Source: Courtesy: Instagram / Courtesy: Instagram

The hip-hop community is mourning the loss of Stezo.

According to Heavy, DJ Chuck Chillout confirmed the rapper died on April 29. It’s unclear what caused his untimely death at this time, although Marc Lamont Hill mentioned coronavirus in a tweet honoring his life.

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Stezo began his career as a dancer for EPMD, first appearing in the video for the group’s single, “You Gots To Chill.” He’s also responsible for the creation of “The Steve Martin” dance and popularizing the use of skull snaps in sampling for hip-hop records.

Stezo was also a rapper in his own right. He released hit singles, “To The Max” and “It’s My Turn” in the late 80s. His album Crazy Noise peaked at No. 37 on the Billboard Hip-Hop Charts in 1989.

The Roots’ Questlove is among several celebrities who have paid tribute to Stezo on social media.

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This is gonna happen a lot. Before Hammer’s pants, there was #Stezo…before we all abused that #SkullSnaps #ItsANewDay break…there was Stezo. Before #AtomicDog fed an ENTIRE GENRE….there was Stezo. While your favorite rapper was asking so & so & such & such to do some beats for em….Stezo was doing it all himself. I mean for gods sake this man made #SteveMartin cool to a hip hop generation too young to get King Tut/The Jerk/& a wild & crazy guy references—-he turned Steve Martin into the coolest verb EVER in 1988 (google #EPMD’s #YouGotsToChill video to see dances that defined a generation—-we talk about MCs/producers/videos/movies/icons from 87-92 but rarely give light to the iconic dances that came from that era—Stezo was always my fav dancer from this era (yes I know the Kid N Play dance was iconic too) but when you don’t have a partner to kick it with? Then yknow…lol——this dude is displaying ALL the moves that others will build empires on. Damn this damn virus man. Damn. Thank you @stezodezo

A post shared by Questlove Froman, (@questlove) on


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