Sadly the Screwed Up Click has lost another member today as Milton Powell, better known to the rap world as Big Pokey, passed away in Beaumont, Texas at the age of 45. During a live performance last night Pokey unexpectedly and suddenly collapsed to the ground, with some fans in attendance thinking it was part of the act, and others quickly realizing how much more serious it was. A nurse attended to him as fans tried to cool him down thinking he might have been overcome by heat and/or exhaustion, but he was unable to be revived and passed away shortly after EMS transported him to a local hospital. A representative of Pokey gave this statement to TMZ.

“Big Pokey passed away. He was well loved by his family, his friends, and his loyal fans. In the coming days, we will release information about his celebration of life and how the public can pay their respects. We ask that you respect his family and their privacy during this difficult time. Big Pokey will forever be ‘The Hardest Pit in the Litter!'”

Pokey was a fixture of DJ Screw mixtapes from before the Screwed Up Click went from local Houston favorites to household names. Even as Screw became one of the earliest members of his namesake crew to pass away at only 29 years old, the remainder of the S.U.C. continued to represent his name and their brotherhood in the decades to come. Pokey was known for being a no nonsense emcee. If you needed someone to drop 16 on a song, he’d step up and deliver time after time, seldom getting the acclaim befitting his level of consistency. He was the linebacker who protects the quarterback while he and the wide receiver get all the glory.

On behalf of the RR staff and all fans of Big Pokey and the Screwed Up Click worldwide, we offer our condolences on his loss. With a half dozen studio albums under his belt and literally hundreds of mixtapes featuring his bars, there’s no question that his legacy will live on for years to come.