Even members of the Diggin In The Crates Crew, with whom South Bronx rapper Party Arty rose to prominence, were shocked today (December 5) to learn of the underground artists untimely death.
Arty, born Arthur Sheridan, passed away early yesterday afternoon (December 4) of unspecified health complications.
Both Fat Joe and legendary MC/producer Diamond D told AllHipHop.com that they were unaware of any illness from which the rapper, also known as P-80, may have suffered.
They both learned of his passing, as fans did, after a post from producer DJ Premier, who shared his condolences yesterday via his blog.
I havent had a chance to speak to his family yet, D.I.T.C. co-founder Diamond D told AllHipHop.com exclusively. Im going up [to New York] tomorrow. I didnt know he was sick. I was shocked. To me, Arty definitely had that ruff gruffness about him. His rhymes was always on point. He was definitely one of the up-and-coming shining stars out of the South Bronx.
As one half of the group Ghetto Dwellas alongside his partner D-Flow, Arty was strongly influenced by D.I.T.C.s A.G, appearing on several of Show & A.G.s albums in the mid to late 90s, including features on seven cuts on A.G.s solo debut The Dirty Version in 1999.
He also collaborated with several member of the extended D.I.T.C. family including Fat Joe and the late Big L.
I seen him at the Rock Steady Anniversary over the summer, Fat Joe told AllHipHop.com. We had a great time, he was in good spirits. Hes an underground king, a great rapper, and most of all one of the best people Ive ever known. He was a great spirit, always had a happy vibe to him. He will be missed for sure.
Party Arty saw a resurgence in popularity over the last couple of years, following a battle with Murda Mook captured by S.M.A.C.K. DVD, and promoted to legendary status via YouTube and the blogosphere.
His buzz even captured the attention of 50 Cent who, about a year ago, expressed interest in adding Arty to the G-Unit roster.
He made what would be his final appearance on a major release last month, contributing to D.I.T.C.s latest offering The Movement.