Hundreds packed the Jonesboro-Hodge High School auditorium on June 29 to pay their final respects to slain rapper Lil’ Snupe.
Lil’ Snupe, whose real name was Addarren Ross, 18, was shot and killed June 20 in Winnfield.
Mourners began to arrive three hours before the service, and rapper Meek Mill shortly before the service began.
Clearly still shaken up, Mill sat dejectedly in the third row with dark sunglasses over his eyes for the majority of the service.
“I’m never one to talk (at funerals),” Mill said when presented with a resolution from Jonesboro Mayor Leslie Thompson. “I saw something in him. His demo tape spoke to me. I saw myself in him.”
Perhaps the most emotional part of the service was when a letter was read from Ross’ biological father who is incarcerated.
“He came from nothing,” Charlie Brown wrote. “He taught the young to never make excuses. When the doors open for me, the world will forever hear Lil’ Snupe!”
Ross, who is originally from Jonesboro, was signed to Mill’s Dream Chasers record label hours after meeting him here on campus after the homecoming concert in October.
“He was in a van, and I knocked on the window,” Ross said in a February interview with MTV. “They let the window down, grabbed the mix tape, and about 10 minutes or 20 minutes later, they called me.”
The moment Mill heard the struggle in Lil’ Snupe’s lyrics, he noticed somebody who reminded him of himself.
“He was spitting so much pain,” Mill said of his protÃ©gÃ©. “He’s from the South with a flow like an East Coast guy. He really can spit, and he was talking that talk that I can really relate to. I seen potential in him.”
It’s surprising how in such a short period of time, a rapper who was 18 for seven days and is from a town of fewer than 5,000 people could have an impact on such a wide group of people.
After news of Lil’ Snupe’s death, hip-hop legends sent Twitter into a frenzy. Celebrity fans took to the site to pay their respects.
“RIP @LilSnupe. Prayers to his family. Some of the saddest news you ever hear…rise up and be leaders for the future. Lives depend on it,” hip-hop mogul Diddy tweeted.
“This Is Crazy He Was A Talented Kid! May He RIP #LilSnupe,” rapper Trina tweeted.
Although Lil’ Snupe was on his way to the top, he never forgot where he came from or the “little people.”
Peter Dorsey, a senior at GSU, has been an MC in North Louisiana for the past five years and reminisces on the time Lil’ Snupe spent “grinding” to make it to the top on campus.
“After putting him in a (rap) battle, he had every student on the campus captivated in less than two minutes,” Dorsey said. “Every time we saw each other, he said, ‘Keep grinding.'”