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2007 J.A.M. Awards and Concert

Source: Jason Kempin / Getty

I always felt like I could hear your health struggles in the music. Not just in the actual words. Maybe it was the aggression of “The Infamous” that slowed down, but I could hear it. Still, losing you has sent a shock wave through hip-hop. Despite us all knowing for 20 plus years that you were going through it.

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For most hip-hop heads affected by your passing, you were a major contributor to our lives as young men trying to become grown men. No disrespect to the female fans of the Mobb, of which there are many. You were the exact voice we all wanted. You sounded serious, scary, and intelligent. If you were going to talk about violence, you did it in an entertaining, sometimes cartoonish way. When I first heard you say you’ll “Throw A TV” I laughed out loud.

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So yesterday as I sat at the crib in a depressed state playing your music, it hit me. No MC has more, or better, one liners than you. None. You left us with so many quotables. Opening lines to verses that have been bitten, reworked, sampled, and sung along to that stay in your brain. “I got you stuck off the realness” may be the best opening line in the history of hip-hop. Because it was true. You had us stuck. And a lot of us stayed stuck for the next 25 years.

Rest up man. No more pain. Nothing to drink away.


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