Ear Hustle

In Loving Memory: Hip Hop Artists Who Died Way Too Soon

EarHustle411 and the writing staff are avid lovers of good music. Each one of our staffers appreciates the music genres differently, however we all can agree that we absolutely LOVE classic hip hop and unfortunately the culture has lost some of its talented lyricists too soon.

We are not one to question God’s timing but if we could petition the Heavenly Creator we’d ask Him to send those taken away back to us.  Below are just a few we would request to come back:

Ms Melodie

Ramona Parker aka Ms. Melodie (1969 – 2012) Ms. Melodie was one of the few emcees that could make the fellas take a step back, bow down and give props to. She was a beautiful woman with raw talent and her fashion style was all one of her own.  Before Mary J. Blige took “ghetto fabulous” to another level, it was Ms. Melodie who brought it to the forefront first.  Vibe Magazine described Ms. Melodie as

“one of the ladies who could sonically spar with the fellas, spit raw lyrics, rhyme from a female’s perspective, and hold their own.”

Hearing her spit her rhymes in Self Destruction:

“I’m Ms, Melodie and I’m a born again rebel the violence in rap must cease and settle.  If we want to develop and grow to another level.  We can’t be guinea pigs for the devil, The enemy knows, they’re no fools, because everyone knows that hip-hop rules.  So we gotta get a grip and grab what’s wrong, the opposition is weak and rap is strong”

Ms. Melodie in all her glamour made it known that she was a DIVA and not just one of the guys.  RIP First Lady of Boogie Down Productions!!!

big bank hank

Henry Lee Jackson aka Big Bank Hank (1956 – 2014) one the members of the historic trio The Sugarhill Gang, Big Bank Hank aka Imp Tha Dimp, the ladies pimp.  The women fight for his delight, he’s the Grand Master of the 3 MCs…need we say more…well you get the point!!!  Big Bank Hank and the other members of The Sugarhill Gang achieved superstar status for crossing over into mainstream music.  They were the first ever to do it!!

RIP Henry “Big Bank Hank, Thank you for your MAJOR CONTRIBUTION to Hip Hop


Kevin Edward Elam aka GURU!! (1961-2010) Gifted Universal Rhymes Unlimited is what GURU means and this gentleman was all that and more.  One half and founding member of the duo Gang Starr and listed as one of the 50 Top MCs.  A well-deserved honor for GURU.  GURU’s collaboration with Jazz greats like Donald Byrd, Ramsey Lewis and Branford Marsalis for his Jazzamatazz projects, set him apart of other hip hop artist because it was those collaborations that made Jazzamatazz come to life.  GURU says it best on his Jazzamatazz Vol 1 “Never no time to play, Gotta keep workin’ every day (No time to play) Never no time to play, Gotta make moves with no delay (I gotta make moves)”

RIP GURU we miss your words of poetry set to a jazz groove.  You’re the reason some young people like jazz.

MC Trouble

LaTasha Sheron Rogers aka MC Trouble (1970-1991) Even with her short-lived music career, MC Trouble came in with a bang and left just as strong.  Being the first female rapper to be signed to Motown Records.  Her track “(I Wanna) Make You Mine” peaked at #15 on Billboard’s Hot Rap Songs Chart.  We put MC Trouble in the league of female MCs who have contributed greatness to the culture of hip hop.

Rest in Hip Hop Heaven MC Trouble.

mc breed

Eric Breed aka MC Breed (1971-2008) MC Breed’s death was a complete shock to us some time back in 2008 we were just listening to ” Ain’t No Future In Yo Frontin” when it was announced on the radio that he was deceased.  MC Breed who has collaborated with several other artist like Tupac and Too Short made his way to being another recognizable figure in hip hop.  His most popular track Ain’t No Future In Yo Frontin’ is definitely one set in the commandments of hip hop.

RIP to the Midwest’s first commercially successful hip hop artist MC Breed.

We cannot end this post without mentioning one specific hip hop artist who captured the hearts of many with his teddy bear demeanor and fancy moves.  Yes…we are talking about Heavy D.

heavy d

Dwight Errington Myers aka Heavy D (1967-2011) Heavy D burst on the scene as the first group signed on the Uptown Records Label and being the front man for the group Heavy D and The Boyz, the team were well on their way to stardom.  The loss of Trouble T-Troy put Heavy D in a different place mentally but he and the remaining members of the team still pressed on.  Lending his voice and likeness to several projects like Jam by Michael Jackson and Alright by Janet Jackson, made Heavy D a hot commodity for collaborations.  Heavy D’s contributions to hip hop will forever be remembered.

RIP to the “Heavster”, we got nuttin’ but love for ya baby!!


There are so many more artists we could add to this list but then the article would never end.  Hip Hop is a genre that is NEVER going to go away.  It’s here to stay, but it is our responsibility to do right by it.  Let’s get back to the days when the culture was fun but also a vessel for teaching. Share with us one of your favorite hip hop artists that was “Gone Too Soon”.

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