Photo by Al Pereira for WireImage via Getty Images
Blackalicious’ DJ Chief Xcel announced the rapper’s passing on Friday morning.
Gift of Gab, a staple of Bay Area hip-hop and the frontman for Blackalicious, has died. He was 50-years-old.
The announcement of the rapper’s death arrived Friday morning from longtime collaborator and Blackalicious co-founder, Chief Xcel. “It is with much sadness and a heavy heart I announce the passing of my friend and brother of 34 years, Timothy Jerome Parker aka The Gift of Gab.” wrote Xcel in a post on Parker’s Instagram account this morning. “He returned peacefully to the essence on June 18, 2021,” Xcel added before detailing the group’s origins.
Known for an agile delivery that could jump from mid-tempo to warpspeed in one breath (see”Alphabet Aerobics,”) Parker was central to the Bay Area’s embrace of East Coast pacing. As Blackalicious, Gab and Xcel recorded three EPs and four full-length studio projects. Their debut EP, Melodica, was released in 1995, by rap collective-turned-label, Solesides (whose roster included DJ Shadow, Lyrics Born, and Lateef The Truthspeaker.) A few years later, as Solesides morphed into Quannum Projects, the duo released their first album proper, Nia, with the label, recieving rave reviews from critics and pedestrians alike.
In the hours following his death, friends, peers, and fans shared memories of and tributes to Gift of Gab across Twitter and Instagram. Read through some of the send-ups below.
damn. rest in peace Gift of Gab. one of the greatest rap songwriters ever. this man definitely did not get his flowers. he was a giant. https://t.co/Xbuuo9EeQT
— Open Mike Eagle (@Mike_Eagle) June 25, 2021
My statement regarding the passing of Timothy Jerome “The Gift Of Gab” Parker. pic.twitter.com/f5VS5N1zdc
— DJ Shadow Official (@djshadow) June 25, 2021
thank you Gift of Gab. amazing artist and wonderful, kind person. ❤️
— el-p (@therealelp) June 25, 2021
💔 Heartbroken !!! Rest In Peace to the legendary mc GIFT OF GAB of Blackalicious. Not only a friend and a great humble human being but a super influential West Coast monster technician. One of the Best !! RIP to a Hip Hop king pic.twitter.com/YzLA3sHzyO
— R.A. the Rugged Man (@RAtheRuggedMan) June 25, 2021
R.I.P. to Gift of Gab of Blackalicious an amazing rapper and big influence on me in high school, made great albums too, was so stoked to play a show with him back in 2012. You are appreciated thank you 🙏 pic.twitter.com/zOfH1h0yqW
— dumbfoundead (@dumbfoundead) June 25, 2021