Duck Down Records founder Dru Ha has penned an emotional eulogy on the passing of longtime friend and protégé Sean Price amid widespread coverage of the rap veteran’s death.
Dru unleashed his emotions to the masses in a few Instagram posts this past weekend.
When I last called Sean, he picked up the phone, and he basically cursed me out… but that was nothing out of the ordinary, he could be cantankerous and grumpy, especially when we were gearing up to promote a new project. I called him an ogre. For the 22 plus years I had the honor to know him, when I called the house Sean answered the phone with either; “What the F you want”, “What did I do?”; or Joe’s Pizza. From his answer, it was code for how much we’d get accomplished on that call. When in a good mood, Sean was enjoyable to talk to on the phone. He was direct and to the point, not a lot of extra talk, ray ray ki ki bo bo as he called it. He’d play me new verses recorded fresh out of PF’s studio, talk sports and TV shows, and would amuse himself making me awkwardly uncomfortable by asking me what’s todays math? (My full eulogy for Sean in the bio) RiP!
The practical jokes at my expense didn’t end there, and I adored them. They were personalized and imaginative. He never made you feel bullied or humiliated (unless you had fur on your shoes) it was always something we could laugh at together after the pranks unfolded. In early Heltah Skeltah interviews, when he became predictably bored with the questions, and I had still had a flickering rap career from my verse on Black Moon’s “U Da Man”, straight faced, he told various reporters that I was recording an album with Bon Jovi. Later when I stopped traveling on the road with Sean, whenever he found himself in Baltimore he would tell the audience in the middle of his set that I wasn’t there because I watched the Wire and I was too scared. In present internet days, there’d be times with no warning, where he might go on a twitter rampage encouraging people to send me their demos and beats. My timeline and email would fill up. That was Sean with his mischievous and appropriately inappropriate sense of humor. He made us laugh till @teksmokeelah water in his eyes and all of our stomachs hurt. (My full eulogy for Sean Price in the bio link).
Sean loved Hip Hop, specifically “hardcore rap and Mary J Blige records”…. He appreciated a wide range of artists, but he actually liked his music the most. “Sean Carter is nice but Sean Price is the best” he proclaimed. (And we would learn last night that Jay Z’s respect for Sean was mutual as Jay reached out to send his personal condolences and make a very generous donation to Sean’s fund.) Sean was a lyrical warrior, a savage competitor, a true Bar Barbarian. “I’m the nicest rapper out duke Eff what he said”… He took pride in his writing, was self aware of his skill, and had no lack of confidence. It’s that type of tenacity that you want to see in your power forward, his position in the Fab 5, and he had no reservations complementing himself; when we spoke, often saying – “Cheeze I’m Nice, I can rhyme a little bit.” We agreed he was nice, we said it thousands of times, but he made the MC’s he kept company with better too. On a given track, much like a great basketball player he challenged Artists to step up, always leading by example… “Sean Sparks like Jon Starks in the 4th Quarter”… I thought the senior editor from Wired, named Peter Rubin summed up Sean’s DNA as an MC best when he wrote: “What Sean Price did was write bars. Thousands and thousands of them, each an exercise in menacing literality. But his ice grill was deadpan; every threat was tinged with a laugh, and you could always hear the smile lurking behind the serious. (My full eulogy for Sean in the bio link).
In the past week there's been a tremendous flurry of media attention. Tributes given from long time supporters of Sean on Sirius radio from Scram Jones, DJ Eclipse & Premier, Statik Selektah, on specialty shows from Rosenberg, Combat Jack, Premium Pete and Dallas Penn, but other less likely, and bigger national media outlets which didn’t cover him in the past, have picked up on this part of Sean’s story. From a special by FunkMaster Flex on Hot 97, to landing on the cover of both The NY Post and Daily News where Sean would have surely appreciated being pictured next to Donald Trump, to even Tmz reporting. It’s rewarding to see him receive the recognition but at the same time frustrating. I found myself asking, why do so many talented Artists have to die to be relished, properly acknowledged? In conversation if I complained about something like this to Sean; and I would have, his most likely reply would be, “Cheeze if you can't be used your useless”. “At the end of the day, it’s nighttime.” Ask him about the changing of the guard in rap music, or his thoughts on what the current state of Hip Hop is today, and his answer would be “Nebraska”. Random answers complemented the random bars that commanded our attention, we craved to know what he would say or do next? Random Axe. He developed a close relationship with Hex and Black Milk and pushed Black for the right beats. He genuinely admired Guilty Simpson as an MC, one of the few that he would introduce me to including his brother Illa Noyz, Ruste Juxx, the late great Flood, Roc Marciano, Illaghee and Da Villans. These MC’s made him smile when he listened to their verses. He didn’t seek out big name feature artists to help sell his albums and didn’t allow us to do it for him either. (My full eulogy for Sean in the bio link).
