Dopeboy Ra, also known as RaRa and formerly Young Capone, has died, dealing another blow to the Atlanta Hip Hop community.
The rapper/producer’s passing was confirmed on Tuesday (August 15) by publicist Aleesha Carter, who paid tribute to her former client in a heartfelt Instagram post.
“This is with a heavy heavy heart that I’m even posting this,” she wrote underneath a slideshow featuring Capone’s 2008 “Choosin” video with Mario. “We made magic when we strategically put out projects, always.
“Young Capone aka Dopeboy Ra aka Rara was one of my first Hip Hop/ Rap clients, and I can’t believe the news I just got of his unexpected passing! A friend…a client and just huge in East Atlanta. This is not the easiest post at all. Rest easy, RIP @dopeboyra.”
While further details — including a cause of death — have yet to be revealed, reports suggested that Dopeboy Ra (real name Rodriquez Smith) was missing in Chicago earlier this week.
There were also concerns about his mental health during his apparent disappearance.
Ra’s friend and collaborator Runway Richy also mourned the rapper’s death on social media, sharing a handful of photos of them together along with a message celebrating their joint achievements.
“I hate to say this but Rest in peace my n-gga @gxdsxlldxpe @dopeboyra,” he wrote. “[Fuck] what they talking bout we dropped a classic on dese [ninja emoji].
“Ah #DopeRun we been stamped the Eastside and u was a real one my brudda I ain’t even think I was gone get this phone call but Fly High brother u was a Legend on my side.”
Dopeboy Ra’s loss was also felt by J.I.D, who tweeted: “This shit jus hurt my soul.. r.I.p Ra [sad face emoji]” while quote-tweeting to an old post of his featuring lyrics from Young Capone’s 2006 track “Lights, Camera, Action.”
Elsewhere, tributes came from Jermaine Dupri, Young Dro, Travis Porter and DJ Greg Street.
this shit jus hurt my soul.. r.I.p Ra😢 https://t.co/XOYtUvKSTp
— (J.I.D) (@JIDsv) August 15, 2023
RIP 2 A ATLANTA LEGEND YOUNG CAPONE
— Travy (@TravisPorter) August 15, 2023
— djgregstreet (@DjGregStreet) August 15, 2023
Starting his career as Young Capone, Smith rose to fame in the mid 2000s with hits like “I’m Hot,” “What It Iz” and the aforementioned “Lights, Camera, Action,” earning a record deal with Jermaine Dupri’s So So Def.
Although he never released an official album under his original moniker, he dropped numerous mixtapes with heavyweight DJs like DJ Scream, DJ Holiday and Trap-A-Holics while also collaborating with big names such as Bow Wow, Daz Dillinger and Mario.
Rebranding himself years later as Dopeboy Ra, or RaRa for short, the Atlanta native signed to T.I.’s Grand Hustle imprint and put out several projects, including five installments of his DOPE$ELLIT$ELF series.
Yet more major collaborations as both an artist and producer followed, including with Meek Mill, Trey Songz, Trae Tha Truth, Iggy Azalea and his former label boss Tip.
“One of my big homies in the game who’s really my patna-patna and an OG and a mentor to me, Killer Mike, played a big part in putting it together,” Ra told REVOLT in 2017 of his Hustle Gang deal.
“I always felt like me and [T.I.] being together would make a big impact. We got a lot of similarities when it comes to down to it. A lot of people think that I remind them of the same feel that he brought.”
Legendary music executive Clarence Avant, known to many as the “Godfather of Black Entertainment,” also passed away earlier this week at the age of 92.
HipHopDX sends its condolences to Dopeboy Ra’s family, friends and supporters.
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