UPDATE: Duck Down Music has begun an online fundraising effort to raise money for Price's family. Fans can donate via Crowdrise.
Sean Price, Brooklyn rapper and member of the hip-hop groups Heltah Skeltah, Boot Camp Clik and Random Axe, died Saturday morning at the age of 43. DJ Premier first revealed Price's death, posting on Instagram, "R.I.P. Ruck… Love and Respect to The Duck Down Family!!! #SeanPrice." Price's wife also confirmed the rapper's death on Facebook, Miss Info reports.
"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. 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," a rep for Price said in a statement. "Sean's family and friends are asking for time to grieve and process the news. Further details will be issued when more information is available."
Price first rose to prominence under the moniker Ruck as a member of Heltah Skeltah alongside fellow Brownsville, Brooklyn rapper Rock. The pair were members of a hip-hop collective known as the Boot Camp Clik, which also featured Black Moon's Buckshot, Smif-N-Wessun's Tek and Steele and the trio O.G.C. After first appearing on Smif-N-Wessun's revered 1995 LP Dah Shinin', Heltah Skeltah released their own 1996 debut Nocturnal. That was followed the next year by the first Boot Camp Clik LP For the People.
While Ruck continued to release music with both Heltah Skeltah and Boot Camp Clik throughout the past two decades, the rapper rebranded himself under his birth name when he delved into his solo career. As Sean Price, he released three studio albums, 2005's Monkey Barz, 2007's Jesus Price Supastar and 2012's Mic Tyson. Price also teamed with Guilty Simpson and producer Black Milk for their acclaimed 2011 LP Random Axe.
Following news of Price's death, the hip-hop community immediately mourned the beloved rapper on social media. "My heart hurts. Sean Price is gone. Rest in Paradise legend," 9th Wonder tweeted. Rapsody added, "This is the worst. To the legend...and big man with a big heart and big sense of humor...we love you Sean Price. RIP."
"Sean Price went from being a childhood hero of mine to a great friend. He was the most competitive MC I've ever met & kept me on my game," Talib Kweli tweeted. Killer Mike also wrote, "RIP Sean Price. Mic God, lyrical Warrior and supreme Emcee."
Price was working on a new mixtape Songs in the Key of Price, due out August 21st, at the time of his death. Recently, to promote the tape, Price reenacted Tyrese's 1994 Coca-Cola commercial on a New York bus.