Rap Pioneer Jimmy Spicer Dead at 61
The hip-hop community has lost a true pioneer in the rap game.
Early 1980s rap icon Jimmy “Super Rhymes” Spicer died on Friday (Sept. 27) in a Brooklyn hospital at the age of 61.
Spicer’s daughter, Leticia Ricks, told The New York Times that the cause of death was lung and brain cancer. Mr. Spicer was diagnosed with advanced brain and lung cancer last year. Earlier this month, Spicer’s health took a turn for the worst and he was submitted to hospice care. This prompted Spicer’s other daughter, Janel Spice, to launch a GoFundMe campaign to help pay for his medical bills and pending funeral costs.
Although his rap career was brief, Spicer made a huge impact on hip-hop. In 1980, he released “Adventures Of Super Rhyme (Rap),” which is considered one of the first storytelling rap songs and became part of the first wave of rap singles on vinyl in the wake of the Sugarhill Gang’s classic tune “Rapper’s Delight.”
Spicer’s other classic singles include “The Bubble Bunch,” produced by Russell Simmons and co-produced by the late hitmaker Larry Smith, and “Money (Dollar Bill Y’all),” which both have been sampled numerous times in hip-hop.
Born James Bromley Spicer, Jimmy released a bunch of singles in the late 1980s but none of them generated the same impact as his earlier songs. He would eventually work for Russell Simmons at Rush Management and later opened a recording studio in Plainfield, N.J.
Jimmy Spicer is survived by his wife, Layla; four other daughters, Leticia, Angelina, Janel and Princess; a son, James Jr.; and five grandchildren.
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