At the heart, Sean played for one team throughout his career. He declared “I’m Boot Camp 4 Life” and no matter how turbulent times could become, he never waivered. He knew that his BCC kin loved him unconditionally, accepted his irrational ways, and most importantly that they could rhyme on his playing field. He always insisted that @rocknessbcc was the better MC in Da Incredible Rap team of Heltah Skeltah, and told me on more than one occasion that coming up through the game, Steele was his favorite MC. Buck was a mentor and trusted confidant. We never had to ask, he proudly wore the Duck Down uniform, hats, shirts, hoodies, jackets, whatever, he carried our flag with him. Most importantly it seemed to him, he represented for Brooklyn, but more specifically for Brownsville, reminding us that “the skills been acquired since living in Tilden.” Sean didn't care much for industry events and politics, for that matter… In 2011, At a Rock The Bells press conference panel loaded with top tier Hip Hop talent, a reporter asked Sean who he was most looking forward to seeing, he replied “Nobody”, I’ll be in my dressing room smoking some trees until it's my turn”. On Twitter and Instagram while many of his peers focused on accumulating followers, Sean countered by leading the social networks in blocks. Say something he remotely didn't like, and you were banished. Some fans wore it as a badge of honor, proud that they were blocked by Sean Price. (My full eulogy for Sean in the bio).
On a song called “Violent” off Sean’s Jesus Price album he starts the song off with an adlib line saying “I’m such a failure” he was joking of course, made us laugh yet again, but sadly, do believe that Sean had doubts and insecurities about his value and accomplishments. From witnessing the outpouring of grief that the hip-hop community displayed upon hearing the news of his passing, it showed how many people and Artist’s he touched. Pause – The love and light you bring out, makes you anything but a failure. You were inspiring, and left us a massive catalog of music to remember you by. But make no mistake about it; we love you for the person that you were, even more so than the legend that your music will live on to define. Sean rhymes: “Sean is the man, and I’m doin all that I can, when I rhyme, I feel like the the world’s in the palm of my hand, All I is, is all I am And all you is, who gives a Damn?” That is all. riP! #SeanPrice
Earlier this month, rapper Mac Miller unleashed his Sean P-assisted “Pet Sounds” song.
here's a joint i did with Sean Price before he passed. RIP.https://t.co/Kx0xG7rTTf
— Mac (@MacMiller) August 12, 2015
[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/218961519″ params=”color=ff5500″ width=”100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]
Details of Sean Price’s shocking death landed online in early August.
Rapper Sean Price died in his sleep Saturday at his Brooklyn apartment, according to his music company. The 43-year-old hip-hop artist was part of the group Heltah Skeltah, Boot Camp Clik as well as being a solo act. Price’s latest album, “Mic Tyson,” was released in 2012. (NY Daily News)
Duck Down also confirmed the tragic loss.
“It is with beyond a heavy heart that Duck Down Music is sadly confirming that Sean Price passed away early this morning in his Brooklyn apartment, Saturday, August 8th, 2015,” reads a statement from his reps. “The cause of death is currently unknown, but it was reported that he died in his sleep. He’s survived by his wife, and his three children.” (Statement)
The passing sparked handfuls of reactions on social media.
RIP Sean Price
— Raekwon Da Chef (@Raekwon) August 8, 2015
RIP Sean Price. Mic God, lyrical Warrior and supreme Emcee
— Killer Mike (@KillerMike) August 8, 2015
i love you Sean. ill never forget the fun we had. Till we meet again.
— Alchemist (@Alchemist) August 8, 2015
RIP Sean P
— Danny Brown (@xdannyxbrownx) August 8, 2015
— Mobb Deep (@MobbDeep) August 8, 2015
— Mac (@MacMiller) August 8, 2015