The hip-hop world is mourning one of its pioneers as legendary DJ and rapper Lovebug Starski died after suffering a heart attack in Las Vegas on Thursday (Feb. 8), according to NPR. He was 57.
Hailing from the Bronx, New York, Starski’s influence was vast. He reportedly helped coin the term “hip-hop” in the culture’s early years. He has also been referenced on a variety of tracks, including The Notorious B.I.G.’s “Juicy” an Q-Tip’s “Life Is Better.”
Chuck D praised Starski for his impact on the genre. “Lovebug Starski was A DJ, MC, and innovator,” he said in a statement to HipHopDX. “A pioneer who excelled before and after the recording line of ’79, the year when rap records began. He was the first double trouble threat in hip-hop and rap music. He deejayed for the great MCs and emceed with the great DJs. Besides Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five, Lovebug Starski was one of the few that took his legendary street records status into the recording world.”
DJ Premier also mourned Starski’s passing. “We Lost One Of Our Greatest Pioneers Of Hip Hop,” he tweeted. “LOVEBUG STARSKI. He Is Also Known As One Of The People Who Came Up With The Name ‘HIP HOP’ Aside From Another Legend ‘Keith Cowboy’ Of ‘The Furious 5… Salute To All The Pioneers and Condolences To His Family.”
Other members of the hip-hop community took to social media to mourn his loss.
Damn. RIP Lovebug Starski. 😞
— Crime Rhyme Houdini (@JustBlaze) February 9, 2018
— Rob Base (@Robbasemusic) February 9, 2018
We Lost One Of Our Greatest Pioneers Of Hip Hop…
He Is Also Known As One Of The People Who Came Up With The Name "HIP HOP" Aside From Another Legend "Keith Cowboy" Of "The Furious 5"…
Salute To All The Pioneers and Condolences To His Family.#HipHop pic.twitter.com/AH4bNrSIOg
— DJ Premier (@REALDJPREMIER) February 9, 2018
Rest in Peace to one of the pioneer originators of Hip Hop the BX legend Lovebug Starski.
— R.A. the Rugged Man (@RAtheRuggedMan) February 9, 2018