Shawty Lo: The “King of Bankhead” Is Remembered (Photos and Videos)

| September 24, 2016 | 0 Comments
Shawty Lo with Hip Hop Historian Cavario H.

Shawty Lo with Hip Hop Historian Cavario H.

Words by Cavario H.

I’ve put pen to paper so many times to help rap artists and other entertainers put forth the best image possible. Sometimes it took a great deal of my creative writing skills to deliver the dude (or dudette, as it may be) in such a way as to not damage their fragile egos or brands. The reason being a great many of the more celebrated artists just aren’t who they portray themselves to be.

But when it came to Carlos Walker aka “Shawty Lo,” what you saw was what you got cameras on, or cameras off. Still, this is the hardest piece I’ve ever had to write.

The beloved bad boy from Bowen Homes earned his respect being respectful, keeping his word and doing unto others as he would have them do unto him.

Lo and I met just a little over 15-years ago, so the man I met was a former street hustler turned rapper whose name and reputation had already been solidified. Although I’ve been in Atlanta a full 20 years, half of Lo’s life, I knew nothing of his past prior to our initial connection, I just knew the man that I met was just that, a MAN, and that was enough for me.

Credit: Dennis Byron All rights reserved.

Credit: Dennis Byron All rights reserved.

In the decade and a half that I knew him I never saw Shawty Lo out of character or in a negative mood. I spoke to a friend of mine whose grandmother was the second resident to move into the low income housing development that Lo grew up in on Atlanta’s West side, and he shared with me how he and Lo came up together from “the sandbox.” He too commented on Lo’s consistent and even demeanor.

“He was always cool and in a good mood, no matter what. Life was hard for us growing up, so, you know, he got in the streets doin’ what he thought he should do. Gettin’ money in ’96, he was maybe 19-years old. I had just got sent to prison and ran into some homies that just came in and they said, “Lil Carlos, gettin’ it! Then I started hearin’ he was gettin’ big (in the streets).

“He did get locked down and when I got out in ’04, and he was released around the same time. We welcomed each other home, and he said he was doin’ rap music now, which was something he was never known for. I told him to ‘go for it’. I was rappin’ and hustlin’ before I left the streets, and most of the guys I had recorded he picked up and helped them get on. “Carlos had a big heart, he helped his people even before he was gettin’ it and up until his death.”

Shawty Lo
Lo and I stayed in regular communication by phone so even when we didn’t catch each other in the streets or in a club we checked on each other every so often. Our connection was not based on time as much as it was on the commonality of our characters. He was truly rare in his space because he overstood what so few of his professional peers could and that is that a person’s true value is determined entirely by his or her character and nothing else. This over standing was at the foundation of the unquestionable love and respect that Carlos received everywhere he went. This type of respect of priceless and cannot be purchased.

I asked Lo’s childhood friend what he would say to him if he had an opportunity to speak to him one last time and after a long pause, he responded, “I really wish that you didn’t have to go, man. You had big fun out here [and] you helped a lot of people eat, Lo. You really did it big, lil homie. I’m on Instagram seeing you have fun for the last time and sad I’m coming home to see you gone. I’ll be here for your family and all the ones that really know and love you, old or new. R.I.P. Lil Carlos “Shawty Lo” Walker.” –Corey Murray

Johnnie Cabbell Celebrity Birthday Bash

Pictured: Shawty Lo, Tiffany Foxx, Manager Johnnie Cabbell, Gloss Da Boss, Credit: Dennis Byron

After recomposing myself, I thought about what I might say to my lil bro’, Shawty Lo, given one more opportunity and although I would try to make it as long a conversation as possible, the gist of it would be, “Don‘t fret and do not frown, lil bro’ ‘cause you put your thing all the way down, lil bro’. You not only represented your hood but your represented the whole A-town, lil bro’. So whenever they mention Atlanta they’re going to have to mention the name Shawty Lo.”

We love you, boi. And we’re going to celebrate your name and your legacy.

Be sure to visit Cavario H.’s official website at: www.cavarioatlarge.com

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