Rappers who died due to drug overdose: Lil Peep to Juice Wrld, a look at lost stars as DMX battles for life
Fans of rapper DMX announced a prayer vigil to be held on Monday, April 5, outside a suburban New York hospital just days after reports the musician and actor suffered a heart attack during a drug overdose. The 50-year-old, whose real name is Earl Simmons, was admitted to a New York hospital "in grave condition" after suffering the heart attack on Friday, April 2, night, attorney Murray Richman confirmed. DMX's first wife and some of his 15 children are at his bedside, while "a lot of people are gathering at the hospital", Richman added.
This isn't the first time when a rapper is battling his life due to drugs, there are many big names who actually lost their lives in this battle. Here are some young rappers and singers who lost their life after fighting a long battle with drugs:
Chris Kelly aka 'Mac Daddy'
On May 1, 2013, Chris Kelly, one-half of the 1990s rap duo Kris Kross, died of a drug overdose, according to the Atlanta Medical Examiner's Office. Kelly died in an Atlanta hospital at the age of 34, after being found unresponsive at his home. Investigator Betty Honey said a toxicology screening showed he had a mixture of drugs in his system. According to a police report, officers were told by Kelly's mother Donna Kelly Pratte that he had taken a mixture of heroin and cocaine -- also known as a 'speedball' -- the night before so she had brought him home to 'recover from his drug use, and [that he] had done this several times in the past.'
The duo, Kris Kross, was made up of Kelly, known as "Mac Daddy" and Chris "Daddy Mac" Smith. They are most widely remembered for their 1992 hit Jump. The pair, who famously wore their trousers backwards and extra baggy, were just 13 when they were discovered in an Atlanta mall. A joint statement released after his death by So So Def, the label who signed them and Kelly's mother, Donna Kelly Pratte, called him "kind, generous and fun-loving".
In his teenage years, Lil Peep started making music in his bedroom. His mother helped him pay for equipment, and he began to build an identity on his laptop, a boy singing and rapping his heart out into a machine. As he got older, the bedrooms changed but his habits didn’t: Almost all of his recordings started and finished there.
On 15 November 2017, at the age of 21, Lil Peep died of an accidental drug overdose. Discovered on SoundCloud, the Long Island-based rapper formed a cult following at a young age, before experiencing mainstream success with his debut album 'Come Over When You’re Sober, Pt. 1', which topped at number 38 on the Billboard 200 in 2017. His song 'Falling Down', a collaboration with XXXTentacion (also deceased), peaked at number 13 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 2018. In addition to vocalizing his affinity for recreational drugs, he also shared with fans that he suffered from depression and bipolar disorder. His death was ruled an accidental overdose of fentanyl and Xanax.
Rapper Mac Miller died on 7 September 2018, as a result of an accidental overdose involving cocaine, fentanyl and alcohol, a coroner has concluded. The Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner confirmed the star's cause of death. The 26-year-old, who rose to fame after topping US charts with his debut album in 2011, was found dead at his California home. Ex-girlfriend Ariana Grande called him "an angel" in a song 'Thank U, Next'.
According to witness statements in the autopsy report, Miller was last seen by his assistant around 10.30 pm on September 6, and spoke to his mother on the phone that night. It was only when the assistant arrived the next morning he typically woke Miller at 11.30 am and discovered Miller’s body that anyone close to him knew anything was wrong. Miller had long fought with addiction. While he was attempting sobriety, he had frequent “slip-ups,” according to a statement in the autopsy report, that could be excessive. The last such incident before the night of his death, according to his assistant, had been on September 4, just three days before his death.
Rapper Juice Wrld
On 8 December 2019, the sudden death of rapper Juice WRLD as he landed in Chicago shocked the world. The cause of death was listed as an accidental overdose of codeine and oxycodone, the Cook County Medical Examiner's office. Juice WRLD, whose given name was Jarad Anthony Higgins, experienced a seizure shortly after arriving at Midway International Airport on the day of his death, the Chicago Police Department said. He was quickly transported to a local hospital and was pronounced dead hours later.
"The announcement that the rapper had oxycodone, an opioid that is a pain killer, and codeine in his system follows initial reports that a federal agent who was at the airport to search the plane administered the opioid antidote Narcan to the performer after he'd gone into convulsions," the Associated Press reported. In a 2018 interview with The New York Times, he said he was trying to curb his use of Xanax. "I smoke weed, and every now and then I slip up and do something that's poor judgment," he said. "I have a lot going for me, I recognize it's a lot of big things, a lot of big looks. I want to be there, and you don't have to overdose to not be there."
Alexis Alijai Lynch, known as Lexii Alijai, died due to a drug overdose last year. The 21-year-old up-and-coming rapper from St Paul died unexpectedly on January 1, 2020, and officials released a statement that it was due to mixing fentanyl and alcohol. According to the Hennepin County Medical Examiner, her death “due to mixed fentanyl and ethanol toxicity” was accidental.
She was found unconscious and possibly suffering cardiac arrest at the Loews Minneapolis Hotel on New Year's Day. She was a rising star in the rap world and local radio hosts like Auggie 5000 with Go Radio say she was talented and had a great future ahead of her. By the time she was 18, she had already gained more than 20,000 Instagram followers, 100,000+ SoundCloud streams and an appearance on a Grammy-nominated album.