The Dallas hip-hop community was rocked Wednesday afternoon as news flooded social media that recording artist Mo3 was reportedly shot and killed near the intersection of RL Thornton Freeway (Interstate 35) and Marsalis Avenue in Oak Cliff. According to law enforcement, the 28-year-old artist was shot shortly before noon and taken to a nearby hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
The Shade Room, a popular entertainment blog, broke the story on Instagram minutes after the shooting with a video of the “Everybody (Remix)” hitmaker receiving cardiopulmonary resuscitation as he lay on the freeway curbside.
TMZ reported that Mo3 and the gunman were traveling separately and northbound on the highway when the gunman approached Mo3’s vehicle. Mo3 reportedly fled his vehicle, and the gunman gave chase, firing multiple shots that hit Mo3 in the back of the head. The news outlet wrote that the gunman also shot a bystander inside his or her vehicle, who was taken to the hospital to be treated for non-life-threatening injuries.
Born Melvin Noble, the North Dallas-bred rapper became a buzzworthy new artist in 2014 with his debut mixtape, Shottaz. The project spawned the viral hit “Hold Ur Tongue” and a noteworthy sequel in Shottaz Reloaded. Mo3 rose to prominence with his magnetic persona, signature melodic flow and life-imitating-art street stories on certified hits “Errybody,” “Keep It G,” “True Story” and “I’m the Truth.” Lyrically, Mo3 was a rugged wordsmith and a complex artist whose fans relished his rebellious authenticity.
By 2016, Mo3’s popularity magnified through the intrigue born of his controversial past, consistent run-ins with Dallas police and reports of violent altercations. In 2019, the rapper said he had survived an incident in which he'd been shot in the head while shooting a music video. His brutally honest tales of street life and ongoing conflict with other Dallas-Fort Worth artists were frequently documented in his songs, generating millions of streams.
Fans immediately took to social media in remembrance of the late artist, posting videos and photos of the Osama creator. Dallas native KingLuciano47 called him “the hardest out of Dallas.”
Damn Man not Mo3 One of the hardest out of Dallas and one of my favorite Rip Mo3 wtf pic.twitter.com/ykhuRCgoyH— KingLuciano47 (@lucky_cod_gamer) November 11, 2020
Other tastemakers, personalities and recording artists have been remembering the rapper with tribute photos and condolences, with tributes by mainstream Dallas-Fort Worth recording artists Tay Money and Asian Doll.
PRAYERS FOR MO3— taymoney (@taymoneyduh) November 11, 2020
Rest In Peace MO3— Queen Von (@AsianDaBrattt) November 12, 2020
Louisiana rapper Boosie Badazz, a longtime friend and mentor of Mo3, also took to Twitter to share his disbelief and farewell with fans.
IM LOST FOR WORDS #tip MY BOY “MO3 SEE U WHEN I GET THERE— Boosie BadAzz (@BOOSIEOFFICIAL) November 12, 2020
“I started living off rap this year and I love it," Mo3 told the publication. "I’m shining. I look different — you got a different vibe when you’re struggling and trying to figure out where you’re gonna lay your head.”
While controversial, Mo3 was a man of the people. During the pandemic, he paid rent for local families who were struggling.
Mo3 had amassed a string of successes before his death, including a three-album collection across five mixtapes that received endorsements from several of Southern hip-hop’s most recognizable artists — among others, Moneybagg Yo, Blac Youngsta, DC Young Fly and Boosie Badazz, with whom Mo3 released a collaboration album called Badazz MO3.
Mo3 earned spots on the Billboard charts for Shottaz Reloaded (2016) and 4 Indictments (2016), peaking at nos. 23 and 26 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart.
In 2020, Mo3 released nine singles, including the recently released “Broken Love” featuring Kevin Gates. Last May, he signed promising Dallas artists Numbaa 7 and MTTM Don Don to his HSM record label. In 2019, Mo3 signed a distribution deal with EMPIRE, home to global superstars Tyga, 50 Cent and Iggy Azalea.
Mo3 is survived by his three children.
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