Carlos Walker or “Shawty Lo,” the Georgia native known for hits such as “Laffy Taffy” and “Dey Know” died Sept. 21 in a car crash. And, now he is being remembered for his role in shining a national spotlight on the Atlanta music scene.
In this June 24, 2008 file photo, Shawty Lo arrives at the BET Awards in Los Angeles. Authorities say rapper Shawty Lo, whose real name is Carlos Walker, has been killed in a fiery car crash before dawn Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2016 on a freeway near southwest Atlanta. (AP Photo/Matt Sayles, File)
The 40-year-old rapper was well-known and loved throughout Atlanta and the broader rap community. Shawty Lo was part of the group D4L and known as the “King of Bankhead.” He also worked with famous rappers such as Gucci Mane, Lil Wayne, Ludacris, Rick Ross and Lil Kim.
Lo is also credited with popularizing “snap music,” a genre of music characteristic to the South that features both slow tempo and club-oriented melodies with relatively simple lyrics. Snap music started in Atlanta and went relatively unknown until 2005 when Lo’s group, D4L dropped “Laffy Taffy” and popularized the sound, making Lo an influential member of the Southern rap community.
Fabo, a former member of D4L, fondly recounted to XXL his history with Walker.
“He was a hero. Shawty Lo was a hero, especially to me,” Fabo said. “Without Shawty Lo there would be no me, there would be no D4L there would be no snap music.”
The rapper’s former bandmate added that he didn’t just respect Lo for his musical taste but also his personality.
“If you needed it, he would give it to you — the shirt off of his back, the shoes off of his feet,” said Fabo. “I seen him literally give people his shoes. He was just a great person, a great individual, father and son. I definitely appreciate everything he did for me.”
Even Atlanta rapper T.I., who at one point had a “beef” with Lo, expressed his condolences, calling Lo “a true Westside Atlanta Legend.”
“My Heart goes out to his family, and his children as well. Even through our toughest times I must admit I was impressed,& kinda proud of how well you rep’d our hood, and how much you cared for it. It was a real relief to have someone else helping to lift Bankhead up & hold it there,” the self-proclaimed “King of the South” added.