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Published on July 31st, 2019 | by Lydia Brooks

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Ras G, Hip-hop and funk producer dies at 39

Ras G has died aged 39 on Jul 29. No cause of death has been announced but he had revealed in December 2018 that he had diabetes and pneumonia.

Ras G was a hip hop musician and producer famous for his cosmic and Afrofuturist music that focused on beats as he blended genres such as hip hop, funk, jazz, and psychedelia. Born Gregory Shorter Jr., Ras G was a co-founder of Brainfeeder Records and an important part of Los Angeles’ Beat scene.

He released records as a solo act and also with the Afrikan Space Program. His records include “Back on the Planet” (2013), “Brotha From Anotha Planet” (2009), and “Ghetto Sci-Fi” (2008).

Since his debut in 2008, he released 24 albums and mixtapes, collaborated with artists like Thundercat and Open Mike Eagle. He also frequently appeared at the Los Angeles club night Low End Theory. That helped to reintroduce jazz, funk, and electronic music to the hip-hop scene of the city.

Brainfeeder co-founder Flying Lotus paid tribute: “Ras G has left the planet, far beyond the star. Show us the way to the cosmos, my dear friend. I will love you forever. Very difficult to imagine how to live without Ras G. Thank you for your time on Earth …’

Musician and poet Moor Mother wrote: “Ras G was a real one that believes in the power of music to heal the Earth.”

Producer Carl Craig called him “one of the baddest in tha game”. Producer Hudson Mohawke also tweeted: “So incredibly sad, he was a weirdo and a true visionary in the greatest possible sense”.

In December 2018, Ras G wrote on his Instagram account that he had been hospitalized with pneumonia, diabetes, hypothyroidism, borderline high blood pressure, and heart failure.

Influential: Ras G took inspiration from Afrofuturism’s pioneers such as Sun Ra, and in turn, he was influential on a new hip hop artist generation. Ras G helped build Kendrick Lamar’s Grammy-winning “To Pimp a Butterfly”, among the best-known records to come out of the scene.

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