Rapper Gift of Gab, who is one-half of famed bay area duo Blackalicious is dead. Gift of Gab died of natural causes. According to Pitchfork.com, “Tim peacefully departed this earth to be with our ancestors on Friday, June 18, 2021,” his Quannum collective said in a statement.
Gift of Gab Age
The artist, born Timothy Jerome Parker, was 50 years old. He was born in Sacramento on October 7th, 1971.
Gift of Gab Family
The rapper is survived by two brothers, one sister, many nieces and nephews, countless friends, and fans across the globe.
Gift of Gab Education
He attended high school in Sacramento with his future bandmate Xavier “Chief Xcel” Mosley. They eventually formed Blackalicious while Mosley was a student at the nearby University of California Davis; it was there that the duo linked up with fellow Davis-area artists DJ Shadow and Lyrics Born.
Gift of Gab Career
The duo released its debut EP, Melodica, in 1994 via Solesides, a label and collective that also featured DJ Shadow, Lyrics Born, and others. By the late ’90s, Solesides morphed into Quannum, which made the notable compilation Spectrum in 1999; contributors to Spectrum included Blackalicious, DJ Shadow, El-P, Souls of Mischief, and Jurassic 5.
Shortly after the release of Spectrum, Blackalicious issued their full-length debut, Nia. The album helped Blackalicious land a deal with Universal Music’s MCA Records, which released 2002’s Blazing Arrow. The duo returned to the indiesphere for 2005’s The Craft, released via ANTI-, and later shared just one more full-length, 2015’s Imani Vol. 1.
Gift of Gab released three solo studio albums in his lifetime: 2004’s 4th Dimensional Rocketships Going Up, 2009’s Escape 2 Mars, and 2012’s The Next Logical Progression. He was diagnosed with kidney failure in 2014 and described his journey with the condition in the 2016 documentary Gift of Gab. A press release notes that “Gift of Gab left behind nearly 100 tracks for future Blackalicious releases.”
RIP Gift of Gab. A behemoth blessed w/ a tuba baritone traveling at light speed, who bent language and split syllables into wild color & weird shapes. The analog arsonist, a virtuoso defining the late 90s/earlys 00s underground. An unforgettable force, eternally first in flight. pic.twitter.com/wy8UFPx1jp
— Otto Von Biz Markie (@Passionweiss) June 25, 2021
Gift of Gab Death
A representative for Blackalicious confirmed to Rolling Stone that Parker died of natural causes. In recent years, the rapper suffered from kidney failure, undergoing dialysis multiple times a week until finally receiving a new kidney in January 2020, which also marked Blackalicious’ final concert prior to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Gift of Gab Eulogised
According to Rolling stone, Blackalicious’ and Parker’s longtime manager Brian Ross said in a statement, “He was one of the most positive human beings I have ever known and always looking toward the future. 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. A simple conversation with him about nearly anything could take you places you would never have expected.”
Blackalicious DJ and Parker’s longtime friend and bandmate Xavier “Chief Xcel,” Mosley said in a statement that, “Our brother was an MCs’ MC who dedicated his life to his craft. One of the greatest to ever do it. He’s the most prolific person I’ve ever known. He was all about pushing the boundaries of his art form in the most authentic way possible. He truly believed in the healing power of music. He viewed himself as a vessel used by a higher power whose purpose was to give positive contributions to humanity through Rhyme.
Blackalicious “First in Flight”
Blackalicious – Deception
In a statement Dj Shadow stated;
View this post on Instagram