Chris "Mac Daddy" Kelly, one half of the rap duo Kriss Kross was found dead today at age 34 of what is being investigated as a possible drug overdose. [more inside]
1985 marked a few beginnings for gangsta rap, with Schooly D releasing the influential P.S.K. What Does It Mean? (YT), and a few Korean swap-meet vendors opening the Compton Fashion Center, the first indoor swap meet. It was there and then that Wan Joon Kim got his start as an unlikely godfather of gangsta rap. [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]