BY Andrew Jose, The Western JournalJune 19, 2023
1 year ago
BY 
 | June 19, 2023
1 year ago

Rapper Starts Gasping Into Mic, Then Suddenly Collapses on Stage - Dies at 45

A 45-year-old rapper from Houston, Texas, died Saturday night while performing on stage at a bar in Beaumont.

Footage on social media shows Milton Powell, known by the stage name “Big Pokey,” collapsing just after he gasped for air while holding a microphone close to his mouth.

The incident occurred at the Pour 09 Bar, Beaumont’s first rooftop bar.

Powell was hospitalized later that night after paramedics attempted CPR on him. Powell’s death was later confirmed by authorities, the New York Post reported.

What caused Powell’s death has not yet been disclosed, according to the outlet.

“It is with deep sadness that we share the news of the passing of our beloved Milton ‘Big Pokey’ Powell,” the rapper’s publicist wrote in a statement shared with KPRC-TV.

“He was well loved by his family, his friends, and his loyal fans,” the publicist wrote.

“In the coming days, we will release information about his celebration of life and how the public can pay their respects,” the news release stated.

Pour 09 Bar, the venue, offered their condolences to the rapper’s loved ones in a social media post shared on its Facebook page.


“We would like everyone to send their prayers to Big Pokey and his family,” the bar’s management wrote.

“Out of respect for those involved we will not be commenting on the incident to allow his family and friends ample time to mourn and make a statement when they are ready,” the social media post stated. “This is a tragedy that no one expected and only our prayers go out to his family and friends.”

Powell was known for his work in the "chopped and screwed" style of Southern hip-hop music, which finds its roots in the 90s and is characterized by low tempos.

Powell initially began his music career working on remixes with DJ Screw in the early half of the decade before releasing his first full-length album, “Hardest Pit in the Litter” in 1999, according to AllMusic.

He was a member of the rap group Screw Up Click, according to the Post.

The rapper released his last album, “Play Tha Game,” in 2023.

“The City of Houston and I extend our prayers and condolences to our own Screwed Up Click legendary rapper [Big Pokey] family and friends,” Democratic Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner wrote in a social media post on Twitter.

“Though many called him ‘low key’, his presence was larger than life in helping to catapult our hip hop scene nationally.” Turner said.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

Written by: Andrew Jose, The Western Journal

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