Hip-Hop lost a key contributor with the passing of ’90s rap producer Tony D this past Saturday (April 4).
The Times of Trenton reports that the Poor Righteous Teachers beatmaker, born Anthony Depula, 42, lost control of his car driving through his Hamilton, N.J. neighborhood, striking the fence of a local cemetery which then caused the car to overturn. He was found unconscious at the scene and later pronounced dead at a nearby hospital.
At press time, police are still investigating why Depula lost control of his car.
Along with crafting hits such as “Rock Dis Funky Joint” and “Shakiyla for P.R.T.,” D was also responsible for his work with East Coast rappers YZ and King Sun, among others.
Admirers dropped by Depula’s MySpace page to offer their condolences to the man they called a “legend. “R.I.P. The Great Tony D,” one member wrote, who changed his screen name to “R.I.P Tony D we will NEVER forget you.” “My heart goes out to the Depula family and all of Tony’s friends and fans.”
“He was a friend and mentor- I will never forget the Tony who sat through countless sessions and took a million trips to NYC to give me my first push in the ’90s,” he continued. “I’ll never forget the classic music Tony made. Mostly though, I will remember Thursday nights at 10 p.m. around ’91 when I was in Middle School- way, way before I met Tony. PRB Raw Deal got me through my adolescence and Tony made it OK to be the only white boy in the room all the time.
Tony D is survived by his wife. – Devin Chanda