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Big Pokey, Houston Rap Legend, Dies at 45

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Milton Powell, better known by his stage name Big Pokey is dead. The Houston rapper died after collapsing on stage during a performance in Texas on Saturday (June 17). His death was confirmed by his rep in a statement to KPRC Click2Houston.

“It is with deep sadness that we share the news of the passing of our beloved Milton ‘Big Pokey’ Powell.”

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Big Pokey passed away … 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 and their privacy during this difficult time. Big Pokey will forever be ‘The Hardest Pit in the Litter!'”

Big Pokey was a founding member of the Screwed Up Click, a group that helped to define the sound of Houston hip hop in the 1990s. He was known for his smooth vocals and his laid-back style, and he released several successful solo albums throughout his career, most recently his 2021 album “Sensei.”

Big Pokey Cause Of Death Explained

Big Pokey died on Saturday night after suddenly collapsing on stage while performing at a bar in the city of Beaumont.

Dramatic footage from the night of the concert shows the rap legend breathing heavily into the microphone mid-lyric while rapping at the Pour 09 Bar. He then falls hard on his back as shocked audience members worriedly looked on. Paramedics rushed to the stage and performed CPR before the rapper was taken to a nearby hospital just after midnight.

Authorities confirmed he died soon after the incident. The cause of death is still unknown.

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Big Pokey / Instagram

Fellow Houston legend and Screwed Up associate Bun B took to Instagram to share his condolences, “I wasn’t ready for this. One of the most naturally talented artists in the city. Low key, humble mountain of a man who moved with honor and respect. He was easy to love and hard to hate. He’d pull up, do what he had to do and head home. One of the pillars of our city. If heart of gold was a person. Iconic member of the SUC. There will never be another and will be missed dearly. We love and honor you Sensei. Rest in heaven.”

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Bun B also encouraged his followers to “get on all the streaming platforms and make this the number one album in the country today,” calling out Big Pokey’s now-final LP, 2022’s Sensei. “Let’s send his family a message that we loved him! Long Live Big Pokey!”

Trae The Truth wrote: “I sat and layed here Staring in tha dark. All i could do is pray God Take you under his Wing… This shit Unreal… I Thank you For The Call a few weeks Ago & I Will Keep my Word… Love ya bro… You Always Remained Solid , You One Of Tha Greatest To Do It.. [broken heart emoji, blue emoji, praying hands emoji]. #RIPBigPokey #SUC4Life.”

Paul Wall, who featured Big Pokey on his 2005 hit “Sittin’ Sidewayz,” tweeted Sunday, “Rest in peace Big Pokey.”

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner joined the tributes, tweeting “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. We are grateful.”

Big Pokey Brief Wiki

Pokey was born in Houston in 1977. He began rapping in the early 1990s, and he quickly became one of the most popular rappers in the city. In 1995, he co-founded the Screwed Up Click with DJ Screw. The group’s unique sound, which combined elements of Houston hip hop, Southern rap, and chopped and screwed music, quickly gained a large following.

Pokey released his debut solo album, The Hardest Pit in the Litter, in 1999. The album was a critical and commercial success, and it helped to solidify Pokey’s status as a major force in Houston hip hop. He went on to release several more successful albums, including Big Ballin’ Southside (2000), Get Ya Mind Right (2002), and Still Sittin’ on Top (2004).

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