Rapper Ty dies after battle with coronavirus, Mercury Prize nominee was 47
Ty was put in an induced coma in April after being admitted into the hospital with medical complications related to coronavirus
British rapper Ty, born Ben Chijioke, who was nominated for the Mercury Prize for his album 'Upwards' has died at the age of 47 after contracting coronavirus. The acclaimed rapper's death was confirmed by his press team. A fundraiser launched in April had claimed that the rapper was “admitted into the hospital with medical complications related to Covid-19. Shortly after, he was put in a medically induced coma to temporarily sedate to help his body receive the appropriate treatment”.
His condition improved, however, and he was moved out of intensive care in mid-April. The rap community has since been sharing condolence messages on social media. Ghetts took to Instagram to write, "RIP TY. This one's deep I had a lot of respect for Ty one of the first from the older generation to embrace me and show me love fly high Ty."
Snips tweeted, "This man did a lot for us. A true London legend. RIP," while Roots Manuva wrote, “Rest my Brother. You did good.” Author Nitesh Shukla added, "Rest in peace Ty. You were one of the nicest people I ever met. Such a huge huge loss … Devastated.” Producer Hudson Mohawke also said that Ty's music “had such a big impact on me at the time, still sounds fresh today.”
Sloth called him “a friend, a role model and a true foundation to UK rap”; while his fellow Kingdem member Blak Twang wrote that he was “so numb” following Chijioke’s death.
Rapper Ty released his debut album in 2001 titled 'The Awkward' that showcased a tangibly British take on the US boom-bap style of hip-hop. His style and talent for storytelling through music earned him a cult audience. 'The Tale' is one such song.
It was for his 2003 album 'Upwards' that got Ty was nominated for the Mercury Awards along with Amy Winehouse and the Streets for the Mercury prize the following year which was eventually won by Franz Ferdinand. His most recent work is 'A Work of Heart' in 2018.
Ty formed a hip-hop supergroup called Kingdem in 2019 along with rappers Blak Twang and Rodney P. They performed an acclaimed freestyle on DJ Charlie Sloth’s 'Fire in the Booth' series.