Who Was BO$$? Remembering Def Jam’s First Female Rapper Amidst News Of Her Demise


Detroit rapper and the first female artist signed to Def Jam West, Bo$$, has passed away, according to an Instagram post by Bun B. She was 46. 

The UGK legend took to Instagram on Monday (March 11), sharing a picture of Bo$$ as he announced the sad news of her passing.

“Rest in peace to my big sister, Lichelle Laws AKA Boss. One of the best female MCs and a dear friend. Give Rick Royal a hug for me. Long Live The Org!” he wrote. 

Know more about Bo$$—a Detroit native who gained prominence in the vibrant LA rap scene

Born and raised in Detroit, Bo$$ moved to Los Angeles after graduating high school and immediately began making waves in the local rap scene. One of DJ Quick’s associates, Russell Simmons, soon discovered her and signed her to Def Jam’s West Coast branch. 

In 1993, Bo$$ released her first and only studio album, Born Gangstaz, with hits such as Recipe for a Hoe, I Don’t Give a F**k, Mai Sista Izza Bitch, Deeper, and more. 

The LP peaked at No. 22 on the Billboard 200 chart and No. 3 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart. 


A point worth noting is that beatmakers Jam Master Jay, MC Serch, and Erick Sermon, as well as other artists like Onyx, Admiral D, Papa Juggy, and more, contributed to the album. 

In 1994, Laws, in an interview with The Wall Street Journal, revealed that she grew up in a middle-class neighborhood on the West Side of Detroit. She took ballet and piano lessons as a kid, all while attending a Catholic private school. Additionally, she majored in business at Oakland University. 

During the mid-1990s, Laws moved to Texas to collaborate with Ricardo Royal, also known as Coco Budda. Subsequently, she made Houston her home and became involved in a relationship with Royal, with whom she had a son named Lamar. By 1999, she was suffering from kidney failure, and she and Royal amicably split up, and she went to live with her parents. 

In 2001, while dealing with a health crisis, she collaborated with Krayzie Bone on his album Thug On Da Line, and three years later, in 2004, she came out with her own mixtape titled The Six Million Dollar Mixtape, produced by Def Jef. 

What caused her untimely demise — Bo$$’s cause of death explored 

Though the cause of her death has not been revealed yet, Bo$$ had been struggling with health-related issues in the years leading up to her passing. 

According to a GoFundMe page set up in 2021, the departed rapper had been struggling with renal disease since 2011, which left her in need of a kidney transplant. The health crisis also caused her to have a major seizure in 2017. 

“We are now trying to see if the family can get a specialized procedure for her,” the description of the fundraiser read. “The procedure is costly, and we wanted to reach out to her extended family, her friends, and fans to ask for assistance with helping her to be blessed with this procedure to help her to get back to her health. The funds are needed as soon as possible to set her up for the procedure. After the procedure, she will be on the kidney list for a transplant from a donor, once we receive one. We are humbly requesting your help, family. Please give whatever you can. We are grateful for anything that you can do.” 


The GoFundMe page has managed to collect more than $17,000 since then. 

This is a developing story, and we’ll follow up on it once more information is available. 

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