This never gets any easier. We’ve lost yet another rap artist today and I can’t quite wrap my head around this one. Tame One (born Rahem Brown), one half of legendary New Jersey rap group Artifacts and an accomplished solo emcee in his own right, passed away this weekend due to heart failure. His mother, well known in the hip-hop community as Ma Dukes, posted the following words on social media. (For privacy reasons I am not linking to her profile.)

“The medical examiner says the six pharmaceutical drugs that Trinitas hospital prescribed to him last Friday, combined with the weed he smoked over this weekend…his heart simply gave out. I will not be responding to all the posts for a bit, but the hardest words I will ever post or say is, my son, my heart, is dead.”

To say this is a profound failure of the medical community is a gross understatement. I can’t imagine what medications the hospital prescribed him or why, and frankly it’s none of my business or yours, but I also can’t imagine why they would prescribe him such powerful drugs without asking him what other medications he was taking or how they would interact with each other. I’m supremely disappointed that his life fell through the cracks in such an egregious way.

I also take this one personally because for a brief period of time I tried to help promote Tame One’s solo career through a website dedicated to him, and when the responsibility proved to be too much for me to handle given (let’s be frank) my own ineptitude at knowing how to do that the right way, I turned to my friend Kevin to help me run it. There’s no need to link to it because neither one of us run it now. A domain name squatter scooped it up a long time ago and now runs foreign language ads on it, so I don’t want to promote THAT in any way. Instead I’d like to share a few videos below from his career that showcase what a tremendously gifted emcee he was, and the respect he had for all aspects of the hip-hop elements (particularly graffiti) to go along with it. Rest In Power Rahem Brown.

Artifacts – “Wrong Side Of Da Tracks”

Tame One – “Homage 2 The Bombers”

Tame One, Copywrite, J-Zone, Cage & More – “EC All Stars ’95 Remix”

Tame One & Del the Funky Homosapien – “Flashback”

Artifacts – “The Ultimate”