Special One (pictured on the right) of East Oakland-based rap vets The Conscious Daughters died suddenly of unknown causes on Saturday.
Her bandmate Carla Green posted a message about Smith's death on her Facebook page: "Thank you to everyone for your prayers, I need them. I am sick over the loss of my sister. The cause of death is still unknown but I will try to share info when I get it. Pray for me and Karryl's other sisters, Jessica and Tonya. We are all together trying to get through this."
Special One, real name Karryl Smith, joined forces with CMG to form The Conscious Daughters in the early nineties. They were renowned for their politically charged lyrics and street-smart image at a time when female rappers were only just beginning to break through in the rap world. Led by the singles “Somethin’ to Ride To (Fonky Expedition)” and “We Roll Deep,” the group's debut album, Ear to the Street, dropped in 1993 on Scarface Records, a Priority imprint helmed by rapper-activist Paris. TCD would later release Gamers in 1996 and The Nutcracker Suite in 2009, and were prepping their fourth album, slated to be distributed through Sony Red.
There's been an outpouring of condolences online for the fallen rapper. Prominent Bay Area journalist and activist Dave “Davey D” Cook wrote on Twitter, “To those of us who knew Special One and to her family and her partner CMG who found her in her apt. Hugs, prayers & support.”
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The Conscious Daughters, from left: CMG, Special One (Photo: Anthony Pidgeon/Redferns)