Sean Price (155704)
Credit: WIkipedia

As the comparisons between hip-hop and athletics began to take form, one of the first ideals to carry over is the premise that it’s a young man’s game. “Young,” for both these endeavors, is a relative term, but it’s safe to say that after the age of 30, the concept of approaching your prime and in fact ascending to elite status is unfathomable. Yet that was indeed the case of Sean Du-Val Price.

Saturday, Aug. 8, at the age of 43, Price died, effectively putting an end to a journey that would effectively redefine the notion that art has an age limit. An exerpt from the official statement from his record label, Duck Down Records, stated, “It is with beyond a heavy heart that Duck Down Music is sadly confirming that Sean Price passed away in his Brooklyn apartment, Saturday, Aug. 8.

“The cause of death is currently unknown, but it was reported that he died in his sleep. He’s survived by his wife and three children. Price’s family and friends are asking for time to grieve and process the news. Funds are being raised to directly assist Price’s family moving forward.”

As of press time, two pieces of news have emerged. A well-attended wake of family and friends was held at McManus Funeral Home in his hometown of Brooklyn Tuesday morning. Secondly, a crowdfunding account was established by the record label on Crowdrise with hopes of raising a set amount of dollars. Collectively, his supporters managed to garner 112 percent of its projected goal.

Now that the important facts are out of the way, here’s a brief synopsis of Price’s mark on hip-hop music. To properly acknowledge his impact, props must be given to the genesis: “Black Moon.” In 1992, while the nation was trying to bury the New York hip-hop scene, this group spearheaded a major artistic presence immediately followed by the Wu-Tang Clan and Mobb Deep. Their success and business acumen spawned the label Duck Down Records and gave light to a rap supergroup hailing from Brooklyn called the Boot Camp Clik in 1995.

In that year, a single was released called “Leflaur Leflah Eshoshka” by the Fab 5, a group that combined the talents of the newest signees to the label OGC and Heltah Skeltah. That’s where we got to meet Price for the first time. Under the guise of Ruck, he was half of the duo Heltah Skeltah. In 2005, he released his long-awaited debut CD “Monkey Barz,” and it was on since.

The public and critics ate the project up. Two more solo albums followed, “Jesus Price Supastar” and “Mic Tyson,” with a formation of a new group called Random Axe and the release of their self-titled project.

Think about it, that’s a 20-year span in which he remained for his career. That speaks to a certain kind of loyalty in the music industry. That also speaks to an emcee who does what emcees do: rap! On the “Sway in the Morning” show, Price was once quoted as saying, “I can rap. That’s the basic caveman foundation of this, and I can do that.”

Label mates agreed. Said Pharoahe Monch, “Sean was seriously a walking quotable with the potential for rhyme of the month every time he wrote a 16. But more importantly, he made me laugh. He was naturally hilarious, and I hold laughter very dear to my heart. It’s one of the most important things we have on Earth.

“I loved Sean Price the man and father as much as I did his music. To me, Sean was an emcee’s emcee. He was the epitome of what hip-hop was, is and should be moving forward.

“And beyond all of that, he was a helluva friend. That was my big brother for real. The most genuine, authentic, free-spirited person you could ever meet, regardless of how intimidating his physical stature may have been to some. He was probably the greatest person I’ve ever had the honor of calling a friend via the industry. We went beyond that. He was family. There will never be another like him. He was the best person you could ever get to know and one of the greatest to ever hold a pen.”

His latest project a mixtape, “Songs in the Key of Price,” is set to for release Aug. 21 as planned and a tribute concert was announced for Aug. 28 at SOB’s.

Speaking of SOB’s, the 20th anniversary concert for Raekwon’s classic release “Only Built 4 Cuban Linx,” as known as the “Purple Tape,” is slated for Aug. 20.

Over and out. Holla next week. Till then, enjoy the nightlife.