Educated Rapper (a.k.a. EMD) of the legendary hip-hop group U.T.F.O. has passed away, according to fellow group member Mix Master Ice and legendary Bronx promoter Van Slik.
Real name Jeffrey Campbell, the emcee’s passing was confirmed late Saturday (June 3). He was taken to a Brooklyn hospital where he died. Van Slik told HipHopDX that the EMD had been fighting with cancer, however an official cause of death has not yet been determined.
“I just got off the phone with Rahiem (of the Furious Five),” Van Silk says. “They were all hospital last night. It was the first time all original members of UTFO had been together in a long time. He had been sick with cancer and must have had it for awhile.”
Mix Master Ice had previously posted a heartfelt plea on Facebook to fans asking for their prayers prior to Campbell's passing.
All members of U.T.F.O. (which stands for Untouchable Force Organization) were reportedly together at EMD's hospital bedside before he died. It was the first time the group had been together in full for quite a while.
U.T.F.O. is perhaps best known for their hit “Roxanne, Roxanne,” which stood on its own as a classic cut, but also ignited what would later be known as the “Roxanne Wars” – a series of beef tracks between the Brooklyn-based group and Queens rapper Roxanne Shanté (from the Juice Crew).
“Roxanne, Roxanne” along with “Pick Up The Pace” was also featured on the 1985 film Krush Groove. Untouchable Force were among the first breakdancers to appear on daytime television as well.
View reaction from those close to Educated Rapper as well as other hip-hop luminaries below.
With incredible sadness and greater regret, I am officially announcing that my UTFO brother Jeffrey Campbell aka "EDUCATED RAPPER" is rocking the mic in Heaven. This feeling I feel right now is so unfamiliar for I have NEVER lost a brother that I've done so much with. I've made history with this man. Only two other men (Doctor Ice @officialdocice and Mixmaster Ice @mixmasterice) understand the loss I feel right now. We're all we have left. Thank you E for taking this incredible ride with me. Hip-Hop Will NEVER forget your contribution...and I will never forget our journey. I love you and will forever miss us. ~Kang.
R.I.P. To The Legend...EMD aka The Educated Rapper of UTFO...— DJ Premier (@REALDJPREMIER) June 4, 2017
Salute Jeffery Campbell...Love To Kangol Kid, Doctor Ice and Mix Master Ice
Rest In Beats .. The Educated Rapper from UTFO DocIcE Kangol and MixMasterIce were bedside. Yes there was a time MCs bragged on education— Chuck D (@MrChuckD) June 4, 2017
(Photo: Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)