Rap star Milton 'Big Pokey' Powell dies suddenly at 45

 June 19, 2023

Rap music fans were left in mourning this week after star musician Milton "Big Pokey" Powell died at the age of 45. 

According to Fox News, Powell suddenly collapsed during a Sunday evening performance at the Pour09 Bar & Rooftop Lounge in Beaumont, Texas.

"A tragedy that no one expected"

The Pour09 Bar & Rooftop Lounge put up an Instagram post which read, "Out of respect for those involved we will not be commenting on the incident to allow his family and friends ample time to mourn and make a statement when they are ready."

"This is a tragedy that no one expected and only our prayers go out to his family and friends," the statement went on to conclude.

Born and raised in Houston, Fox News noted that Powell came out with his debut studio album in 1999, which was titled, "Hardest Pit in the Litter."

He later went on to release "Da Sky's Da Limit" and "Sensei." Powell was known for collaborating with other Houston-based artists like  DJ Screw, Fat Pat, Z-Ro, Lil' Keke and Lil' Flip.

Houston mayor calls Powell "larger than life"

Tributes to Powell quickly appeared on social media, including from Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, who called him a "legendary rapper."

"Though many called him 'low key,' his presence was larger than life in helping to catapult our hip hop scene nationally," Turned continued, adding, "We are grateful."

Houston musician Bun B offered a similar message on Instagram, writing, "I wasn’t ready for this. One of the most naturally talented artists in the city."

"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," Bun B recalled.

Some wonder if COVID vaccine was a factor

"One of the pillars of our city. If heart of gold was a person. Iconic member of the SUC. There will never be another and will be missed dearly. We love and honor you Sensei. Rest in heaven," the post concluded.

Although the cause of Powell's death has yet to be determined, some Twitter users speculated that it could be linked to complications stemming from the COVID-19 vaccine.

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