Gangsta Boo, a pioneering Memphis rapper and the second female member of the hip-hop group Three 6 Mafia, died on Sunday at 43, group member DJ Paul confirmed to PEOPLE.
Less than one day before she died, Boo posted a video on Instagram about what she'd accomplished in 2022, writing: "Some of the things that I did in 2022! So fun and productive, climbed out my shell alot!! 2023 go be 23'n! #JORDAN #BOOPRINT #recap Happy New 2023 everyone!"
Boo, who grew up in the Whitehaven section of Memphis, began rapping at age 14, turning her poems into lyrics with a keyboard her father had given her.
At 15, Boo joined the pioneering local hip-hop collective Three 6 Mafia as one of the group's sole female members. "I'm from a middle-class family that kind of moved to the hood after my parents divorced, so I had the best of both worlds," Boo told i-D magazine in 2014.
The group put out a variety of albums throughout the 1990s and early 2000s. The Memphis rap group earned an Oscar for Best Original Song for their heavy-duty "It's Hard Out Here for a Pimp" from the film Hustle & Flow.
Boo had a highly successful solo career beyond her work with Three 6 Mafia and a spin-off group called Da Mafia 6ix. Her debut solo record, Enquiring Minds, hit No. 15 on the Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop chart and her second solo album reached No. 8 on the same chart.
She also guest-appeared on tracks with artists like Gucci Mane, Eminem, OutKast, Lil Wayne and more.
In a December Billboard interview, Boo revealed that she was working on a new project called The BooPrint that she planned to release this year. In the interview, she spoke up about her legacy in the male-dominated hip-hop scene, saying she "walked so a lot of people could run."
She told the magazine, "I have to admit, respectfully and humbly, that I am the blueprint. I hear my cadence in a lot of men and female rappers. … my sound is a Memphis sound."
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Celebrities on social media swiftly began to react to the news of Boo's untimely passing, sharing remembrances of the charismatic figure. "Long live my home girl Gangsta Boo," TyDolla$ign tweeted around 6:30 pm on Sunday.
DJ Kiana Fitzgerald wrote that the news of Boo's death "really hurts," noting the performer's powerful impact on women in the South and beyond."
"She gave countless women — within the South & beyond — a blueprint to retool and rework for themselves," wrote Fitzgerald. "Her influence is incalculable and still so present today. A legend in every sense, who was committed to encouraging future innovators."