On this day, August 8, in hip-hop...

Mike Lawrie, Getty Images
Mike Lawrie, Getty Images

2015: Sean Price passed away suddenly in his sleep on Aug. 8, 2015. He was 43 years old.

The Brownsville, Brooklyn rhymer was one of the best at what he did—slinging punchline-heavy rhymes without any regard for current trends, political correctness or general respect for your feelings. Up until the very end, he was always respected for speaking his thoughts without hesitation.

His legacy is layered because what he represented to hip-hop as a whole encompassed more than just mic skills. Back when he went by Ruck, he came into the game as one half of Heltah Skeltah alongside his rhyming partner Rock. Their 1996 debut album Nocturnal solidified Duck Down as the premier destination for NYC boom-bap at its core, and it was on that album that Ruck proved his chops as an MC.

As his career went on, he never bent to industry pressure and always eyed trends from a distance. When 9th Wonder was hip-hop's go-to producer, Sean Price did an entire album with him and made it one of his best solo LPs. The level of respect he garnered came from the fact that despite his formula never changing, P remained one of the best bar-for-bar spitters in rap. His rhymes were always clever and fresh, mixing pop culture references with a throwback, punch-you-in-the-face delivery that let you know he wasn't sacrificing stye to cash in on the jokes of today.

Sean represented a hip-hop that was yet to be gentrified, when you could say wild shit without fear of losing anyone that was already paying attention. The trust he had for his listeners and fans is still felt in his most recent music, like Songs in the Key of Priceand hip-hop will forever miss his brutally honest voice. This year, on the second anniversary of his passing, Price's family estate and Duck Down are dropping the posthumous album Imperius Rex. Rest in Power, Ruck.

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