The rap community has suffered a loss with the death of Bay area rapper Gift Of Gab.
According to reports, Gift Of Gab passed away at the age of 50 on June 18, apparently of natural causes. However, the news is just hitting the media.
Gift Of Gab, born Timothy Jerome Parker, was one half of the well-respected duo Blackalicious. He formed Blackalicious with DJ Chief Xcel in 1992.
They released four full-length albums Nia (1999), followed by their major-label debut Blazing Arrow (2002), which was released on Quannum Projects/MCA Records.
The group followed up with The Craft (2005) after which Gift of Gab joined The Mighty Underdogs with Lateef the Truthspeaker and producer Headnodic. They dropped the album Droppin’ Science Fiction in 2008.
He dropped to solo releases Escape 2 Mars (2009) and The Next Logical Progression (2012) before linking back up with DJ Chief Xcel as Blackalicious for the album Imani Vol. 1 (2015).
Over the years, gift of Gab collaborated with many artists ranging from Questlove and DJ Shadow to Blackstreet and The Cut Chemist.
Read DJ Chief Xcel’s statement below:
It is with much sadness and a heavy heart I announce the passing of my friend and brother of 34 years, Timothy Jerome Parker aka The Gift of Gab. He returned peacefully to the essence on June 18, 2021.
I met Tim Parker aka The Gift Of Gab in September of 1987 at John F. Kennedy High in Sacramento. He was a junior and I was a sophomore. I had moved to Sac earlier that summer from Union City. Gab had moved there two years prior from Pacoima.
We had a home economics class together, Mr. Hightower, third period. He sat in the row directly behind me. Tim being from So Cal and me being from the Bay, we would argue all class period about who was doper, Ice T or Too Short. A friend of mine, Armstead Jackson, played a mixtape for me he had from New York and on it was “Top Billin” by Audio Two. It blew my mind. Armstead let me borrow the tape. I played it for Tim that same day in class. It blew his mind and we knew we actually had same loved for Hip Hop.
At the time his rap name was Tiny T. I knew he rhymed because of a mutual friend, Justin aka Homicide.
Homicide approached me one day and said, “We should form a group. You be the DJ and me and Tiny be the MC’s. Tiny’s Dope.” I said, “Cool” and we set out to be Sac’s version of Run DMC. Plans were put to an immediate halt when Homicide dropped out of school. We never heard from him again. About six months passed and out of the blue, Tim who had now changed his rap name to Gabby T, calls me and says ,“Yo X, I need a DJ”. So I’m thinking he’s asking me to DJ for him for a talent show or school dance so I say, “For when?”. Tim then replies “Forever” and I say “Cool”.
That day marked the beginning of our journey. 34 years of brotherhood, deep friendship, artistic inspiration, and musical exploration.