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Gone Before Their Time

Over the years, while UK Rap culture has grown, we’ve also sadly lost some talented individuals to unfortunate accidents, natural causes, and sometimes violence.

While some of these rappers may be gone, we still remember them for their talent and the impact that they had. That is why we have put together a list of 6 UK rappers who sadly passed before their time.


South London rapper Cadet died on 9 February 2019 in a car crash. Cadet was well known for his personal and honest music, his viral freestyles and witty lyricism. He was also the cousin of fellow South London rapper Krept, who released a tribute to Cadet after he passed.

Cadet’s posthumous album The Rated Legend was released in April 2020.


Showkey was an up and coming Lewisham based rapper, who was sadly killed at the age of 16. His passing came as a shock too many, not just because of his age, but because he had a buzz at the time and many felt that he had the potential to go far in music.

He was known for his versatility, being able to switch his style from drill to rap, and even singing. Some of his most viewed are his Mad About Bars and Banana Remix.


North London rapper Black The Ripper passed away in early April 2020. He is the 2nd most recent artist on this list to have passed and the details of his death are still currently unconfirmed. Black The Ripper was active in the music scene since the early days of UK Rap and Grime and definitely helped to push the culture forward.

He was well known for his socially conscious raps as well as his personality outside of music and also for his business, Dank Of England.

Some of his popular songs are Why? And Weed Is My Best Friend.


Kennington rapper Bis was best known for being a member of the Harlem Spartans, along with rapper Loski. He was killed at the age of 20 in South London. As a member of the Harlem Spartans, Bis was part of a wave that impacted the UK Drill scene in a huge way and helped to boost the popularity of the genre.

He is also the originator of the infamous line “Question – If gang pull up, are you gonna back your bredrin?” on Kennington Where It Started.


Esco AKA Esco Bars was a Grime pioneer who passed away at the age of 26 after being assaulted in East London. While Esco’s name isn’t as well known as some of the others on this list, he is remembered in the Grime scene for being a standout talent who helped to push the genre in its underground days.

The Grime scene definitely helped to pave the way for the success of UK Rap, and originators like Esco deserve their credit. Esco can be heard in the track 2 Cars alongside Skepta, D Double E & Chronik.


UK Hip-hop pioneer TY is the most recent artist on this list to have lost their life early. He sadly passed away at age 47 as a result of COVID-19 complications. TY was known for being one of the first artists in the UK to step out as a fully-fledged Hip-hop artist, with his debut album, Awkward, which was released in 2001.

The Rapper and spoken word artist was recognised for bridging the gap between UK Hip-hop and the early Grime scene. He was also regarded as an influential figure by UK pioneers such as Ghetts and Akala. The single Somehow Somewhere Someway was released in 2018 from his last album A Work of Heart.

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