All of this is true about Gangsta Boo:
A “Queen” of Memphis. A hip-hop legend. A pioneer of female rap. The first lady of the Oscar-winning group, Three 6 Mafia. Riding a beat like no other, she was an incredible artist who transcended generations. An incredible legacy and a huge loss for Memphis.
Lola Chantrelle Mitchell from birth, Gangsta Boo was found dead on Sunday – the first day of 2023 – at a home on Raines just east of Millbranch in Memphis’ Whitehaven community.
Born in Whitehaven on Aug. 7, 1979, she was 43.
Memphis Police Department officers responded to a “person-down” call at 2:18 p.m. on New Year’s Day. According to MPD, “A female, identified as 43-year-old Lola Mitchell, was pronounced deceased on the scene.
“There were no immediate signs of foul play. This is an ongoing death investigation, and the results of her autopsy are pending.”
Gangsta Boo’s mother, Veronica Mitchell, released a brief statement:
“The Mitchell family would like to thank everyone for their condolences regarding the untimely death of Lola ‘Gangsta Boo’ Mitchell. The family is asking for your continued prayers and privacy as we process the loss of our loved one.”
Gangsta Boo had a lengthy career and it didn’t look as though she was slowing down anytime soon.
In December 2021, she participated in the Verzuz battle alongside Three 6 Mafia as they battled Bone Thugs-N-Harmony in Los Angeles. I was there for the battle, an intense yet exciting show.
I saw Boo perform again in Memphis during a playoff game after the end of the Memphis Grizzlies’ breakout regular season. Every time she hit the mic/stage, she was full of energy and entertainment.
In the Spring of 2022, she appeared on WEtv’s “Marriage Boot Camp: The Hip Hop Edition” with her boyfriend, Emmet Flores. Also, in recent months, Boo was featured on Atlanta’s own, Latto and Memphis rising star, Glorilla’s collaboration “F— The Club Up,” a play off Three 6 Mafia’s “Tear Da Club Up” and Hannah Monds’ “Big Momma”.
Featured recently on the popular “Drink Champs” Youtube show, she went in depth about her career, being a part of Three 6 Mafia, her legacy in the rap industry and being from Memphis. Two months later, she revealed to Billboard that she was working on a new project called “The BooPrint,” which she projected to be released early this year.
“I would honestly say that I have to admit, respectfully and humbly, that I am the blueprint,” Boo told Billboard. “I hear my cadence in a lot of men and female rappers. … My sound is a Memphis sound. It’s a Gangsta Boo sound; it’s a Three 6 Mafia sound!”
On New Year’s Eve, she shared a video on Instagram about the past year. The clip was captioned, “Some of the things that I did in 2022! So fun and productive, climbed out my shell alot!! 2023 go be 23’n! #JORDAN #BOOPRINT #recap Happy New 2023 everyone!”
Shortly after word spread of her passing, Three 6 Mafia’s DJ Paul and Juicy J paid tribute to their former bandmate on Instagram. DJ Paul shared a caption-less photo of the late rapper; Juicy J posted a snapshot of the pair accompanied by a broken heart emoji.
In 1994 at age 15, he joined the Three 6 Mafia local hip-hop collective founded by DJ Paul, Juicy J and Lord Infamous. That same year, she recorded her first solo song with the group, “Cheefa Da Reefa.” The track set the tone for the Memphis femcee, who later unveiled her most popular hit – “Where Dem Dollas At?” – from her 1998 debut album, “Enquiring Minds.”
Boo underwent several transformations, renaming herself Lady Boo in 2001 and releasing numerous solo albums. In 2013, she joined Da Mafia 6ix before the passing of band member Lord Infamous in December of that year. In 2014, she and Da Mafia 6ix’s other femcee, La Chat, recorded the album “Witch” as a duo.
Memphis’ Drumma Boy produced Boo’s 2003 album “Enquiring Minds II: The Soap Opera.”
“Gangsta Boo was like a sister to me and told the world about me the way my blood brother did,” he said in a released statement.
“We both are Leos and share the same energy towards unity and seeing people happy! This is just such a devastating loss cuz she always wanted to see others win! RIP to the Queen of Memphis, forever my sister.”
Gangsta Boo was real and a raw voice for women in the South and beyond. She was committed to encouraging and helping future generations of artists, especially women rappers from Memphis.
In a 2012 interview with Jimmy Ness from passionweiss.com, she was asked what she wanted people to remember most about her.
“I just want people to know that I’m really a hard worker. I’m human just like everybody else. I write all of my own music. I’ve helped other people come up with concepts. I’ve helped put a lot of people on. I just want to be respected,” she responded.
“When it’s all said and done, I want to be remembered as Gangsta Boo from Three 6 Mafia. The first lady of crunk music. The first lady who brought a platinum plaque back to Memphis. The first lady who bought a gold plaque back to Memphis. I’m the only female rapper in Tennessee that has ever did that and probably will be the only one who ever will.
“I just want to be known as someone that put her heart into her music and who really, really appreciated her fans. Because if it wasn’t for my fans, like I said, I definitely would not still be doing this. My fans are my motivation. I love my fans.”
Gangsta Boo’s passing blew through social media like a storm.
Tenn. State Sen. Raumesh Akbari wrapped it up well in a tweet:
“Whether in Memphis or beyond, Gangsta Boo left an indelible mark on Southern hip hop. Her sound was unique & unmatched – so many memories of listening to #EnquiringMinds! She literally influenced an entire generation and supported them! An absolute Memphis Legend & game-changer!”
Gangsta Boo rightfully called herself “the Queen of Memphis.”