Blackalicious’ Gift of Gab Dead at 50 – Report
Gift of Gab from the rap duo Blackalicious has died at age 50.
According to an Instagram post shared on Gab's page on Friday (June 25), the quick-witted Sacramento, Calif. rapper, born Timothy J. Parker, passed away last week.
"My Brother," the message from Chief Xcel, DJ and one-half of Blackalicious, writes in the caption. "It is with much sadness and a heavy heart I announce the passing of my friend and brother of 34 years, Timothy Jerome Parker aka The Gift of Gab. He returned peacefully to the essence on June 18, 2021."
Xcel went on to share memories of meeting Gift of Gab in 1987 at John F. Kennedy High in Sacramento, and tells the story of how they formed their hip-hop relationship.
A rep for Blackalicious told Rolling Stone today that Gift of Gab died of natural causes.
Quannum Projects, a rap collective that Gab was a part of and also a founding member, released a statement on the late rhymer's passing as well.
"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,'" the statement reads, according to Rolling Stone. "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. We ask that the family’s privacy is respected as we mourn the tremendous loss of our dear brother."
Prior to his death, Gab had been suffering from kidney failure and had to attend dialysis weekly. He reportedly received a new kidney early last year and the rapper launched a GoFundMe to raise funds for himself that would assist with his expenses after receiving the new kidney.
"Peace All!!," the crowdfunding page reads. "This is Gift of Gab from Blackalicious. For the past 7 years I have been on dialysis because of kidney failure. I’ve still been doing shows and recording but it has been a challenge. About a month ago I was informed by the Mayo Clinic in Arizona that I will be receiving a kidney transplant before March!!!!!! I am reaching out to my fans and people in general with this go fund me because once I get the transplant it’s going to be costly."
The message continues: "I will have to pay to put myself up in a hotel close to the clinic for up to 6 weeks. I need to bring a caregiver out, rent a car, buy food, and not to mention I can’t work for six weeks and bills and rent at home don’t stop. Reaching out to all to help me get thru this."
Gift of Gab added that anyone who donated would receive a free copy of his album, Offering. The GoFundMe, which was created in January of 2020, surpassed its goal of $30,000 and raised $31,588.
Blackalicious dropped their debut album, Nia, in 1999. Years later, in 2002, they delivered Blazing Arrow. In 2006, the duo dropped The Craft. Their final album as a group, Imani Vol. 1, came out in 2015.
The rap unit spoke with XXL about their last LP around the time it was released. "Well it's been a three-year process, you know," Gift of Gab explained. "We began working on this record I would say in late 2011 and 2012. To me, this is one of the most focused records that we've ever done in terms of just going in and working and creating without any hiatuses or any 'waiting for the inspiration' or doing it in spurts. I think this was one of the most focused records we did."
R.I.P Gift of Gab.