Iconic Houston rapper Big Pokey tragically passes away: "One of the pillars of our city"

Beaumont, Texas - Iconic Houston rapper Big Pokey tragically passed away after collapsing on stage during a recent performance.

Houston rapper Big Pokey tragically passed away on Sunday after he collapsed in the middle of a performance in Beaumont, Texas.
Houston rapper Big Pokey tragically passed away on Sunday after he collapsed in the middle of a performance in Beaumont, Texas.  © Collage: Screenshots / YouTube / su4c & Instagram / bunb

According to local news station Fox 4 Beaumont, the rapper, whose birth name is Milton Powell, was pronounced dead at Christus St. Elizabeth Hospital on Sunday after he fainted during his show at Pour 09 Bar late Saturday night.

Fellow Texas rapper Bun B shared a heartfelt tribute to the legend on Instagram, describing Pokey as "low key, humble mountain of a main who moved with honor and respect."

"He was easy to love and hard to hate. He'd pull up, do what he had to do, and head home. One of the pillars of our city. If heart of gold was a person. Iconic member of the SUC [Screwed Up Click]," Bun B wrote.

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"We love and honor you Sensei. Rest in heaven," B concluded.

Pokey's publicist confirmed his passing to Fox 26 in a statement.

"He was well-loved by his family, his friends, and his loyal fans," the statement reads.

"In the coming days, we will release information about his celebration of life and how the public can pay their respects. We ask that you respect his family and their privacy during this difficult time. Big Pokey will forever be 'The Hardest Pit in the Litter.'"

Fans remember Big Pokey

Big Pokey was a well-known rapper in the local Houston scene and beyond, gaining popularity from his collaborations with big names like DJ Screw and Paul Wall, and being one of the founding members of the local Screwed Up Click.

As southern rap and its chopped-and-screwed style gained prominence in the '90s and 2000s by big names like TI and Outkast, Pokey has been hailed as a pioneer of the genre.

Fans have been sharing clips and memories of the rapper on social media, with many describing him as a "legend" of the scene, with one fan commenting under Bun B's post: "So Upsetting. He helped lay the foundation of an entirely new genre of rap. RIP."

RIP Big Pokey.

Cover photo: Collage: Screenshots / YouTube / su4c & Instagram / bunb

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