Death Certificate: In October 2009, a group of Internet hackers allegedly planted a news story about 'Ye dying in a car crash on several message boards and looked on as "Kanye West died" became one of the most Googled phrases on the Internet. The report indicated Mr. West died in Los Angeles after a crash involving a red Ferrari and a white Porsche.
Believability: Unlikely. "RIP Kanye West" actually became the top trending topic on Twitter, lending some credence to the rumor. But Kanye's girl Amber Rose eventually used her own Twitter account to dispel it.
Death Certificate: Good thing Em's got an alter ego—because he's been killed off not once, but twice on the Internet. In December 2000, a fake CNN story emerged on the Web that said Slim Shady had died in a car crash. Nearly ten years later, an August 2009 report also had him dying in an auto accident after getting distracted by his cell phone and driving into oncoming traffic.
Believability: Very unlikely. Fool us once? Shame on you. Fool us twice? Well, it's just not gonna happen. After all he's been through, it'll take more than an Internet hoax to kill rap's great white hope.
Death Certificate: While he sat behind bars serving a one-year sentence for a probation violation in October 2008, stories emerged on the 'net saying that Gucci Mane LaFlare had died in jail from a drug overdose. Text messages were actually used to help spread the word as well.
Believability: Likely. At the time, Gooch wasn't the hottest thing coming out of the South yet. So this story actually had legs for a few hours. But Gucci's former lawyer eventually came out and shot it down.
Death Certificate: Shortly after a show at New Orleans Arena in early November 2009, a BBC report emerged that said Lil Wayne had been shot six times during a gang-related shootout with a group of Crips and killed in his hometown.
Believability: Unlikely. The report looked real, except for the fact that it essentially dropped the biggest bomb of the last decade on the hip-hop community—in about 100 words. Nice try, guys.
Death Certificate: After a small plane crashed in the Smoky Mountains in North Carolina in May 2007, reports surfaced that Jigga had been on board the aircraft en route to Las Vegas to take in the Oscar De La Hoya/Floyd Mayweather Jr. boxing match.
Believability: Unlikely. A plane did go down in the mountains that weekend and Jay did fly to the fight that weekend. So this one actually had us going for a New York minute. But Def Jam reps quickly dismissed the rumor and the world moved on to the next Jay-Z rumor: Did he get married to Beyonce yet or what?!
Death Certificate: Someone was apparently out to get 40 Water during the 2007 NBA All-Star Weekend in Las Vegas. Shortly after the festivities began, news reports hit the 'net that said the Bay Area had died. Causes ranged from a gunshot wound to health reasons to a "ghostriding" accident.
Believability: Unlikely. If you're gonna come out with a (fake) story, the least you can do is stick to it. Once we realized that there were four or five different versions of how 40 had "died" floating around out there, the hoax was over. And 40's reps dismissed them shortly after they started popping up, anyway. No ghostriding in the form of a ghost for 40.
Death Certificate: Just a few days before Thanksgiving last year, stories started to come out saying the Fresh Prince had flipped his Porsche in Hollywood Hills and died before paramedics could revive him.
Believability: Very unlikely. As with just about all celeb car crash hoaxes, this one was extinguished almost immediately after it started appearing on gossip sites.
Death Certificate: Waka sustained gunshot wounds earlier this year when he was shot at an Atlanta car wash during a robbery attempt. After the incident, stories began to emerge saying that Waka had died.
Believability: Likely. Because the rumors started after an actual shooting, there was actually a pretty good reason to believe that Waka had died as a result of the robbery. He even admitted later that he nearly did die. But all it took was a couple calls to his PR rep—and this one was squashed.
Death Certificate: After he suffered a stroke in 2007, rumors started spreading saying that hip-hop's greatest hook man of all-time had died. The story even got some mainstream attention.
Believability: Very likely. Considering the fact he did have a stroke? Pretty high. But Nate Dogg battled back and his publicity people put out the fake fire that spread across the Internet by letting the world know he had not passed away.
Death Certificate: Guru was hospitalized in February 2010 after going into cardiac arrest. He slipped into a coma soon after and reports started leaking out saying that the voice of Gang Starr was gone.
Believability: Very likely. "RIP Guru" became a trending topic on Twitter and added a layer of believability to the situation. But Guru wasn't dead—yet. He passed away in April amidst much mystery, controversy and intrigue that's spurned a whole other mess of rumors.