Tag Archives: RIP

Awareness Underreported News

R.I.P Heavy D


Unfortunately, another hip hop icon has passed on.  Heavy D, born Dwight Errington Myers, died at the far-too-young age of 44.  MTV is reporting that

“He had gone to the doctor the day before,” Winter told New York’s Daily News. “He had what appeared to be flu-like symptoms.”

“He said he had a touch of pneumonia, maybe from traveling,” cousin Ruddy Phillips, 50, told the Daily News after speaking with the entertainer’s dad. “He just got back from England.”

The Overweight Lover was conscious though experiencing trouble breathing when he was transported to Cedars Sinai Medical Center after a 911 call was placed at 11:25 a.m. PT on his behalf Tuesday. However, he was pronounced dead at 1 p.m. PT. Although an autopsy has been performed, the coroner is declining to announce any cause of death until toxicology tests are conducted due to Heav taking various medications.

Until they find out what happened, its useless to speculate.  But the one thing we can agree on is that this is tragic, and he had a lot more life to live. I can honestly say that I slept on his last couple of albums, but in honour of his legacy, I give you Now that we found love.  Check it out below.

Awareness Music Underreported News

R.I.P Nate Dogg


I woke up this morning and decided to check the news just like any other day.  I was still blinking away the sleep when up popped a post from HipHopDX that Nate Dogg has passed away at the age of 41.

While the cause of his passing is still yet unknown, we here at 4080 wanted to take the chance to pay a small tribute to him.

While Nate hasn’t released  much since 2008, much of that can be attributed to his health problems in recent years.  Nate Dogg suffered two strokes back in 2007/2008.  Regardless of his modern day output, the man was a huge influence on hip hop.  It seemed more and more that Nate’s biggest strength was the skill he brought to his collaborations.  Even if his success as a solo artist was not as high as hoped, his efforts as a featured guest on numerous songs really added something special to the mix.

Don’t believe me?  Remember his turn on Warren G’s Regulators?

He’s done work with everyone from Mos Def to 50 Cent, and did so with the same skill and style that made him famous.  Even if you don’t love the work he’s done, he’s been a big part of some massive, massive hits.  I mean, Ludacris’ Area Codes isn’t exactly what I want in my headphones, but you can’t doubt that the song blew up.

Rest In Peace, Nate Dogg.  You had a hell of a career.

Awareness Featured Music

R.I.P Guru

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A little over a month ago, we reported that Guru had slipped into a coma.  This awful news was followed up positively when AllHipHop claimed they had a source saying that Guru had successful surgery and was expected to make a full recovery.

Unfortunately that was not true.  Apparently, Guru had been suffering from cancer for some time, and never made it out of the hospital.  After two months, he passed away.

This is an unimaginable loss for hip hop.  Guru was an inspiration to many and made some of the most fundamental hip hop tracks of all time.  Him and Premier were, in my opinion, some of the biggest influences on why I got into hip hop.  To lose Guru is a tragedy.

And yet, even something like this couldn’t happen simply.  Guru’s business partner Solar has released a statement and a letter purportedly written by Guru.  The statement reads:

“The world has lost one of the best MCs and hip-hop icons of all-time – my loyal best friend, partner, and brother, Guru. Guru has been battling cancer for well over a year and has lost his battle. This is a matter that Guru wanted private until he could beat it, but tragically, this did not happen. The cancer took him. Now the world has lost a great man and a true genius.”

So far, that seems okay.  It’s grieving and sad, but pays tribute.  However, AllHipHop is also reporting that there may be a darker side to things.

Solar went on to tend to the rapper as he fell ill, seemingly controlling the flow of information and access to Guru. Many of his family members complained that they were denied their right to see him.

That is a horrifying proposition, and one I hope is not true or at least was medically necessary.  I couldn’t imagine being denied my right to see a loved one in their last days.  For Solar’s sake, I hope this was exaggerated.

The letter Solar released a letter that he says was written by Guru has raised a considerable amount of controversy.  Read the text below:

I, Guru, am writing this letter to my fans, friends and loved ones around the world. I have had a long battle with cancer and have succumbed to the disease. I have suffered with this illness for over a year. I have exhausted all medical options.

I have a non-profit organization called Each One Counts dedicated to carrying on my charitable work on behalf of abused and disadvantaged children from around the world and also to educate and research a cure for this terrible disease that took my life. I write this with tears in my eyes, not of sorrow but of joy for what a wonderful life I have enjoyed and how many great people I have had the pleasure of meeting.

My loyal best friend, partner and brother, Solar, has been at my side through it all and has been made my health proxy by myself on all matters relating to myself. He has been with me by my side on my many hospital stays, operations, doctors visits and stayed with me at my home and cared for me when I could not care for myself. Solar and his family is my family and I love them dearly and I expect my family, friends, and fans to respect that, regardless to anybody’s feelings on the matter. It is my wish that counts. This being said I am survived by the love of my life, my sun KC, who I trust will be looked after by Solar and his family as their own. Any awards or tributes should be accepted, organized approved by Solar on behalf myself and my son until he is of age to except on his own.

