Like all realms of music rap has had it fair share of tragedy. The early deaths of many of hip-hops greatest budding talents has left hip-hop fans wondering – where would the genre be today if the likes of 2pac or the Notorious B.I.G did not die? What would hip-hop sound like if super producers like J Dilla had a chance to help shape the sounds of contemporary hip hop acts? 

Here are 10 rappers who left us far too soon.

1. Tupac

Death: Tupac (25 years old) was shot in a drive-by on September 7, 1996 after the boxing match between Mike Tyson and Bruce Seldon in Las Vegas. Shakur was hit several times (including once in the lung) while attempting to jump in the back seat. He died in the hospital on September 13, 1996. The murder remains unsolved.

2. Biggie

Death: On March 9, 1997, Biggie (24 Years old) was shot and killed in Los Angeles, where he had been attending a party by VIBE Magazine near the Peterson Automotive Museum. The murder remains unsolved.

3. Big L

Death: On February 15 , 1999 Big L (24 years old) was shot seven times in the head and chest and killed on 139th Street, just blocks away from his Harlem home. The murder remains unsolved.

4. Eazy E

Death: In 1995, Eazy-E (31 year old) entered the hospital with what he believed to be bronchitis. He was diagnosed with AIDS, and almost immediately announced his illness to the public. He died soon after, on March 26, 1995.

5. Ol’ Dirty Bastard

Death: ODB collapsed at approximately 5:29pm on November 13, 2004 at Wu-Tang’s recording studio. He was pronounced dead less than an hour later, only two days shy of his 36th birthday. He had a lethal mixture of cocaine and the prescription painkiller Tramadol in his system at the time of his death.

6. Big Pun

Death: Struggling with weight problems during his lifetime, Pun died on February 7, 2000 after a fatal heart attack.

7. Pimp C

Death: Pimp C was found dead in his hotel room in Los Angeles on December 4, 2007. According to the Los Angeles County Coroner, Butler suffered respiratory depression due to an accidental overdose of promethazine and codeine coupled with a preexisting sleep apnea.

8. Guru

Death: On February 28, 2010, Elam went into cardiac arrest and, following surgery, fell into a coma. It was claimed that Guru had briefly awakened from his coma but died on April 19, 2010, at the age of 48, from cancer.

9. Nate Dogg

Death: Nate suffered a stroke on December 19 2007 that paralysed the left side of his body. On September 2008 he suffered a second stroke and died from complications of the multiple strokes in March 2011.

10. Proof

Death: On April 11 2006 Proof was shot and killed during an altercation at the CCC nightclub in Detroit.

For more light reading check out our other Top Ten lists.