The whole city is feeling this one. Prayers up to the family, fans, and close circle of the legendary Big Pokey. Late Saturday night (June 17) footage landed online of Pokey fainting during a performance in Beaumont, Texas. And as hours passed, the city prayed and hoped he would pull through. Unfortunately, Pokey, born Milton Powell, has passed away at age 45. As part of the Screwed Up Click, Pokey helped plant the flag for H-Town as of a force of its own on the music scene, and his loss will be felt forever.
Online, his music peers took to social media to share their grief and shock at his sudden loss.
From Bun B, via Instagram:
“I wasn’t ready for this. One of the most naturally talented artists in the city. Low key, humble mountain of a man who moved with honor and respect. He was easy to love and hard to hate. He’d pull up, do what he had to do, and head home. One of the pillars of our city. If heart of gold was a person. Iconic member of the SUC. There will never be another and will be missed dearly. We love and honor you Sensei. Rest in heaven.”
Of course, we had to share his classic “June 27th” Freestyle, an unforgettable moment in Houston culture that still rings off to this day.
Born Milton Powell, Big Pokey’s laid-back style quickly became a fan favorite in his hometown. In 1999, Pokey dropped his debut studio project, Hardest Pit in The Litter. The album featured fellow rap legends like Big Moe, Lil Keke, Big Hawk, and more. His sophomore album, D-Game 2000 was released the following year and projects like Tha Collabo, Da Sky’s Da Limit, and Evacuation Notice following soon after.
After a break from major album releases, Pokey returned with Sensei in 2021, marking his first solo release since 2008.
As Houston’s influence on Hip-Hop spread, Pokey, alongside The Screwed Up Click, saw their style and sound spread throughout the nation. In the early 2000s, H-Town’s slowed-down flair became a major influence among artists from outside the region. His feature on Paul Wall’s “Sittin’ Sideways” was a nationwide hit, solidifying Pokey as an artist who made his musical mark on the streets as well as on Billboard charts.
Rest in Peace Pokey, gone but never ever forgotten.
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