I do not wish my ex-DJ to have anything to do with my name likeness, events tributes etc. connected in anyway to my situation including any use of my name or circumstance for any reason and I have instructed my lawyers to enforce this. I had nothing to do with him in life for over 7 years and want nothing to do with him in death. Solar has my life story and is well informed on my family situation, as well as the real reason for separating from my ex-DJ. As the sole founder of GangStarr, I am very proud of what GangStarr has meant to the music world and fans. I equally am proud of my Jazzmatazz series and as the father of Hip-Hop/Jazz. I am most proud of my leadership and pioneering efforts on Jazzmatazz 4 for reinvigorating the Hip-Hop/Jazz genre in a time when music quality has reached an all time low. Solar and I have toured in places that I have never been before with GangStarr or Jazzmatatazz and we gained a reputation for being the best on the planet at Hip-Hop/Jazz, as well as the biggest and most influential Hip-Hop/Jazz record with Jazzmatazz 4 of the decade to now. The work I have done with Solar represents a legacy far beyond its time. And we as a team were not afraid to push the envelope. To me this is what true artists do! As men of honor we stood tall in the face of small mindedness, greed, and ignorance. As we fought for music and integrity at the cost of not earning millions and for this I will always be happy and proud, and would like to thank the million fans who have seen us perform over the years from all over the world. The work I have done with Solar represents a legacy far beyond its time and is my most creative and experimental to date. I hope that our music will receive the attention it deserves as it is some of the best work I have done and represents some of the best years of my life.

When I read this, I was honestly caught off guard.  While I knew Guru and Premier hadn’t exactly been hanging out all the time, I never thought things had gone this far.  Besides, it doesn’t exactly seem like something someone would write on their deathbed.  I don’t see why, now, Guru would want to castigate Prem so publicly after having been silent.  It just…seems weird.

Twitter is aflame with allegations of forgery.  Premier’s leading the charge.

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But he’s not the only one.  ?uestlove’s suspicious as well.

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Other users seem to be feeling the same way, considering this tweet by MissInfo has been retweeted by more than 20 others.

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It’s a horrific way to imagine the end of your life.  Guru’s passing should be celebrated in the sense that we should mourn his passing but be ever so proud of his achievements and his contributions to hip hop.  Between Jazzmatazz and Gang Starr, Guru was a tremendous influence and a talented wordsmith and artist.

To use his passing for personal gain, or to mar his passing with accusations does him a disservice.  I want the truth to come out, but more importantly I want his family to know that at the minimum, I care that he passed.  That he meant something to me, although I never met him.

R.I.P Guru.  Here’s a track of you pouring your heart out at the birth of your son.


R.I.P Miriam Makeba

According to the BBC, Miriam Makeba has passed away.  Makeba was one of South Africa’s most famous and most respected musicians.

Her career has spanned decades, and in fact she was one of a few South African artists to be exiled after speaking out against apartheid.  She was exiled in the early 1960s and didn’t manage to make it back to South Africa until Mandela was free.

She was incredibly beloved in the West as well.  She performed with Paul Simon, appeared on the Cosby Show (in what has to be one of the most political moments of the Cosby Show’s long run).  She even won a Grammy, becoming the first black woman to do so.

It truly is a tragic day, because she was a strong unifying force for Africa in general.  Musically, she was loved all over the massive continent.  It was hard to find anyone who could be critical of her, and this type of deeply respected individual is rarer and rarer these days.

Rest in Peace, Mama Africa.

In her memory, here is Pata Pata, one of her most famous songs.


R.I.P Isaac Hayes

In sad news Isaac Hayes, one of the most recognizable soul singers of the last 25 years, has passed away at the age of 65.

Hayes is probably best known (depending on how old you are), as the creator/singer of the Shaft theme song, or as Chef from South Park.  But he was a remarkably talented man.  In fact, the Shaft theme song managed to win him an Academy Award, making him the first black composer to win one.

He wasn’t without his own set of controversies, despite his storied life.  His tenure on South Park was cut short, because he quit the show in anger back in 2006.   Why? Easy.  South Park had decided to mock Scientology, the celebrity religion created by L. Ron Hubbard.  Hayes quit the show, amidst accusations of hypocrisy.

Looking past all of that, his loss will definitely be felt in the musical community.  He was influential to many of the current generation of soul and hip hop artists, and we here at 4080 Records hope he rests in peace.

In memory, here’s Wonderful by Isaac Hayes.

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Bo Diddley passes on

Bo Diddley, a very very well known Rock and Roll icon. A pioneer of the movement, many people say. In fact, the Independent, a major UK newspaper goes even further:

“Bo Diddley, who died earlier this week, was perhaps the least celebrated of the original pillars upon which the mighty, world-changing edifice of rock’n’roll was built: less glamorous than Elvis, less flamboyant than Little Richard, less dangerous than Jerry Lee Lewis, and less poetic than Chuck Berry. But, in at least one respect, he was every bit their equal.

In pure sonic terms, Bo Diddley was perhaps rock’s single most influential architect. Small wonder he became known as The Originator: for if one were to add up just how many different songs have been constructed around Diddley’s innovative beat – part shuffle, part rumba, part cakewalk, and who knows what else besides – it would probably equal the number likewise built around Chuck Berry’s timeless trademark guitar licks.”

Some pretty high praise indeed, but from the sounds of it Diddley deserved it. He made his own guitar, and played with such aplomb that it’s hard not to be impressed. He also pioneered the “Bo Diddley beat”, which was a rather unique nearly-latin sound that was unheard of in rock circles.

I strongly advise you all to click that link up at the top of this page to read the Independent’s take on him. It’s glowing with praise and full of all kinds of little trivia. Check it out.

Also, here’s a quick youtube vid for those of you less familiar with Bo. The first video is just him ripping it up on the guitar, the second is one of his most famous tracks, “Who do you love”.