HOUSTON (AP) — Milton Powell, a Houston rapper who performed under the name Big Pokey and is credited with elevating the city’s hip-hop scene, died after collapsing during a show in Texas, a local official said Monday.
Tom Gillam III, a justice of the peace in Jefferson County, where Powell was performing when he collapsed Sunday, said an autopsy to determine the cause of death was pending. He said Powell was 48.
Powell was a member of Houston’s rap collective Screwed Up Click that was formed by the late DJ Screw. Powell was performing at a bar in Beaumont called Pour09, whose owner, Min Dai, told the Houston Chronicle that police were on onsite and able to provide medical help “instantly” before emergency responders rushed the rapper to a hospital.
A statement on Powell’s official Instagram page said he was “well loved by his family, friends, and his loyal fans.”
Tributes from other artists poured in across social media.
Rapper Bun B called Powell “one of the most naturally talented artists” in Houston.
“He’d pull up, do what he had to do and head home. One of the pillars of our city,” Bun B said on Instagram.