UK Hip Hop pioneer and Mercury-Prize nominee Ty has died from pneumonia as a result of complications from coronavirus.
Ty, real name Ben Chijioke, needed hospital treatment in April due to suffering from Covid-19 symptoms. Hearing news that he had contracted the virus, friends of the rapper set up a GoFundMe page.
On May 7, a month of receiving care in ICU, the 47-year-old pioneer sadly died. Born in London in 1972, Chijioke released his debut album Awkward in 2001 under his stage name Ty.
The album is a British take on the US boom-bap style of Hip Hop. Before his debut, Ty co-founded the Hip Hop and poetry workshop, Ghetto Gramma. Backing his debut up, came his second release in 2004 titled, Upward. Most noteworthy, it was nominated alongside Amy Winehouse and the Streets for the prestigious Mercury Prize. Ty released went onto release three more albums and even collaborated with De La Soul.
Tributes Flood In For Genuine Legend Of UK Hip Hop
Tributes have poured in for the UK Hip Hop legend, from across the music and entertainment world. Actor Noel Clarke was among those who paid tribute. Taking to Twitter, he said; “Except a few, most people wouldn’t know but this guy was my Friend. Today Covid took him. Stay home. This thing is not a joke.
Leading UK Hip Hop sensation Ghetts also took to his social media platform to similarly pay his respects. “RIP TY. This ones deep I had a lot of respect for ty one of the first from the older generation to embrace me and show me love fly high ty.”
Finally, it seems like his sister, Maria Chijioke, found comfort in the conversation that she and other members of Ty’s family had prior to his death. She said; “Before he passed we actually spoke to him on the phone and that gives me great comfort that the last thing he heard, from his family, his little sister, from his mother, is that he was loved and he went knowing that he was loved.”