) Image from Shutterstock.

Legendary southern rapper Pimp C also tragically died because of a drug overdose. His death was caused by heavy usage of the life-threatening “purple drank,” a combination of codeine and promethazine.

9. Chris Kelly

silhouette of a rapper or singer on stage
(No licensable photos available) Image from Shutterstock.

Chris Kelly, one-half of the iconic 1990s rap duo Kriss Kross, is another sad entry on our list of drug users who ended up overdosing on illegal drugs.

On May 1, 2013, at the age of 34, he was discovered unresponsive at his home in Atlanta. The toxicology report later confirmed that his death was from a combination of opiates and stimulants, more specifically,  heroin and cocaine.

10. DJ Screw 

a male DJ in colorful lighting from the side
(No licensable photos available) Image from Shutterstock.

Known for his hit songs like “My Mind Went Blank” and “Pimp Tha Pen,” DJ Screw also suffered a terrible fate from substance abuse. 

He was found dead inside a recording studio in Houston, with the primary cause of death being the same drink that claimed Pimp C’s life: purple drank, a combination of codeine and promethazine. 

He’s another cautionary tale on our list of rappers who overdosed.

Related: 14 Best Rappers

11. Yams (A$AP Yams, Steven Rodriguez)

a rapper with his face obscured in shadow
(No licensable photos available) Image from Shutterstock

Yet another rapper who had a tragic accidental overdose is Steven “A$AP Yams” Rodriguez, the co-founder and visionary behind Harlem’s A$AP Mob collective.

He was only 26 when he died in his apartment on January 18, 2015. A$AP Rocky, who shared the apartment with him, vividly recounted this distressing moment during an interview with The New York Times, 

“I just look at his face. I look at Lou. You could just tell. We knew, I was scared. I was wilding on everybody, like, ‘Who let him do drugs?’ Even though you can’t blame nobody.” 

12. DJ Rashad (Rashad Harden)

a DJ set
(No licensable photos available) Image by Pablo De La Fuente on Unsplash

DJ Rashad’s career was on the rise until his untimely and tragic death. 

On April 26, 2014, Rashad Harden was discovered by a friend in an apartment on Chicago’s West Side, surrounded by narcotics and drug-related items. 

His cause of death was the result of a lethal combination of heroin, cocaine, and Xanax. Another sad story on our list of rappers who overdosed.

13. Shock G

a rapper on stage performing
(No licensable photos available) Image from Shutterstock.

Digital Underground’s Shock G was best known for his alter ego Humpty Hump. The band created some of the best rap music of the 80s and 90s, including hits like “The Humpty Dance” and “Same Song.”

Sadly, Shock G was found dead in his Florida hotel room on April 22, 2021. Reports indicated that his death resulted from an accidental overdose involving fentanyl, ethanol, and meth.

14. ODB

ol dirty bas**** from the wu-tang clan
Image from Shutterstock.

The hip-hop community suffered a sad loss with the passing of ODB, also known as Russell Jones.  

The “Shimmy Shammy Ya” rapper was found at a Manhattan Recording Studio on November 13, 2004. The hip-hop legend had been known for his cocaine use. He died as a result of lethal intoxication from cocaine and the painkiller Tramadol, making him one of the many legendary rappers who overdosed.

15. Gangsta Boo

female rappers performing in shadow
(No licensable photo available) Image from Shutterstock.

Gangsta Boo, a former member of the legendary hip-hop group Three 6 Mafia, also suffered a tragic fate. On New Year’s Day, January 1, 2023, she was discovered lifeless on her mother’s front porch. 

Her death was attributed to a drug overdose involving fentanyl, cocaine, and alcohol.

16. Chynna

a female singer on stage singing with her head tilted back
(No licensable photo available) Image from Shutterstock

At the peak of her career model-turned-rapper Chynna Rogers was tragically found dead due to drug abuse on April 8, 2022, in her home in Philadelphia. 

Her passing was an immense loss to both the hip-hop community and her devoted fan base.

17. SauxePaxk TB

a male singer on stage performing
(No licensable photo available) Image from Shutterstock

One of the youngest rappers on the list of rappers who overdosed is Tobias “SaxuePaxk TB” Johnson, who tragically passed away at the age of 16. He gained viral fame on TikTok in 2022 with his hit song “Ballin.”

Unfortunately, his life was cut short on November 6, 2022. An autopsy found that Johnson had fentanyl, amphetamine, Xanax, oxycodone, and tramadol in his system.

One month later, his mother took legal action by filing a lawsuit against Sony Music. She alleged that the company was responsible for allowing SauxePaxk TB to overdose while under their supervision.

18. Eyedea

a male singer on a smoky stage holding a microphone
(No licensable photo available) Image from Shutterstock

Minnesota indie rapper Eyedea, one-half of the group Eyedea & Abilities, was found dead of a drug overdose on October 16, 2010.  According to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, the 28-year-old rapper died from a drug overdose. Opiate toxicity was said to be the cause.

19. Baatin

a male rapper performing on stage
(No licensable photo available) Image from Shutterstock

Baatin, born Titus Glover, was a member of Detroit rap group Slum Village. He was found in his home on Anglin Street in northeast Detroit, where it was later revealed that he had an accidental cocaine overdose.

20. Big Scarr

a rapper in a plaid shirt with his hat pulled down
(No licensable photo available) Image from Shutterstock

Last on our list of rappers who overdosed is the “Solcyboyz 2” rapper Big Scarr. He was at his girlfriend’s house in Memphis when he was found dead on December 22, 2022. His passing was attributed to an accidental prescription drug overdose. 

The 22-year-old rapper received widespread love from his collaborators and loved ones including the likes of renowned rappers like Gucci Mane. “ This hurt I’m a miss you @bigscarr,” Gucci Mane wrote.

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Written by Erik Ritland

Erik Ritland is a songwriter, musician, journalist, and podcaster based in Nashville, Tennessee. He’s released over a dozen albums since 2002, most recently Old Dog Almost Gone (2021), the first-ever multimedia album, and his latest collection of all original material, A Scientific Search (2020). During his 15+ years as a music journalist, Erik has written hundreds of articles for Music in Minnesota, Something Else Reviews, his own blog Rambling On, and more. In addition to continuing his music career, Erik currently runs The Cosmic American, a music journalism website, and is the editor of Music in Minnesota.


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