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Artie J. Brown, aka Shagg. Photo courtesy of Kevin Bronner. Used with permission.

Memorial Event for Influential Denton Rapper, Shagg, to be held on Saturday

Artie J. Brown, 37, also known as Shagg within the Denton hip-hop scene, passed away when a truck he was in with a friend swerved and slammed into a tanker that was pulled over on the side of the road earlier this month. Shagg was a member of High Life Villian, or HLV, a rap collective that formed in the early 90s in southeast Denton during a period of heightened gang activity in the neighborhood. HLV formed following a truce to end the violence that plagued this particular part of the city. Shagg was an original member and a pioneer in Denton’s hip-hop landscape.

Chris “AV the Great” Avant is one the the current lyricists who was inspired by Shagg. Avant is putting together a memorial event, “The Thank You Shagg Party,” at Rubber Gloves on Saturday. Avant said all proceeds from the event will go to the victim’s family.

“The HLV rap group is like our UGK or 8ball & MJG, they laid the groundwork and taught us how to pick up a pen and turn this music thing into a way of expressing our thoughts freely,” Avant said. “They did big shows across the South and were hood stars. Shagg inspired or taught some of the MCs in Denton today how to write a verse and is respected in circles across the DFW.”

The event is hosted by Avant and will be $7 for those under 21, $5 for over. Doors open at 9 pm. For more information on the event go here.