He was 57
Hip-hop legend Lovebug Starski has passed away at the age of 57. The DJ and MC who was among the first wave of music-makers in the New York hip-hop scene alongside DJ Kool Herc and Grandmaster Flash died while in Las Vegas just a week after performing alongside fellow hip-hop legend KRS-One.
While Lovebug never got the same recognition as some of his early adopter peers, he was the MC’s MC. People who are considered legendary in their own right would nod to Starski as an influence and an innovator.
“Lovebug Starski was A DJ, MC and innovator,” Chuck told HipHopDX after learning of Starski’s passing. “A pioneer who excelled before and after the recording line of ’79, the year when rap records began. He was the first double trouble threat in Hip Hop and rap music. He DJ’ed for the great MCs and MC’ed with the great DJs. Besides Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five, Lovebug Starski was one of the few that took his legendary street records status into the recording world.”
The salutes and tributes have been pouring in for the man behind early hip-hop club hits like “Gangster Rock” and “Dancin’ Party People.”
“This MAN. #Thank YOU Rest In Beats Salute #Lovebug Starski,” wrote Chuck on Twitter. ” Uberproducer DJ Premier shared his two cents as well:
“We Lost One Of Our Greatest Pioneers Of Hip Hop…
He Is Also Known As One Of The People Who Came Up With The Name ‘HIP HOP’ Aside From Another Legend ‘Keith Cowboy’ Of ‘The Furious 5’…
Salute To All The Pioneers and Condolences To His Family.#HipHop.”
“Damn. RIP Lovebug Starski. ,” wrote Just Blaze.
The outpouring of love even crossed over to the hip-hop media.
“RIP Lovebug Starski … man … a legend has passed,” added radio host Peter Rosenberg.
“Some terrible news: hip-hop legend Lovebug Starski has died suddenly and unexpectedly in Las Vegas at age 60. Very sad. The man was a gifted entertainer, a warm, generous soul. He had been rocking Vegas venues and joined KRS-One on stage last week. Rest peacefully good sir,” wrote Jonathan Shecter, the founding editor of The Source on his Twitter.
Monie Love trotted out the flowers while they’re here argument.
“I’m tired of pioneer after pioneer passing then out come the pour down of memorabilia, ITS OK to pour out the memories of Hip Hop FOUNDING generations BEFORE THEY DIE!!!!” she said.
Grandmaster Flash explained why Starski was so special to Rolling Stone and shed some light on the circumstances around his death.
“What set him apart was he was able to DJ and talk on the mic, and do both at the same time, and he was really good at this,” Grandmaster Flash said. “He played an extremely important role in the development of this. We all do it now, talk on the mic and DJ same time, but in the hip-hop world, Starski was probably the first to handle it.”
He said that Starski was a DJ til the end, telling the publication that he passed after suffering a heart attack while moving speakers into a new apartment.
What do you think? Are you surprised at how many big names are showing out for Starski? Do you agree with Monie’s comments? Sound off below and be sure to SHARE this article.