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RIP GIFT OF GAB Blackalicious rapper dead at 50


Timothy J Parker, AKA Gift of Gab, from American rap duo Blackalicious, has died aged 50. A representative for Blackalicious told Rolling Stone that Parker had died of natural causes. The rapper had endured numerous health problems in recent years, undergoing dialysis until a kidney transplant last year.

Bay Area hip-hop collective Quannum Projects, of which Blackalicious were part of, announced Parker “peacefully departed this earth to be with our ancestors” on Friday, June 18.

“Our brother was an MC’s MC who dedicated his life to his craft. One of the greatest to ever do it,” Parker’s longtime friend and Blackalicious bandmate Xavier “Chief Xcel” Mosley said in a statement. “He’s the most prolific person I’ve ever known.”

Timothy Jerome Parker was born on October 7, 1970 in Sacramento, California. He formed Blackalicious with Mosley in the early 90s, releasing several EPs before their acclaimed first studio album, Nia, in 1999. Gift of Gab’s acrobatic artistry was most famously on display in Alphabet Aerobics, from 1999’s A2G EP, in which the first letter of every word in each verse begins with a sequential version of the alphabet.

“He was all about pushing the boundaries of his art form in the most authentic way possible,” Mosley said. “He truly believed in the healing power of music. He viewed himself as a vessel used by a higher power whose purpose was to give positive contributions to humanity through Rhyme.”

Gift of Gab’s manager Brian Ross added, “He was one of the most positive human beings I have ever known and always looking toward the future. He was endlessly brimming with new ideas, philosophical perspectives, and thoughts about the future. He was always ready to learn, grow and engage in a deep conversation about things he was less familiar with. A simple conversation with him about nearly anything could take you places you would never have expected.”

According to Rolling Stone, at the time of his death, Parker held over 100 unreleased tracks for future Blackalicious releases.

Vale Gift of Gab (1970-2021)

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