Sean Price Passes Away At Age 43. Rest In Peace.
The Hip-Hop and music community is saddened to learn that Sean Price has died. The MC formerly known as Ruck reportedly passed away this morning (August 8) at his home in Brooklyn, New York. Details are emerging, but the 43 year-old Price was found unconscious in his sleep. Cause of death and additional information is forthcoming. Talib Kweli, Ill Bill, and DJ Evil Dee (all friends and collaborators of Sean’s) are among those who have mourned in social media posts.
My people are dying too quickly for me to keep up
— Talib Kweli Greene (@TalibKweli) August 8, 2015
P — Talib Kweli Greene (@TalibKweli) August 8, 2015
crushed and heartbroken. we love you Sean #RIP
— ILL BILL (@ILLB1LL) August 8, 2015
CRYING — DJ EVIL DEE (@DJEVILDEE) August 8, 2015
A 20-plus-year veteran MC, Sean Price is known as a founding member of Heltah Skeltah with Rockness Monstah (f/k/a Rock). Additionally, Price was a key component to the Boot Camp Clik collective, and recent trio Random Axe, with Black Milk and Guilty Simpson. Once self-proclaimed as “the brokest rapper you know,” Price famously reinvented his career in 2005 with the release of Monkey Barz. It is at that time that the Brownsville, Brooklyn native changed his name to that on his birth certificate, and basked in self-deprecation, humor, and some of the most critically-acclaimed compound-bar-structured verses of his career.
In the decade since, the longtime Duck Down Records artists transitioned from a marginal crew member to the label’s flagship artist. As a soloist, Sean released three albums between 2005 and 2012, each charting higher than the last. 2012’s Mic Tyson found the veteran lyricist debuting at #59—nearly matching his two Heltah Skeltah Top 40 releases in the 1990s. Reportedly, during this seven-year stretch, the MC took meetings with then-Def Jam President Jay Z about signing to the storied label.
Throughout his career, Sean remained closely tied to Duck Down, and its founders Buckshot and Dru Ha. His upcoming project, Songs In The Key Of Price, was slated for the cleverly-titled Ruck Down Records. Additionally, Sean revealed this summer, plans of working with M.O.P’s Lil Fame (a/k/a Fizzy Womack) on a full collaborative album.
Beyond breakout Heltah Skeltah hit, 1996’s Boot Camp Clik posse cut “Leflaur Leflah Eshkoshka,” Price would appear on singles such as H.S.’ “I Ain’t Havin’ That,” and his own “Boom Bye Yeah.” Throughout his career, Price would work with a cross-section of Hip-Hop artists beyond his own crews. Heltah Skeltah teamed with Method Man and Tha Dogg Pound. As a soloist, Price would appear on albums by Talib Kweli, Jedi Mind Tricks, KRS-One & Buckshot, ONYX, and Cunninlynguists. Beyond music, Price’s popularity extended thanks to viral videos, often making light of other celebrities, natural disasters, and personal observations. He was also a celebrated freestyle artist, applying his humor and insight to impromptu raps:
Sean is survived by his wife and three children, including a daughter named after him. In his verses, Price frequently rapped about his family and home-life.
Duck Down Music, Price’s record label home since 1996, has created a crowd-funding page to help support Sean’s family in this difficult time. The goal is to raise $50,000 and a little over $13,000 has been donated, so far. If Sean’s music has enriched your life over the years or you’d simply like to help a family in need, please visit the page and donate whatever amount you are able.
Ambrosia For Heads extends our deepest condolences to the family, friends, and many fans of Sean Price.