New Orleans bounce DJ and radio host Black N Mild dies after contracting coronavirus aged 44
Oliver Stokes Jr. has passed away at age 44 after contracting coronavirus. The New Orleans Parish Coroner's Office confirmed the death of the "bounce deejay and radio personality", according to a NOLA.com article. He was popularly known as "Go DJ Black N Mild". Stokes had tested positive for COVID-19 and died on March 19. However, the Coroner’s Office only confirmed his death the next day.
Stokes also worked as an "in school suspension coordinator" at Arthur Ashe Charter School in Gentilly since July. He had left campus with a fever on March 9 and did not come back, said Sabrina Pence, the CEO of FirstLine Schools, that operates Arthur Ashe. Pence said “Our school community is devastated,” while commenting on Stokes' death.
In the beginning, Stokes was documenting his fight against the infection on social media. On March 9, the day he was feeling feverish, he went to the Ochsner Urgent Care-Lakeview facility. His temperature was 102.4 degrees, he said on his Facebook feed. The next day he posted, "I haven't had the flu in years... This sucks monkey b---s."
When someone messaged that he should follow the doctor’s orders, he replied, “I will. I don’t mess around with my health.”
By March 11, he’d been admitted to University Medical Center. His final Facebook post consisted of four words — “pneumonia not the flu” — and an emoji wearing a medical mask.
Stokes was well-known in the city's music circles for introducing radio listeners to New Orleans bounce music, a genre of energetic hip-hop. His 'Bounce 104.5' show was reportedly one of the first "radio mix" shows dedicated to this kind of music. After Hurricane Katrina, during a multi-year exile in Houston, he hosted a mix show for KHOU.
His 'Rhythm and Bounce' show was featured on Saturday nights on New Orleans AM station WBOK from 2013 to 2017. During this period, he also spent DJing at clubs, bars, and parties throughout the region.
Stokes was often confused with Adam "BlaqNmilD" Pigott, a producer who has worked with artists Big Freedia, Lil Wayne and Drake, because of their similar-sounding stage names. Stokes was also a father of four, according to Billboard.
In a video posted to Facebook on March 19, Pigott offered condolences to Stokes’ children. He also sought to dispel rumors that he had died. “For the ones who don’t know, they always had two ‘Black N Milds' in New Orleans,” Pigott said in his video.
“They had a Go DJ Black N Mild who was with the Go DJs. Cool guy... I’m the producer BlaqNmilD from New Orleans. I did a little bit of deejaying too, so I can see why some people get it confused,” he clarified.
Pigott added that a “lot of people been hitting me up, hitting my people up, thinking it’s me. I’m perfectly fine. I’m alright so far. I’m OK. I’m healthy.” He also commented on the current COVID-19 pandemic. “It’s just crazy times right now, wicked times, with this coronavirus (expletive) going on."