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Blackalicious rapper Gift of Gab dead at 50 following kidney failure and an organ transplant


Timothy Parker, known as rapper Gift of Gab in the duo Blackalicious, has died at the age of 50, it was announced on Friday.

Parker’s Bay Area group, Quannum Projects first revealed the sad news and later it was confirmed by Rolling Stone that the hip hop star had died of ‘natural causes.’

Over the years Gift of Gab had suffered from numerous health related issues such a kidney failure and an organ transplant in 2020.

Gone too soon: Timothy Parker, known as rapper Gift of Gab in the duo Blackalicious, has died at the age of 50, it was announced on Friday

‘It is with heavy hearts and great sadness that we announce the passing of our dear brother, Timothy J. Parker a.k.a. The Gift of Gab,’ Quannum Projects said in a statement.

‘Tim peacefully departed this earth to be with our ancestors on Friday, June 18, 2021. He is survived by two brothers, one sister, many nieces and nephews, countless friends, and fans across the globe,’ the statement added.    

Parker died of natural causes, according to Rolling Stone, adding that the rapper suffered from kidney failure and underwent weekly dialysis treatments until he received a kidney transplant in January 2020. 

Gift of Gab was one half of the rap duo Blackalicious out of Sacramento, California alongside DJ Chief Xcel.  

'It is with heavy hearts and great sadness that we announce the passing of our dear brother, Timothy J. Parker a.k.a. The Gift of Gab,' Quannum Projects said in a statement. 'Tim peacefully departed this earth to be with our ancestors on Friday, June 18, 2021. He is survived by two brothers, one sister, many nieces and nephews, countless friends, and fans across the globe'

‘It is with heavy hearts and great sadness that we announce the passing of our dear brother, Timothy J. Parker a.k.a. The Gift of Gab,’ Quannum Projects said in a statement. ‘Tim peacefully departed this earth to be with our ancestors on Friday, June 18, 2021. He is survived by two brothers, one sister, many nieces and nephews, countless friends, and fans across the globe’

Xavier ‘Chief Xcel’ Mosley posted a heartfelt tribute to his late friend of 34 years on Gift of Gab’s official Instagram page talking about how they first met back in high school. 

‘We had a home economics class together, Mr. Hightower, third period. He sat in the row directly behind me. Tim being from So Cal and me being from the Bay, we would argue all class period about who was doper, Ice T or Too Short,’ he recalled.  

After a failed attempt to start a rap group, months went by and the teens moved on but then ‘out of the blue’ Parker told Mosley he needed a DJ. 

‘So I’m thinking he’s asking me to DJ for him for a talent show or school dance so I say, ‘For when?’. Tim then replies ‘Forever’ and I say ‘Cool’,’ he mused. ‘That day marked the beginning of our journey. 34 years of brotherhood, deep friendship, artistic inspiration, and musical exploration.’

Tribute: Gift of Gab was one half of the rap duo Blackalicious out of Sacramento, California alongside DJ Chief Xcel and they collectively released four studio albums, including A2G which featured the tongue twisting hit Alphabet Aerobics

Tribute: Gift of Gab was one half of the rap duo Blackalicious out of Sacramento, California alongside DJ Chief Xcel and they collectively released four studio albums, including A2G which featured the tongue twisting hit Alphabet Aerobics

The pair collectively released four studio albums, including A2G which featured the tongue twisting hit Alphabet Aerobics.

In 2014, Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe famously paid homage to the group by rapping Alphabet Aerobics during an appearance on the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon.

Blackalicious released their last album, Imani Vol. 1, back in 2015 but there could be new music released posthumously from the pair. Rolling Stone reported that Gift of Gab has over 100 tracks in the can.  

‘Some of those were already slated for the next release, but more of Gab’s lyrical genius will be heard for years to come,’ his rep said.  

Fans, friends and colleagues are mourning the loss of the prolific lyricist and taking to social media with tributes.

RIP: Parker died of natural causes, according to Rolling Stone, adding that the rapper suffered from kidney failure and underwent weekly dialysis treatments until he received a kidney transplant in January 2020

RIP: Parker died of natural causes, according to Rolling Stone, adding that the rapper suffered from kidney failure and underwent weekly dialysis treatments until he received a kidney transplant in January 2020

‘He was one of the most positive human beings I have ever known and always looking toward the future,’ said longtime manager Brian Ross to Rolling Stone. 

‘He was endlessly brimming with new ideas, philosophical perspectives, and thoughts about the future. He was always ready to learn, grow and engage in a deep conversation about things he was less familiar with,’ he continued. 

Adding: ‘A simple conversation with him about nearly anything could take you places you would never have expected.’ 

Rapper Lyrics Born, a member of Quannum, shared a long and touching post on social media praising Parker’s life and struggling with the reality of his passing, which they new was inevitable due to his health issues.

Homage: In 2014, Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe famously paid homage to the group by rapping Alphabet Aerobics during an appearance on the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon

Homage: In 2014, Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe famously paid homage to the group by rapping Alphabet Aerobics during an appearance on the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon

‘We agreed 2 making the most of what time we did have together. This is why I took every Quannum MCs ‘reunion’ show I could. I didn’t care how much money we made, I didn’t care how many tickets we sold,’ he said. ‘All I cared abt was having those moments with my brother.’

Adding: ‘I’ve known Gab since we were teenagers, & he is the best rapper I’ve ever known. His monk-like commitment 2 his music was the same @ 19 yo as it was @ 50.’

He went on to describe his friend’s love for reading books and his ‘towers & towers’ of rhyme books. 

‘Personal & spiritual growth is what drove him, & he kept himself on a perpetual path of discovery,’ he added. 

More to come: Blackalicious released their last album, Imani Vol. 1, back in 2015 but there could be new music released posthumously from the pair. Rolling Stone reported that Gift of Gab has over 100 tracks in the can

More to come: Blackalicious released their last album, Imani Vol. 1, back in 2015 but there could be new music released posthumously from the pair. Rolling Stone reported that Gift of Gab has over 100 tracks in the can



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