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Remembering PnB Rock – 1991-2022

Joe Simpson

By Joe Simpson

Joe Simpson

13 Sep 2022

On Monday afternoon, Philadelphia rapper PnB Rock was tragically killed in an armed robbery in Los Angeles. The L.A.P.D confirmed last night that the rapper was a victim of a fatal shooting. Rock leaves behind two young daughters and the Rap community the world over will be united in grief for a talented rapper gone too soon.

Looking back at PnB’s discography, it is fair to say that he has inspired and worked with some of the biggest names in Hip Hop right now, ranging from the likes of Lil Baby and Young Thug to Ed Sheeran and Chance The Rapper. After a slew of mixtapes dating back to 2014, the Philadelphian released his first full length album in 2017, titled ‘Catch These Vibes’. In the same year he was part of the XXL Freshmen roster, which allowed him to gain international claim and grow as an artist.

Rock spanned multiple genres within the world of Hip-Hop, with his biggest hit, ‘Selfish’ reaching triple platinum after its release in 2016. This track opened doors for the artist and allowed him to work with some of Hip-Hop’s greatest. Tracks with Pop Smoke, Meek Mill, and Kodak Black show that PnB could really go toe to toe with the heavyweights of US Rap, and his final album ‘Trapstar Turnt Popstar’, cemented him as one of the most important voices in US Rap.

His final release came just two weeks ago, as his single ‘Luv Me Again’ was his first as an independent artist since 2015. This makes Rock’s death all the more tragic as his independence from the conservatorship of a record label could have breathed new life into an already successful career. The future really did look bright for the rapper, and his death at just the age of 30 will serve as a harrowing reminder of the greed, fragility, and unnecessary violence that comes part and parcel with this genre. In the last few years, we have already lost Pop Smoke, Young Dolph, and many more, and PnB Rock’s death only continues to show the perils that come with superstardom. 

There have been many comments online blaming PnB’s girlfriend for the shooting, after she posted  their location on Instagram. Any links between the two incidents are unsubstantiated, and Stephanie Sibounheuang should not be crucified in what will be a period of grief for her. Furthermore, any videos shared of the incident should not be circulated as they desensitise the public to such a gratuitous act of violence. PnB Rock’s legacy will live long into the future of US Hip-Hop and his name is bigger than the incidents which occured yesterday.

May he rest in peace.

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