Popular Atlanta-born rapper Lil Marlo was shot and killed, according to TMZ. Police responded to a car crash on Interstate 285 in downtown Atlanta early Sunday morning and Lil Marlo was found dead of gunshot wounds at the scene, an official told TMZ. Circumstances around the 30-year-old’s death remain unclear. Lil Marlo, born Rudolph Johnson, is survived by his daughter and son.
Rapper Lil Yachty broke the news early Sunday morning. He took to Instagram to react to Lil Marlo’s sudden death. Lil Yachty revealed that he and Lil Marlo had just worked on a song that morning. He wrote: “We just did a song a 4 this morning smh rip brother [Lil Marlo].”
According to TMZ, a police official said, “At this time, investigators believe the victim was the intended target of the gunfire and they are working to determine the circumstances surrounding the shooting.” Video of the scene of the shooting was posted on social media, showing Lil Marlo’s car after he was killed:
Atlanta Police have not commented publicly about the shooting and the rapper’s death. It is not known if any suspects have been identified or if anyone is in custody.
Lil Marlo Was Part of the Quality Control Label
Lil Marlo, who was signed to the label Quality Control, was known for such songs as “1st N 3rd,” “F*ckem” and “9 + Z6ne = 1’5″.” Lil Marlo was close friends with fellow Quality Control artist and Atlanta native Lil Baby. According to Lil Marlo’s biography on All Music, both rappers broke onto the scene together in 2017.
Lil Marlo never considered getting into the industry until multiple people around him said that he should become a rapper. According to All Music, Lil Marlo used his experiences on the streets to earn success quickly. His All Music biography breaks down many of the career-shaping projects Lil Marlo was a part of:
He took part in a slew of Quality Control releases issued during the latter half of 2017. These included Lil Baby’s Harder Than Hard track “Ride or Die,” the full-length Lil Baby collaboration 2 the Hard Way, and a solo mixtape entitled The Wire. Additionally, he had two slots on the number five Billboard 200 entry Control the Streets, Vol. 1, featured with Lil Baby and Gucci Mane on “The Load” and showcased alone on “Live Like Dis,” the finale. Within six months of 2018, Marlo was behind two more solo tapes, 9th Ward God and The Real1. The next year, he branched out with a verse on Yella Beezy’s “Big Shit” and connected with City Girls and Offset for “Soakin Wet,” a preview of Control the Streets, Vol. 2.
In 2018, Rolling Out said rap legend Diddy mentioned the Atlanta rapper, saying, “Marlo hard.”
The rapper told Rolling Out about his name, “My name comes from an older person where I’m from, and the streets just gave me his name. He passed and ever since he’s been gone, I had the name. It’s like he’s living through me type.”
Lil Marlo Last Posted on Social Media on July 5 & He Also Posted on Father’s Day a Video of Him With His Daughter
Lil Marlo’s last social media post was on July 5 and it was an advertisement for a show he was performing that night at the Cosmopolitan Premier Lounge in Atlanta. He wrote, “Pull up on my Game & Support Da Kid Whole Westside Wit Me.”
On Father’s Day, Lil Marlo posted a video of him with his daughter. He wrote, “Thanks For Making Me Y’all Father I Wouldn’t Trade Y’all For Da World #kemora #Rihanna #Marlo #Rudy Da Johnson Family.”
Lil Marlo grew up in the Bowen Projects in the Westside area of Atlanta, according to Rolling Out. He talked to the hip-hop website in 2018 about how he became a rapper:
All this stuff just happened. I’m going with the flow though. I like this flow, but I didn’t know any of this was going to happen. Growing up, I was the quiet type, I don’t really speak a lot. People always told me you act like a rapper, and you move like a rapper, but I never took any of it seriously. After people kept telling me, ‘Bruh you need to just go ahead and rap,’ I started rapping, and it’s just been on ever since.
Lil Marlo added, “I’m really just using the same energy that I used in the streets to the music business. You get the same vibe, but some things that go on in the music world, you wouldn’t tolerate in the streets. And some things go on in the streets, you can’t tolerate in the music world. So now I’m just trying to learn it all. I’m not trying to be a one-hit wonder, I’m trying to be here for forever.”
Lil Marlo’s Fans Took to Social Media to Share Their Tributes
After the news of Lil Marlo’s death started circulating on social media, fans posted tributes to the rapper. One Twitter user posted a video of an interview with the rapper:
“Another Talented Rapper shot dead. RIP Lil Marlo,” one Twitter user wrote.