Lil Snupe: A Louisiana Boy Gone Too Soon by D.M. Becton
The U.S is always defined by its big cities. The palm trees & sunshine of Los Angeles. The bright lights of New York City. The beautiful beaches of Miami. But between those big cities are a whole lot of small cities that house talent that eventually surpasses the prerequisites of needing respect from a big city to get on. Especially in rap music.
Lil Snupe (pronounced "snoop") was just another kid with dreams of becoming a big time rap star. He was born Addarren Ross and he grew up in Jonesboro, Louisiana, a very small town with about 4,000 people in Northern Louisiana. He had a shining future ahead of him.
Snupe was one of the first signees to MMG affiliate Meek Mill's Dream Chasers Records. He came to prominence during an intense freestyle battle at a T.I. private listening party early 2013. The battle pitted Snupe against West Philadelphia rapper Retro, an artist representing Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver DeShaun Jackson's Jaccpot Entertainment imprint. It is widely believed that during this battle, the intense passion and tenacity of the young upstart gave him a unanimous win by everyone who witnessed the battle. Also in attendance that night was rapper Trae The Truth and Philadelphia Eagles' quarterback Michael Vick.
After a quick listen to Snupe's rapid fire lyrics, you could see a vivid picture of how it is to be a young Black male not only in Louisiana, but in small town Louisiana. Snupe freestyled "You already know how I come/ I'm in the 'hood with the drugs..." or "Louisiana [you] can tell from my grammar". Or, probably this introspective lyric he said during that freestyle battle, "Growin' up I watched all of my friends shake/ even my family members treated me like an inmate/ Mama had me at 16 [and] I'm from a small city but I got some big dreams/ Daddy left me as a youngin'/ jail was his location [and] I had no motivation/ but I was still dedicated can't nobody stop my shine".
After Snupe's impressive showing in that battle and many other radio runs after that, Snupe was being primed to be the next big thing coming from Louisiana. He freestyled on Cosmic Kev's radio show. He was featured on Sway In The Morning with Meek Mill. He had interviews coming left and right and he spoke with a clarity of an artist that was ready to take his craft to the next level. He definitely held his own and had a uncanny gift of freestyling that seemed to be lost art among many upcoming artists today.
Unfortunately, being from a small town alot of times makes it that much harder to shake the demons that seem to come from those areas. Being poor in a big city is no different than being poor in a small town. The mentality is the same. The problems are still the same. Its just similar on a smaller scale.
So, when it was reported that Lil Snupe was killed in Winnfield, Louisiana on June 20, 2013 it was another tragedy. An horrible tragedy. To the general public, Lil Snupe was just another underground rapper that was murdered. He never got to share his voice with the world and that is where the true crime lies. It's hard to imagine what kind of impact he could have had. He was definitely on his way.
He just released his first mixtape under the Dreamchasers imprint titled RNIC. The mixtape featured Meek Mill, Trae the Truth, Curren$y, DJ Khaled, Yo Gotti and Hurricane Chris. For a first mixtape, that's a crazy lineup for an upcoming artist from a small town in Louisiana.
Even more eerie was the last tweet that Lil Snupe left on his twitter page just hours before he was murdered.
Not much is known about the shooting and details are sketchy at most. All that we know is he was a teenager chasing a dream was searching for something better in the world through his music. Here was that last tweet:
I HOLD IT DOWN 4 LOUISIANA. 6:43 PM 19 Jun 13
You definitely did Snupe. You definitely held it down for the boot.
Rest in paradise young man from the small town in Louisiana. Now, the world will HAVE respect your skill.
(pic above: the last known picture of Lil Snupe in the studio)
(pic above: Meek Mill & his protege Lil Snupe)