Milton Powell, aka “Big Pokey,” died Sunday in Beaumont, Texas. He was 45
The Houston-area rapper was performing at a local bar when he reportedly suffered a medical issue.
His cause of death is currently unknown.
As is customary for major events at the venue, authorities were already on scene at the Pour09 Bar & Rooftop lounge when dispatch received a call for an “unconscious person,” according to Beaumont Police Department public information officer Haley Morrow.
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“We had officers there on scene,” Morrow said. “It was 11:57 p.m. when we received a 911 call for an unconscious person.”
Roughly 10 minutes later, officers called for additional units “for crowd control” as a “large group of people” had gathered on scene.
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Morrow confirmed the Justice of the Peace will “conduct an autopsy.”
Pour09 posted an update Sunday morning on Facebook to send “prayers to Big Pokey and his family.”
“Out of respect for those involved we will not be commengint on the incident to allow his family and friends ample time to mourn and make a statement when they are ready,” they shared. “This is a tragedy that no one expect and only our prayers go out to his family and friends.”
Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner sent condolences and extended prayers on behalf of the city to Big Pokey’s family and friends.
“Though many called him ‘low key,’ his presence was larger than life in helping to cataplut our hip hop scene nationally,” Turner wrote on Twitter. “We are grateful.”
Houston music legend Bun B wrote on Instagram, “I wasn’t ready for this. One of the most naturally talented artists in the city. Low key, humble mountain of a man who moved with honor and respect.”
He added, “He was easy to love and hard to hate. He’d pull up, do what he had to do and head home. One of the pillars of our city. If heart of gold was a person. Iconic member of the SUC. There will never be another and will be missed dearly. We love and honor you Sensei. Rest in heaven.”
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Slim Thug wrote, “Sad day in the city. Htown legend, SUC HOF. Hardest Pit. Prayers to his family. Prayers to SUC.”
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Big Pokey released his debut studio album, “Hardest Pit in the Litter,” in 1999.
He produced and recorded with the iconic Screwed Up Click collective, which included local musicians DJ Screw, Fat Pat, Z-Ro, Lil’ Keke and Lil’ Flip.
Pokey’s follow-up catalogs included “Da Sky’s Da Limit” and “Sensei.” He collaborated with Paul Wall on the 2005 hit, “Sittin Sidewayz,” which made the Billboard Hot 100 and was also featured in 2022 on another Houston-area rapper’s song, Megan Thee Stallion’s “Southside Royalty Freestyle.”
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