Corey Struggs, a popular underground rapper from Dallas, has died of cancer at the age of 32.
Struggs, who went from being a nobody to becoming an important figure in the Dallas underground rap scene, owed a large part of his popularity to the internet, and specifically to Reddit, where he became a cultural meme.
Struggs’ unfettered personality and body size lent itself to a popular meme character, called “Big N*gga,” which saw the big black man’s images from his Instagram feed and music videos being superimposed on heroic CNN screenshots, with headlines like “Big N*gga is a time traveler,” “Big N*gga blocks asteroid,” and “NASA reveals Saturn is actually Big N*gga with Hula Hoop,” as reported by Daily Dot.
He was diagnosed with cancer eight months ago, and although his close friends told Urban Islandz that Struggs was trying to be strong even in his last days by recording music and even doing videos, his battle with metastatic cancer was just too steep a fight.
“He was putting up a good fight because he was recording music and even doing videos and all that sh*t, but his health got really bad over the last couple of days.”
— MissTee Jones (@Miztresofsongz3) August 3, 2018
Struggs had been rapping for the better part of the last decade, and while the Dallas hip-hop scene was familiar with his rhymes, it was only in the last couple of years that Struggs’ work actually started receiving serious attention. Revered and mocked in equal measure on the internet for being a “fat rapping n*gga,” much to his own surprise back in 2016, Struggs was approached by Rick Ross to collaborate on a song. The resulting track “Do It” helped establish Struggs’ reputation locally, leading him to launch his independent record label and a handful of mixtapes, including last year’s “Why Not Hustle?”
It is not yet known how Struggs became such a big meme phenomenon on the internet, but the first images which were appropriated on the internet showed him holding an AR-15. That image was used by somebody to create a Facebook page for his memes, and the rest is history.
Soon, Struggs became an internet goldmine, equating to a superheroic, larger-than-life mythical meme figure who could just about be anywhere to save humanity from its biggest threats.
“It’s just (mostly) non-adults memeing around with the idea because they find the concept of him going around doing crazy sh*t and saving the earth from all sorts of danger funny,” said the creator of the most popular “Big N*gga” subreddit.
May the big man rest in peace.