Kangol Kid: How did UTFO rapper die? Fans say 'hip-hop community lost a legend'
Popular New York City hip-hop group UTFO member Kangol Kid died on December 18, 2021, aged 55. Kid, whose real name is Shaun Shiller Fequiere, died at a hospital in Manhasset, New York, 10 months after he was first diagnosed with colon cancer. The cause of his death was complications of colon cancer.
Kid received his nickname before he achieved fame because he was known for wearing Kangol hats. UTFO, Untouchable Force Organization, had four members: Kangol Kid, Doctor Ice, the Educated Rapper and the D.J. Mix Master Ice. The group often referred to itself as the “Village People of rap”. Kid also wrote and produced for other artists, including Baseball right fielder Darryl Strawberry.
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Kid is famous for his 1980s hits such as the highly influential 'Roxanne, Roxanne' and 'Ya Cold Wanna Be With Me'. Kid raised awareness for cancer through the Mama Luke Foundation both before and after his cancer diagnosis. He was honored by the American Cancer Society for his fund-raising efforts as co-founder of the Mama Luke Foundation back in 2012.
"Elevated my healing energies"
Kid had taken to Instagram time and again to thank the people he loved, and those who helped him battle the illness. In one of his posts from November, Kid appreciated American hip-hop artist Little Shawn, whose real name is Tyrone Shawn Wilkins, who came to visit him in the hospital. "For a few days or so, I've had the visit that my spirit has needed by this dude (right here in this photo). As he and I were growing up together in our tiny community in the Hip-Hop "East Flatbush" section of Bklyn, names were being made by us to define ourselves. The neighborhood began to call this man "LITTLE SHAWN" @behindthesmokepodcast because I was the elder SHAUN and more popular at the time "SHAUN" in the neighborhood," Kid wrote. "Today, he is known as "SHAWN PEN". Before UFO became UTFO, Kangol Kid and Little Shawn were inseparable. He followed me everywhere and I made sure he was everywhere I went (rehearsals, block parties, Howie Tee's home studio...) and after Shawn said our names on the local SUPREME TEAM RADIO SHOW, I made it an even bigger deal as I began to call him UFO's mascot because he was clearly our good luck charm. He later unspokenly became a member of my Haitian family and even though my grandmother hated everyone began liking Lil' Shawn. As brothers normally do...he followed my footsteps and began his musical career. Later, as brothers do...his career decisions changed as he followed a different path. It's funny how "Life and Death" situations will instantaneously bring people back to what really matters. Welcome Back to my life Baby Bro. As I watched you play with my daughter, I realize we've wasted too many years. Let us not waste future years."
One of his posts was dedicated to his wife and their little daughter, where he said, "My most precious visitor finally made her visit to her dad. God Bless my daughter Amancia and her mother Tajiri." In his last Instagram post, Kid thanked American rapper LL Cool J in another post, for coming to visit him. "I stepped out of the recovery-room...and was greeted by this guy. Maybe you've heard of him. Ladies and Gentlemen, the man, the myth, the legend, Mr. G.O.A.T. himself L.L.COOL J @llcoolj @rockthebells visited me and elevated my healing energies in ways doctors can never duplicate. Thank you Baby Bro. I love you man," he wrote.
What is social media saying?
Tributes poured in on social media after the news of Kid's death surfaced. "Man! RIP to my hip hop bro, Kangol Kid of UTFO, a true soldier who never wavered in his faith. Thank you for your contribution to hip hop culture w Roxanne, Roxanne & the honor of christening your beautiful daughter, Cia. Your bright smile will forever be missed!" one user wrote. "The hip-hop community lost a legend today. Rest easy," wrote another.
Man! RIP to my hip hop bro, Kangol Kid of UTFO, a true soldier who never wavered in his faith. Thank you for your contribution to hip hop culture w Roxanne, Roxanne & the honor of christening your beautiful daughter, Cia. Your bright smile will forever be missed! ❤️🙏🏽 #ImAPioneer pic.twitter.com/6oyzP19zik— MC Debbie D (@MCDebbieD) December 18, 2021
The hip-hop community lost a legend today.— Waitin’ for some people to leave (@ali_N_pdx) December 18, 2021
Rest easy #KangolKid #UTFO🕊🕊 pic.twitter.com/XftdCrIZEP
One user wrote, "Rest In Peace to Kangol Kid of U.T.F.O. He was legendary and pioneering rapper for that legendary and pioneering hip-hop group. The crew’s song, “Roxanne, Roxanne,” is a classic that spawned anywhere from 30-100 response records, most famously by Roxanne Shante. KANGOL KID 4EVER". "Rest in Peace Kangol Kid from U.T.F.O one of my favorite emcees growing up. He was a Great man, I got to tell him so to his face and he told me how much It meant to him to be embraced by younger fans...we Lost a True Hip Hop Legend and an Awesome Person," another user wrote.
Rest In Peace to Kangol Kid of U.T.F.O. He was legendary and pioneering rapper for that legendary and pioneering hip-hop group. The crew’s song, “Roxanne, Roxanne,” is a classic that spawned anywhere from 30-100 response records, most famously by Roxanne Shante. KANGOL KID 4EVER pic.twitter.com/UPcqmRWUiX— Kevin Powell (@kevin_powell) December 18, 2021
Daamn,🙏🏽Rest in Peace Kangol Kid from U.T.F.O one of my favorite emcees growing up. He was a Great man, I got to tell him so to his face and he told me how much It meant to him to be embraced by younger fans...we Lost a True Hip Hop Legend and an Awesome Person— Dj Deadeye (@DeadeyeSTdot) December 18, 2021
RIP Kangol Kid 👑 pic.twitter.com/K0ToDqyxLj