Saturday, August 8, 2015. 2:00 PM. I walk out of the office of my regular job (because we all know rap ain't paying indie rappers the way it's supposed to) and take my usual 15-minute break around that time. I look at my phone and there's a text from my bro PRO'Verb. It says "U ok???" Immediately, I'm thinking, "what in the fuck is he talking about? Somebody drop a diss track about me? Somebody talkin' shit about me on Twitter and I missed it during my shift? My nudes leaked? What's going on?" So the first thing I did was go to Twitter, no more than 5 seconds of hitting the timeline, I see why he asked. Sean Price, at the age of 43, passed away in his sleep.
If you know me...like, TRULY know me? You know how much of a fan I am of Sean Price. Only 2 days before his passing, me and Pro were in the car as he was giving me a ride to work, and per usual, we talked about new music we were both working on, current events in music (the Drake-Meek Mill beef and the CyHi The Prynce "Elephant In The Room" track were prominent topics that day), and somehow, the convo turned to Sean Price and the respect I had for him. Sean was easily one of the most disrespectful, yet lyrically sharp and witty, lyricists that I've heard. Yeah, he was a rap bully, but he also had a sense of humor that made you laugh at some of the fucked-up shit he was saying, often poking fun at the expense of other artists in the game. Examples needed?
Yet and still, you'd be hard-pressed to find a rapper in this game that wasn't a fan of Sean Price and his pen game. No, he wasn't fortunate enough to get the shine he deserved, constantly snubbed from the worldwide fame and radio attention that many less-talented artists receive on the daily, but it was no secret that those same artists, even if made a joke of in a bar or 2, had love and respect for Sean P's legacy.
Originally a member of Heltah Skeltah (along with fellow Duck Down Records artist, Rock), as well as a member of the New York-based collective, Boot Camp Clik, and the underground supergroup Random Axe (along with Black Milk and Guilty Simpson), Sean Price has been around since the '90s, known by Ruckus or simply Ruck in his early days. Hailing from one of the most dangerous and notorious neighborhoods in Brooklyn, NY - Brownsville (also the home of M.O.P.and Mike Tyson) - he was recognized early as a skilled MC and member of the legendary NY street gang, The Decepts (or Decepticons). My earliest memory of Sean Price would be the video below, "Leflaur Leflah Eshkoshka", by Heltah Skeltah and OGC (Originoo Gun Clappaz).
Sadly, I was pretty young when that dropped, so I lost track of his music over the years, but over the last 7 years or so, I caught back up on Sean Price after seeing his videos for "Heartburn/Onion Head" and "Mess U Made" on Music Choice's On Demand list back in my college years, also below.
From that point, I stayed tuned in with every release: Monkey Barz, Jesus Price Superstar, Kimbo Price, Mic Tyson...if it was Sean Price, I had to get it. Quick sidenote: my homies Gods'Illa did a collab with Price, "Saviours & Punishers", and if you never heard it or saw the video, fix that now.
Now...I'm clearly getting off track at the moment, but that can happen when speaking about one of your favorite rappers, and Sean Price was definitely that. It's only been about 24 hours since the passing occurred, and I'm honestly still struggling to accept the reality of it. You see, when 2Pac and Biggie passed away, I was too young to fully comprehend the tragedy of it all, along with being too young to really have that connection as a fan back then (I was 8 and 9 when they were killed, respectively). Yeah, I was obviously sad to hear two rappers that I liked listening to were dead, but it didn't hit me on how fucked up it was until I got older and could really analyze the situation, especially with the recent revelation of Jimmy Henchman basically being the cause of all of it. A kid can't do that. But as a grown man who happens to be a rap artist AND a fan of an artist that epitomized the fundamentals of what this rap shit was based on (dope lyricism, charisma, unfiltered content), Sean Price's death is actually really affecting me.
With that said, I'm not going to ramble on much longer. I just wanted to make a post on my site to show love to an artist that really inspired me to say what the fuck I want to say whenever I rhyme. It was an honor to meet him once years ago in DC at a show, and know that the music will live forever.
R.I.P. Sean Price