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Memorial

Ty the rapper has died aged 47 after contracting coronavirus.  Ty was born Benedict Okwuchukwu Godwin Chijioke on Aug. 17, 1972, in London to parents who had emigrated from Nigeria. He was raised in the Brixton neighborhood, apart from a long spell during his younger years when his parents left him and his sister in private foster care with a white family in Jaywick, Essex, an experience that left lasting scars of identity confusion. “I learned, long way, to love who I am. To love my identity, my nationality. I learned with bloodied lips,” he told England’s Channel 4 News last year. In the 1990s, Ty worked as a sound engineer, and in 1995, he co-founded Ghetto Grammar, a London workshop series that functioned at the intersection of hip-hop and spoken word. He began recording music in the late 1990s alongside British hip-hop figures like Funky DL and Shortee Blitz. He also was a host of the Lyrical Lounge club night at the crucial venue Jazz Café. In 2001 he released his casually jaunty debut album, “Awkward,” which featured strong storytelling and had echoes of acid jazz and 1990s New York rap. His 2003 follow-up, “Upwards,” was more ambitious in its music and narrative. The album was nominated for the Mercury Music Prize, the annual British music award (now simply the Mercury Prize). His third album, “Closer,” was full of dreamy electro-adjacent production and featured his most overt engagement with American hip-hop, including collaborations with De La Soul, Speech of Arrested Development, Bahamadia and more. Ty continued releasing music into the late 2010s, including with Umar Bin Hassan of the Last Poets and the highly regarded jazz saxophonist Soweto Kinch. He was also part of Kingdem, a cross-generational supergroup of British rap elders, which also featured Rodney P (of London Posse) and Blak Twang. Ty’s survivors include his mother and his sister, Maria. As posted in The New York Times - Those We've Lost      

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MEMORIAL FOR:

T.Y. - Ben Chijioke

About the Deceased

Name Of Deceased

T.Y. – Ben Chijioke

Date of Birth

08/17/1972

Date of Passing

05/07/2020

Place of Birth

London, England

Gender

Male

Family

Name of Siblings

Maria Chijioke