Memphis rapper and a founding member of Three 6 Mafia, Koopsta Knicca, has passed away due to a severe stroke he suffered last weekend at his home. The Commercial Appeal confirmed the death, which happened at an undisclosed Memphis hospital, with the group's publicist. The MC was 40 years old. DJ Paul released a statement, detailing that he and Knicca was about to work on Devil's Playground 2. Read Paul's full statement below:

My group member and brother for over 20 years, Robert "Koopsta Knicca" Phillips passed away today at 12:55 am CST from a major stroke he had sunday after showering. He went in peace. Me and Koop had just started writing his new album Devil's Playground 2, the second part to his famous solo album that I produced, but we didnt get a chance to record yet. We had concerts coming up starting next month too. He also just got a home in Vegas that he was moving to on Tuesday, but never got to even see it in person. Everyone who knew Koop knew he was very funny and the coolest guy ever! He will be missed!!! We made classics together that'll live on!!! Mafia 4 Life!!!!

Robert "Koopsta Knicca" Phillips released his well-received solo album Da Devil’s Playground in 1999. He left Three 6 Mafia the following year but rejoined the group when they reunited as Da Mafia 6ix. Phillips is the second Three 6 Mafia member to have died in the last couple of years. In December 2013 Lord Infamous passed away of a heart attack at the age of 40.

Listen to Koopsta Knicca's "Stash Pot" from Da Devil's Playground. RIP Koopsta Knicca.