The shooting yesterday of 19-year-old rapper Lil Phat in an Atlanta-area hospital parking lot rocked the rap world, as news of the up-and-comer’s death hit Twitter.
It feels like a long time ago that gun violence and rap were heavily linked, and the late 90’s drama culminating in the deaths of rappers Tupac Shakur and Biggie Small seemed to have quelled the outbreaks of rap-related crime that marked the era.
Lil Phat’s shooting death, sitting in his car next to next to Northside Hospital Woman’s Center yesterday has prompted an outpouring of grief on social media (something we didn’t really have when Tupac and Biggie were gunned down) for the rapper whose real name was Melvin Vernell III.
When news of Lil Phat’s shooting began to circulate, rappers with with the young star had been associated tweeted their grief. Bun B said:
“Damn. RIP Lil Phat. Be strong Mel. This is so f*cked up. Known him damn near all his life.”
If you’ve ever experienced learning of the death of someone close to you via Twitter or Facebook, you can probably empathize with Lil Boosie, who upon hearing of Lil Phat’s shooting, tweeted:
“My phone blowing up everybody asking me is my bro Lil Phat dead! Man I hope not!”
But Boosie confirmed Lil Phat’s shooting, sadly adding:
“Sitting here thinking about them days & nights in Trill Studio and at my bro Lil Phat house making hits in the studio #RIPPhat.”
Lil Phat’s associate Webbie tweeted:
“RIP to my Lil Brother Phat! Life so F**ked Up! Trill 4 Life! You stupid bitches think death a joke until you lose somebody you love! #RIPLILPHAT.”
A motive for Lil Phat’s shooting has not yet been discovered by police.