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After recent deaths, health is new priority in rap

May 7, 2013 • Entertainment


FILE – This undated file photo from Stones Throw Records shows hip-hop producer J Dilla, J Dilla, who died Feb. 10, 2006, of complications from lupus. He was 32. The culture that in the 1990s lost its brightest stars to gun violence has in recent years seen a series of notable rappers die of drug- and health-related causes. Since 2011, hip-pop pioneer Heavy D, singer and rap chorus specialist Nate Dogg and New York rapper Tim Dog all died of ailments in their 40s. Kriss Kross rapper Chris Kelly was found dead last week in Atlanta of a suspected drug overdose. (AP Photo/Stones Throw Records, Roger Erickson)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Hip-hop may need a checkup.

The culture that in the 1990s lost its brightest stars to gun violence has in recent years seen a series of notable rappers die of drug- and health-related causes. Since 2011, hip-pop pioneer Heavy D, singer and rap chorus specialist Nate Dogg and New York rapper Tim Dog all died of ailments in their 40s. Kris Kross rapper Chris Kelly was found dead last week in Atlanta of a suspected drug overdose at 34.

Some of the genre’s elder statesmen say they’re worried about the culture’s focus on youth, current emphasis on freewheeling partying and “you only live once” ethos, as popularized by Drake’s 2011 hit “The Motto.”

“Hip-hop being a lifestyle culture … a part of American culture, you have to be mindful that somebody is going to grow old, age,” said rap pioneer Melle Mel. Login to read more

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