Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Bugz -- The Good Die Young

The MC Bugz (born Karnail Paul Pitts on January 5, 1978) was a highly regarded rapper in Detroit and an early member of the group D12 (Dirty Dozen) along with Proof  (shot to death on April 11, 2006).  Bugz, also known on stage as "Robert Beck," had just turned 21 and his future in the rap world looked bright.  D12 had recently signed with Eminem's label Shady Records and a debut EP was in the works.  On the evening of May 21, 1999, the group was set to perform in Grand Rapids, Michigan as part of the Eminem tour when the promising talent because just another victim in rap's bloody history.  That afternoon, Bugz, his cousin, and a female friend were picnicking on Detroit's Belle Island when a man sprayed the  woman with a high powered water gun.  She took offense, angry words were exchanged, and a fistfight broke out.  Bugz sought to intervene and a friend of the man with the water gun drew a rifle from a Ford Expedition and shot the rapper three times at close range, striking him in the neck and chest.  The assailants drove over Bugz as they fled the scene.  An ambulance was called, but due to heavy traffic on the bridge to Belle Island it took thirty minutes to reach the badly wounded MC.  Bugz died without regaining consciousness in a nearby hospital.  The deadly incident, captured on the park's security video and shown on local news, generated no leads and to date no one has been prosecuted for the murder.  Thanks to D12, material unreleased at the time of the young rapper's death was made available on These Streets EP.  The group's members and Eminem have "Bugz" tattooed on their wrists in remembrance of their fallen friend.  In the 2004 album, D12 World, the songs "Bugz 97" and "Good Die Young" honor his memory.

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