Houston rapper Big Pokey, a pioneer of the chopped and screwed style of hip-hop, died on Sunday after collapsing during a performance in Texas.
Big Pokey, whose real name was Milton Powell, was a founding member of the Screwed Up Click, a group of rappers who popularized the slowed-down and distorted sound that became synonymous with Houston’s hip-hop scene.
He released several albums and mixtapes throughout his career, starting with his debut solo album “The Hardest Pit in the Litter” in 1999. His most recent album was “Sensei” in 2021. He also collaborated with other Houston rap stars such as Bun B, Slim Thug and Megan Thee Stallion.
He was performing at the Pour 09 Bar in Beaumont on Saturday night when he suddenly fell on his back and stopped breathing. Paramedics tried to revive him but he was pronounced dead at a hospital shortly after midnight. The cause of death is unknown and an autopsy is pending.
His death shocked and saddened his family, friends and fans, who paid tribute to him on social media and described him as a humble, respectful and talented artist with a heart of gold.
“It is with deep sadness that we share of the news of the passing of our beloved Milton ‘Big Pokey’ Powell,” his team said in a statement. “He was well loved by his family, his friends, and his loyal fans. In the coming days, we will release information about his celebration of life and how the public can pay their respects. We ask that you respect his family an their privacy during this difficult time. Big Pokey will forever be ‘The Hardest Pit In The Litter!'”
Slim Thug said on social media: “It’s a sad day in the city … prayers to his family.”
Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner also expressed his condolences on Twitter: “The City of Houston and I extend our prayers and condolences to our own Screwed Up Click legendary rapper #BigPokey family and friends.” He added: “Though many called him ‘low key’, his presence was larger than life in helping to catapult our hip hop scene nationally.”
Big Pokey’s legacy will live on through his music and his influence on Houston’s rap culture.
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– Houston rapper Big Pokey dies after collapsing at show in Texas, AZFamily on June 19, 2023.
– Houston rapper Big Pokey, early member of hip-hop collective Screwed Up Click, dies, NBC News on June 19, 2023.
– Big Pokey, Houston Rapper and Screwed Up Click Member, Dead After Collapsing Onstage, Yahoo Entertainment on June 18, 2023.
– Big Pokey, Houston Rapper in Screwed Up Click, Dies at 45, Yahoo News on June 18, 2023.