The iconic hip-hop producer, The 45 King, known for his collaborations with artists like Jay-Z and Eminem, has passed away at 62.
DJ Premier posted about the tragic news via Instagram on Thursday (October 19), saying the man born Mark James died that morning – just a few days after he celebrated his 62nd birthday.
“R.I.P. DJ Mark The 45 King who passed this morning. An ICON. His 62nd Birthday was Monday,” the fellow legendary producer wrote about James, also known as DJ Mark the 45 King. “I never heard of Gang Starr until I heard DJ Red Alert play their 2nd single Produced by Mark on 98.7 Kiss in NYC while shopping my demos looking to get a record deal. Red Alert was playing ‘Bust A Move Boy’ cutting it up crazy and I heard Guru’s voice wondering who the f**k is Gang Starr? I immediately went and bought the 12inch single to discover the label Wild Pitch Records. From there my friend Carlos Garza in Houston, TX. told Stu Fine who owned Wild Pitch about me and I connected with them in 1988 when Guru was looking for a new DJ and a permanent Producer.”
August 08, Def Jam Singer-Songwriter, Dead At 31
He continues his incredible story in the post below.
A cause of death has not yet been revealed publicly.
Other hip-hop luminaries who also chimed in about 45 King’s death include Diamond D, Kareem “Biggs” Burke, Young Guru, Mad Skillz, Blu, and A-Trak as of the early Thursday afternoon time of publishing.
The 45 King lent his talents to some of the most memorable hip-hop songs in history, including Eminem’s “Stan,” Jay-Z’s “Hard Knock Life (Ghetto Anthem)” and Queen Latifah’s “Ladies First,” among others.
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