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Community reacts to Houston rapper Big Pokey's death

The Bayou City is grieving after Milton "Big Pokey" Powell collapsed on stage in Beaumont and died.

HOUSTON — Houston is mourning the loss of one of its rap icons.

Milton Powell, better known as "Big Pokey," passed away after suffering a medical emergency while on stage in Beaumont.

Big Pokey has been a force in the Houston rap community since the early 1990s and is remembered as a trailblazer.

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said he’s part of a talented group.

"He grew up with people I grew up with: Slim Thug, Paul Wall, Bun B, Lil Keke," Turner said.

Big Pokey was a quiet but talented Houston commodity, according to Turner. He was known for his contributions to the rap community beginning in Houston and spreading throughout the county.

Native Houston rapper Paul Wall took to Instagram to call Big Pokey a trendsetter, leader and great mentor.

"This is someone who kind of started in a very quiet fashion, freelancing in the 90s and then you had talents like DJ Screw and others who recognized that talent," Turner said.

Big Pokey never forgot where he came from. Big Pokey was a graduate of Jack Yates High School in the Third Ward.

Turner said he regretted not being able to give Big Pokey his flowers while he was still alive.

"My regret, even as mayor, is that we did not honor their loved one for his iconic contribution to the musical scene, at a time when he could hear it and see it," Turner said.

Gerald Harris on social media: Facebook | Twitter

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