Photo via Koopsta Knicca on Instagram
Koopsta Knicca, the Memphis rapper and one of the founding members of Three 6 Mafia, died early this morning at the age of 40 at a local hospital, the Memphis newspaper The Commerical Appeal reported.
Koopsta Knicca, whose full name was Robert Phillips, suffered a stroke on Sunday and died from ensuing complications. Rumors of his death spread yesterday, but the news was confirmed to the paper this morning by DJ Paul and Dove Clark, publicist for Koopsta Knicca's current group Da Mafia 6ix. A post on Koopsta Knicca's Facebook and Instagram pages stated, "To all who are concerned Robert Cooper Phillips AKA KOOPSTA KNICCA has officially left us all, This is a GREAT LOST to us all We will continue to keep him alive with his music. I loved you with all my heart Koop & ive learned alot from you."
Phillips was born on April 27, 1975. He was a founding member of Three 6 Mafia and a part of the group throughout its early, influential years. The group's dark sound and macabre lyricism left an imprint on ensuing generations of rappers, and Koopsta Knicca's own rich, grim rhymes and musical flow were a large part of the appeal. He released the solo album Da Devil’s Playground in 1999 before leaving the group in 2000. He continued to release music as a solo act, and in 2013 he reunited with several former members of Three 6 Mafia to form Da Mafia 6ix, who put out several well-received mixtapes and albums, including this year's Watch What U Wish….
DJ Paul said in a statement that the two were beginning work on a new album, Da Devil's Playground 2. He also stated, "Everyone who knew Koop knew he was very funny and the coolest guy ever. He will be missed. We made classics together that'll live on."
Koopsta Knicca's death follows that of Three 6 Mafia member Lord Infamous in 2013. Plans for memorial services have not yet been announced.
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