Big Bank Hank, one-third of the Sugarhill Gang, the unlikely ambassadors who took hip-hop out of Bronx parks and onto the pop charts, died on Tuesday in Englewood, N.J. He was 58. [more inside]
NOLA bounce artist and rapper Nicky Da B is dead. Nicki was best known for his colorful, aggressively infectious music and videos, including Hot Potato Style (previously), Express Yourself with Diplo (previously), and his collaboration with photographer Clayton Cubitt Go Loko (NSFW, strobe and flashes warning)
Guru of Gang Starr - Keith Elam, has died from cancer. His passing is complicated by the sometimes bizarre actions of his business partner Solar (not to be confused with MC Solaar) during Guru's seven week hospital stay. [more inside]
Rap Producer J-Dilla Dies; Kidney Failure Suspected J-Dilla, born James Yancy, was a member of Slum Village and worked with various Hip-Hop artists including Kanye West, Busta Rhymes, A Tribe Called Quest and Common's Grammy-nominated album, BE.
Even though it was tricky to rock around, he wore his Adidas proudly. RIP Jam Master J of groundbreaking rap group Run DMC was shot and killed today. Remember where you were when these forerunners of rap came on the scene?
The King of the Jukebox who disturbed the status quo They called rock music jump blues during the World War II era, and this amazingly talented clown was its master, with over fifty Top 10 R&B hits -- eighteen reached #1 -- between 1942 and 1951. Chuck Berry identified with him "more than any other artist." James Brown said, "He was everything" and considered him one of the earliest rappers. A pioneer of music video, the first black artist to cross over from the "race" market to a white audience and a central link between big bands and rock, he was a primary influence on Bill Haley, Ray Charles and B.B. King, who once said, "I wanted to be like him." Rest in peace, Louis Jordan. [Dozens of one-minute song clips here]