Pop Life

Six Years Gone: Big Hawk Remembered

Six years ago last week, on May 1, 2006, local rapper and Screwed Up Click Five-Star General Big Hawk was gunned down outside of a friend's home on Redfern on Houston's Southside. He was 36.

While it's never acceptable to lose a gifted artist to violence in the prime of his life and career, Hawk's slaying was especially hard to take for a number of reasons. John Hawkins was a family man who left behind a wife and two sons when he was murdered.

He was no thug -- after his brother Fat Pat was killed in 1998, Hawk shied away from glamorizing guns and violence in his raps, focusing instead on his love for his family, his friends and Houston's unique hip-hop culture. To many in the scene, he was a big-brother figure and a respected cornerstone of the influential rap clique that bore DJ Screw's name.

Most maddening of all is that his death remains a complete mystery. The night he died, Hawk showed up at a friend's house to play dominoes. His friend wasn't home, however, and when Hawk went round the side of the house looking for him, he was shot down by one or more punk motherfuckers who apparently had no problem putting the father of two young kids underground.