Hip-hop legend Don Newkirk has passed away at 56 years old.
The talented musician and producer was famously known for collaborating with rap heavyweights Prince Paul of Stetsasonic, De La Soul and 3rd Bass. On Friday night, Grandmaster Flash and The Furious Five’s Rahiem confirmed Newkirk’s death on Facebook.
“It is with a heavy heart. I announce the transitioning of my brother Don Newkirk. 56 years young. Don Newkirk was among the first R&B artists signed to Defjam records. MY condolences go out to his family. S.I.P”
Newkirk’s brothers in hip hop, De La Soul, also posted a tribute to their homie they knew since “high school” via Instagram.
“Every since high school, we all knew Don Newkirk was undoubtedly a special kind. Fearless in expression and just a positive, talented vessel destined for success. His voice was the final cherry on top that closed our album 3ft High and Rising. Thank you Don. May you rest peacefully, fam. Our condolences go out to the family and to you @djprincepaul ♥️”
“Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji’un.”
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Newkirk’s last post on social media was on November 19. The artist had delved into cryptocurrency.
His cause of death has not been determined.