Before Nicki Minaj, Cardi B, Rapsody or even Lauryn Hill, there was Lichelle Laws — better known as Detroit-born rapper Bo$$. The now 51-year-old was introduced to Def Jam Recordings co-founder Russell Simmons who wound up signing her to Def Jam West — not the OG Def Jam as some reports suggest.
After dropping her debut album Born Gangstaz in 1993 — which peaked at No. 3 on Billboard’s Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart — she hit the road with Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg but ultimately retreated from the spotlight.
Now, Laws needs Hip Hop’s help. According to a GoFundMe page, Laws suffers from renal disease, which rendered her kidneys useless for processing toxins in her body. In 2017, she suffered a major stroke and seizure and is desperate need of a kidney transplant.
“We are now trying to see if the family can get a specialized procedure for her,” the campaign’s description reads. “The procedure is costly and we wanted to reach out to her extended family, her friends and fans, to ask for assistance with helping her to be blessed with this procedure to help her to get back to her health. The funds are needed as soon as possible to set her up for the procedure.
“After this procedure she will be on the kidney list for a transplant from a donor, once we receive one. We are humbly requesting your help family. Please give whatever you can. We are grateful for anything that you can do.”
The goal has been set at $15,000 and so far, the campaign has pulled in just over $2,000 in roughly two weeks.
Laws never found the success she found in the early ’90s. In 1994, her street cred was called into question when she was interviewed by a reporter for The Wall Street Journal who revealed she grew up in a middle-class neighborhood on the West Side of Detroit, studied ballet and piano and attended a private Catholic school where she was a cheerleader.
Laws’ mother had already divulged the information on the album’s intro where she described her daughter as a “a young lady who was brought up through Catholic school for 12 years and dance schools, tap dance, jazz, piano lessons and all of that.”
The intro continued, “Plus, you went to college for three years. Now you have all of that on your answering machine, I did not spend out all of my money on you for that gangster stuff and I don’t like it.” But despite the transparency and fact her mother was not pleased with her decision to pursue rap, Laws’ reputation suffered.
Outside of Born Gangstaz — produced in part by Def Jef, Erick Sermon, Chyskillz, the late Jam Master Jay and MC Serch — Laws collaborated with Krayzie Bone on 2001’s Thug On Da Line and released a mixtape called The Six Million Dollar Mixtape in 2004.