Memphis, TN – Memphis rapper Baby CEO, who first rose to notoriety in 2015 under Fredo Santana’s wings, has reportedly died. According to the New York Post, news of his death started to circulate online in the wee hours of Wednesday (January 20).
While no cause of death has been confirmed, rumors suggest he was shot or suffered a fatal drug overdose. His brother Big CEO confirmed his death on Twitter and revealed the 20-year-old rapper had just started a family. In a separate tweet, he disputed the notion he’d died from gun violence.
“He wasn’t shot or killed by anyone,” he tweeted. “Please stop spreading false rumors and pray for our family.”
Baby CEO’s death comes almost three years to the day of Santana’s passing. The 27-year-old rapper died on January 19, 2018 after suffering a fatal seizure at his home. Santana, who was also Chief Keef ‘s cousin, suffered from a range of health problems stemming from his alleged substance abuse issues.
In 2017, Santana was rushed to the hospital after having another seizure due to acute kidney and liver failure. He was open about his abuse of lean, which likely led to the seizure that put him in the hospital just months prior.
Baby CEO (real name Jonathan Brown) caught people’s attention at just 14 years old with a “disturbing” video featuring him pointing guns at the camera and rapping explicitly about drugs, gang signs and dreams of fame.
J.R. Futrell, a youth mentor at Young Men University in Memphis, told NBC at the time, “It’s a product of reap and sow, and we’ve sown things into our children’s lives. They live in a world that they did not choose and here we are with the results.”
Although Baby CEO has remained relatively under the radar ever since, he dropped a video in 2019 for “Don’t Like Me” and followed up with “Lifestory” last year, which includes a shout-out to Santana.
Tributes continue to pour in for the late rapper on social media. Check some of them out below.