Big Pokey, pioneering Houston rapper, dies at 48 - The World News

Big Pokey, pioneering Houston rapper, dies at 48

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!'”

Lil KeKe Legends Only Listening Party Dinner
Big Pokey and Paul Wall at the Lil KeKe Legends Only Listening Party Dinner at Five Central Houston on February 08, 2022 in Houston, Texas.

/ Getty Images

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.

Fellow rapper Bun B described him as one of the “most naturally talented artists in the city” and said he was “easy to love and hard to hate.” 

“One of the pillars of our city,” Bun B said. “If heart of gold was a person. Iconic member of the SUC. There will never be another and will be missed dearly. We love you and honor you Sensei. Rest in heaven.”

Rapper Paul Wall, who is also from Houston, called Big Pokey a “great mentor and friend.” 

“A trendsetter and leader. I am so blessed to have known #BigPokey,” he said on Instagram. 

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