Pioneering Houston rapper Big Pokey dies while performing on stage

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Rapper Big Pokey died early on Sunday after collapsing on stage in Texas, a post on his Instagram page confirmed. Big Pokey, whose real name was Milton Powell, was 48. 

“He was well loved by his family, his friends, and his loyal fans,” the post said.

“In the coming days, we will release information about his celebration of life and how the public can pay their respects… Big Pokey will forever be ‘The Hardest Pit in The Litter!’”

Video circulating online showed the artist performing at a bar in Beaumont, Texas, on Saturday night before collapsing onto the floor.

CBS affiliate KHOU reported that local police were called to the bar shortly after midnight Sunday to assist with the medical emergency.

The cause of death has yet to be released.

Beloved in his hometown of Houston, Big Pokey was one of the original members of the hip-hop collective “Screwed Up Click” and helped usher in the chopped-and-screwed music genre.

His first full album, “Hardest Pit in the Litter,” came out in 1999.

Tributes poured in following the announcement of his death, including a statement from Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner.

“The City of Houston and I extend our prayers and condolences to our own Screwed Up Click legendary rapper #BigPokey family and friends.

“Though many called him “low key”, his presence was larger than life in helping to catapult our hip hop scene nationally,” Turner wrote.



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Kennedy Mornah is an Award Winning Ghanaian Journalist with over two decades of experience in the Ghanaian Media landscape spanning the electronic, print and digital media. He is a Media Consultant, a Corporate MC, Radio and TV Host, Founder and Publisher of the Maritime and Transport Digest Newspaper, Businessman, a Go getter and an optimist. He has worked for renowned media organizations including Diamond Fm in Tamale, Luv Fm in Kumasi, Oman Fm in Accra and Starr Fm in Accra In 2017 he received the Reporter of the Year Award at the Ghana Shippers Awards in Accra, Ghana.

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