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Blackalicious Rapper, Gift of Gab, Dies at Age 50



Known for being half of the dynamic duo, Blackalicious, Gift of Gab has died at age 50 from natural causes. The news was released by his Quannam collective who stated that “He is survived by two brothers, one sister, many nieces and nephews, countless friends, and fans across the globe”. Gift of Gab created Blackalicious with Chief Xcel in 1992. They released their first EP in 1994 titled Melodica with the label Solesides that had artists like DJ Shadow and Lyrics Born. Solesides became Quannum Collective which released the album Spectrum in 1999 which had features from artists including Blackalicious, DJ Shadow, El-P, Souls of Mischief, and Jurassic 5. 

Blackalicious went on to release a full debut album titled Nia which helped them obtain a record deal with Universal Music’s MCA Records. They went on to release Blazing Arrow, The Craft, and Imani Vol. 1. However, it wasn’t long until Gift of Gab went on to release three solo albums after the duo’s music. Gift of Gab was unfortunately diagnosed with kidney failure in 2014, bringing lots of health problems to him. After his passing, the press explained that he left around 100 tracks of Blackalicious music that should be released to the world. DJ Shadow put out an Instagram post explaining his love to his brother Tim, or as the world knows him, Gift of Gab. Gift of Gab’s manager released a statement about him as well saying, “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”. He will be truly missed but his music will live on.  

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