It’s been a year since emerging rapper and Dream Chasers signee Addarren “Lil Snupe” Ross was shot to death in the wee hours of the morning in Winnfield, La., a small town about 48 miles north of Alexandria, and the question of what could have become of the vibrant young spitter still remains. He was just 18 years old.
A suspect, Tony Holden, a man literally twice Snupe’s age, was taken into custody on first degree murder charges soon after and has been held since, but as of now an apparent trial date has yet to be set.
The senseless killing, with reasoning for why it occurred ranging from a video game gambling dispute gone bad to a home invasion and attempted robbery, reverberated around the Hip-Hop community but hit especially hard in Philadelphia: the young rappers newly adopted headquarters and a city with its own storied history of urban violence.
Meek Mill, who discovered Snupe after a chance encounter and freestyle session, mourned the loss publicly: shouting the slain rapper out in songs, dedicating posts to him on social networking sites and penning a poignant dedication, “Lil Nigga Snupe”, on his ‘Dreamchasers 3’ mixtape.
Snupe himself appears on the release on “Lil Snupe Skit”, documenting his appreciation for Meek’s guidance and the rate at which his life was progressing.
“When I roll to Philly I rolled in a Bentley/First nigga sent me my Bentley, this nigga Meek Millie,” he admits, “From my city you don’t see shit like that/Yea it’s greatness, this shit right here amazing/ It’s crazy to know that I rolled in a Ferrari today.”
It’s a sobering moment as his genuine excitement about his changing fortune makes the already moving listen even more stirring.
When preparing to release his crew’s third compilation, Rick Ross handpicked Lil Snupe to open MMG’s ‘Self Made, Vol. 3’, handling the intro duties a la his mentor. The magnitude of the loss is exemplified in his performance on the track; the kid had plenty to say and unfortunately he’d never get the chance to say it.
His outgoing personality and seemingly limitless freestyle ability catapulted Snupe to the forefront of the Dreamchaser brand; his presence was the burgeoning collective together and his absence from their ranks has been apparent.
Since his death the young label has become somewhat fragmented, with Meek and Louie V. Gutta exchanging harsh words on songs and social media over a robbery incident and Lee Mazin, while still waving the DC flag, moving more as an affiliated entity than a dye-in-the-wool roster member.
In the year since his death more young rappers have died (Namely 300/OTF affiliate Lil Nunu aka Nuski who was also under the age of 20 and Doe B, an understudy of T.I. who sported an eye patch, remnants of a previous murder attempt which he’d survived), and more Philadelphia based rappers have died (namely Cannon Music Group affiliate Jimme Wallstreet, less than 24 hours later) sadly proving that the loss of our cultures untapped potential is an occurrence that happens far too often.
It’s apparent how ill-fated the loss is when watching Snupe grace our cameras in December 2012 in a freestyle battle against former Philadelphia Eagle Desean Jackson’s artist Retro. The young rapper simultaneously grabbed our attention and confirmed the hype with his performance in the contest, wowing the panel of celebrity judges, leaving with the $10k purse and further solidifying his growing reputation by unanimous decision.
On that winter night, we shared in a defining moment of his short career and the millions of views the footage has amassed confirms that a star was indeed being born.
In remembrance of Lil Snupe we’ve compiled more of the defining moments we shared with the young Dream Chaser below.
Lil Snupe talks R.N.I.C., winning celebrity rap battle, Meek Mill & more with HHS1987
Lil Snupe’s 9 minute HHS1987 freestyle
30 for THIRTY: Lil Snupe x Louie V Gutta
Meek Mill performs “Lil Nigga Snupe” live in New York
© 2014, Dessy Weegar. All rights reserved.