Houston rapper Big Pokey collapsed on stage and died while performing at a rooftop bar in Beaumont, Texas on Saturday. He was 45.
Cell phone video shows the vaccinated rapper exhale forcefully into the microphone before he suddenly collapsed backward on the floor.
A post on Big Pokey’s Instagram page read: “It is with deep sadness that we share the news of the passing of our beloved Milton ‘Big Pokey’ Powell.”
“He was well-loved by his family, his friends, and his loyal fans. 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.'”
Houston rap legend Bernard “Bun B” Freeman was first to announce the news on Instagram. His post described Big Pokey as “one of the pillars” and “one of the most naturally talented artists in the city.”
Bun B said Big Pokey was a “low key, humble mountain of a man 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.”
Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner also paid his respects to the local legend on Twitter: “The City of Houston and I extend our prayers and condolences to our own Screwed Up Click legendary rapper #BigPokey family and friends.”
Last year, Big Pokey collaborated with Megan Thee Stallion on “Southside Royalty Freestyle” with Sauce Walka and Lil Keke.
His last album, Sensai, was released in 2021.