Zion I founder and rapper Steve “Baba Zumbi” Gaines has died, aged 49.
His death is being investigated by homicide detectives in the city.
“We are in a deep state of grief and processing this loss,” a family statement to the San Francisco Chronicle reads. “We are awaiting further details from the hospital at this time so we can understand exactly what happened and determine our next steps.”
Reports suggest police responded to calls from patients and staff at the hospital “about a male involved in a physical altercation with nurses and hospital security officers.”
The man died as police determined he needed immediate medical assistance.
Leading the tributes to Gaines, Zion I co-founder Amp Live, wrote: “I have no way of really letting you know the sadness that I am feeling right now.
“We built something special together. Zion I was organic and was real with no barriers. We built this group from ground zero. Built something up that enabled us to travel the world, many times. My heart right now is just shattered. I would not be who I am today without my brother.”
Baba Zumbi, K-Genius, and Amp Live founded Zion I in Oakland, California in the late 1990s.
They released their debut studio album, Mind over Matter, in 2000. The band’s other hit albums included Deep Water Slang and 2005’s True & Livin’, which featured appearances from Talib Kweli and Aesop Rock.