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Blackalicious rapper and Sacramento native Gift of Gab dead at 50

Timothy Jerome Parker had been suffering with health issues for years.
Credit: banprik - stock.adobe.com

Timothy Jerome Parker, aka Gift of Gab, a rapper and part of the duo Blackalicious has died at the age of 50, according to an Instagram post on the duo's official page.

"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," DJ Chief Xcel, aka Xavier Mosley, said through an Instagram post. "He returned peacefully to the essence on June 18, 2021."

While Mosley didn't explain what led to Parker's death, Parker had been publicly dealing with health issues. Back in January 2020, Parker put together a GoFundMe page, raising money to pay for a kidney transplant for himself. "For the past 7 years I have been on dialysis because of kidney failure," the page reads.

With Blackalicious, Parker and Mosley put out four albums, most recently in 2015. As a solo artist, Parker released three studio albums, the latest being 'The Next Logical Progression' in 2012.  

According to Mosley's Instagram post, the two met in 1987 at John F. Kennedy High School in Sacramento. Their plans to be "Sac's version of Run DMC" were put on hold shortly after high school.

"Six months later, Tim who had now changed his rap name to Gabby T, calls me and says ,'Yo X, I need a DJ,' Mosley wrote. "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."