Today in Hip-Hop: The D.O.C. Severs His Vocal Cords in Tragic Car

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On this day in hip-hop history…

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1989: Though the date remains a mystery, one night in November of 1989 changed The D.O.C.‘s life forever. Still high off the success of his debut album No One Can Do It Better, the Ruthless Records rapper wound up in a disfiguring car accident that severed his vocal cords and nearly ended his life.

According to multiple reports, the Dallas-born MC was under the influence of drugs when he crashed his sports car into a divider on Ventura Highway in California. The D.O.C. flew out of the vehicle’s back window and smashed his face into a tree. The tragic accident turned the then-21-year-old’s unmistakable animated voice to a mere raspy whisper.

The D.O.C. remained behind the scenes following the crash, penning songs for N.W.A. and Dr. Dre, despite Dre telling him he should end his music career. “He said, ‘They think you’re the king right now. You should go out like that,'” D.O.C. told Sway In The Morning last month. “I just couldn’t accept that, you know? It just wasn’t in my DNA. I couldn’t do it.”

Luckily for fans of the legendary lyricist, his voice finally returned 25 years later in 2014, giving hope to those who see The D.O.C. as one of the best rappers of all time. “To anyone interested. Yes. It came back on its own. Had it almost a year,” he revealed in a tweet. “Came back while I was locked up. Why finally speak now? Why not.”

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