Hip-Hop Podcast Pioneer, Author & Attorney Combat Jack Has Passed Away
Reggie “Combat Jack” Ossé has died. This morning (December 20), the Hip-Hop community learns that we have lost a true champion of culture. Several sources close to the Brooklyn, New Yorker confirmed the news. In October, the father of four publicly revealed that he was diagnosed with colon cancer during the most recent Redman episode of The Combat Jack Show podcast. Across many mediums over the last 29 years, Combat Jack offered unique and far-reaching perspective, voice, and knowledge to celebrate Hip-Hop’s achievements and pivot points. UPDATE: The New York Times confirms that Ossé was 53.
Since 1989, Ossé built a career in the music industry. After earning an undergraduate degree at the Ivy League Cornell University, Reggie studied at the Georgetown Law Center. He would take his talents back to New York City for the entertainment industry through an internship and eventual position at Def Jam Records. During that time, Ossé would represent artists including DJ Clark Kent, Nice & Smooth, and Bad Boy hit-man Deric “D-Dot” Angelettie. He would later serve at MTV as Vice President of Audio/Music.
By the 2000s, Jack pivoted to another side of the culture: reporting and media. He co-authored (with Gabriel Tolliver) the 2006 book Bling, a text on Hip-Hop’s love affair with jewelry. During this period, Ossé (as Combat Jack) became a preeminent blogger in the Rap space. He opined on Hip-Hop’s daily bread on multiple platforms, but perhaps most notably through XXL magazine’s digital platform. Additionally, he launched his Daily-Math site.
Later in the decade, Combat was part of a revamped regime at The Source magazine. The Haitian-American Ossé was the storied publication’s Managing Editor for this period. He currently hosted an interview show on SiriusXM’s Backspin channel.
All of these achievements led to what Combat Jack is perhaps best known for, podcasts. In 2010, he launched his radio show which would become a media destination for artists of all generations to tell their stories in long-form. Hip-Hop’s founder DJ Kool Herc, LL Cool J, Warren G, Ice Cube, Scarface, Cormega, DJ Red Alert, and others were some of the memorable guests. Over the years, Jack’s show featured co-hosts such as Just Blaze, Dallas Penn, Premium Pete, DJ Benhameen. The series would expand to many video episodes. His current co-host AKing had been a colleague and partner of Jack’s since their days at the Brooklyn-based PNC Radio.
After branding his top show, Combat Jack launched the Loud Speakers Network. This podcast production company is now behind shows from Hip-Hop culture and lifestyle voices such as It’s The Real, The Ed Lover Show, Brilliant Idiots, and Angela Yee’s Lip Service.
In 2017, Ossé worked with Gimlet Media and Spotify to produce Mogul, a multi-part audio-documentary on the life and death of Hip-Hop executive Chris Lighty.
The staff at Ambrosia For Heads wants to say thank you to our friend for all he did for this culture of Hip-Hop. We extend condolences to his family, his many friends, colleagues, and the millions of Combat Jack fans.