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Hip-Hop

Here's Where L.A. Rap Legends Are Buried

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Mon, Nov 18, 2013 at 9:02 AM
click to enlarge SJ O'CONNELL
  • SJ O'Connell

Los Angeles cemeteries tend to be sprawling; their populations can rival small towns and are difficult to navigate.

It's especially hard to find famous rappers' graves - just ask our reporter who tried to find Eazy-E. Also, there aren't a lot of them here. Both Biggie Smalls and Tupac Shakur were cremated, though Stone Mountain, Georgia boasts a Tupac statue. Meanwhile, information on where local innovators like Rodger Clayton, Danny "Fut" James and Kevin "Flipside" White remain frustratingly scarce.

Still, we did find some, and here are the graves of four important hip-hop figures:

Nate Dogg

Forest Lawn - Long Beach

After dropping out of high school and joining the Marines, Nathaniel "Nate Dogg" Hale went on to be perhaps the greatest hooksman in hip-hop history. The G-funk era simply doesn't happen without him, and he worked with Dr. Dre, Ice Cube, Tupac and of course Snoop Dogg. A series of strokes led to his death in 2011 at age 41.

The staff of the cemetery refused to share the location of Nate Dogg's grave. However, there is a YouTube video that will easily lead you to the stone, which is near an elaborate mosaic and the chapel. A previous visitor had left a half-full bottle of Olde English, pictured above.

click to enlarge SJ O'CONNELL
  • SJ O'Connell

J. Dilla

Forest Lawn - Glendale

James Yancey, better known as J. Dilla, was perhaps the most significant underground producer in hip-hop history. His stature has only risen following his 2006 death at age 32 from thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura, a rare blood disease.

He lived in L.A. for the last years of his life, and rests on a steep hill at the far end of the Forest Lawn Glendale cemetery, where there's a view of the top floors of downtown's tallest skyscrapers and the fireworks from Dodger Stadium.

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