21 is The New 27: An Era of Losing Young Musicians

Published on January 3, 2020

Lexii Alijai, 21, passed away on New Year’s Day. She was a young rapper from Minnesota, best known for her collaboration with Kehlani. According to her family, she died unexpectedly but the details remain completely unknown to the public.


Alijaii was a rising star in the hip-hop community, known for her honest lyrics and powerful remixes. She had a large social media following, tons of talent, and her career had just gotten started prior to her passing.

Not the Only One

The young Minnesota rapper joins other musicians “gone too soon” in recent years. Juice Wrld, 21, died in December after having a seizure at the airport in Chicago. The official cause of his death is also unknown, but his family has since spoken out claiming that Juice suffered from prescription drug addiction. Reports also claim that opioid reversal drug Narcan was administered at the scene.

The deaths of Alijaii and Juice follow an alarming pattern of tragic deaths in the SoundCloud rapper community. Lil Peep, 21, died of an overdose in 2017 and controversial rapper XXXTentacion, 20, died from a gunshot wound in 2018. With every new death, fans echo the sentiment “gone too soon.”

“What’s the 27 club? We ain’t making it past 21,”


What’s Killing these Kids?

These talented young artists face meteoric rises, and in the age of social media, have a constant image and brand to uphold. Problems in the music industry are nothing new and trace back to the tragic deaths of those in the famed ’27 club’. However, the pressures of fame have only increased with the constant visibility that comes from social media. These young stars must constantly produce, constantly post, and constantly uphold the image of themselves that drives album sales. This pressure clearly has an impact on young stars.

The music industry is not the only culprit. Along with the pressures of fame, these young rappers face the cultural glorification of drugs and violence that defines the rap genre. Gun violence and drug addiction are not new problems, especially in the music industry, but they have become such a pervasive part of society that is nearly impossible for these young creators to avoid. It’s literally killing them.

Olivia Smith is a Senior Staff Writer at Grit Daily. Based in San Francisco, she covers events, entertainment, fashion, and technology. She also serves as a Voices contributor at PopSugar.

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