(AllHipHop News) The father of rapper Earl Sweatshirt, South African poet Keorapetse Kgositsile, has died at the age of 79.
The writer and political activist passed away at Johannesburg’s Milpark Hospital on Wednesday morning according to local reports.
Kgositsile began his career at anti-apartheid newspaper New Age and rose to prominence as an outspoken member of the African National Congress liberation movement in the early 1960s.
He subsequently went into exile in Tanzania, before moving to the U.S. to pursue various college degrees, becoming a Master of Fine Arts in poetry at New York’s Columbia University.
His first book of poetry, “Spirits Unchained,” was published in 1969, while his other writings include “Pro/Creation” (for Pharoah Sanders), and “The Gods Wrote.”
Kgositsile was appointed South Africa’s poet laureate in 2006.
During his studies in the U.S., he fell in love with law professor Cheryl Harris, and they went on to have a child together, Thebe Neruda Kgositsile, who was born in 1994.
He has since become more well known as Odd Future star Earl Sweatshirt.
Sweatshirt has referenced his complicated bond with his father in numerous songs, including “Blade” and “Grown Ups.”
The 23-year-old has yet to comment on his dad’s passing.