HOUSTON (AP) – Big Bucky, the famous Texas rapper and original member of Houston’s flagship Screwed Up Click, Died Sunday after the Juneteenth performance. A native of Milton Powell, Bucky was 48 years old.
Known for Texas and Gulf Coast hits such as “Ball N’ Parlay”,“Who Dat Talking Down,” and a verse on DJ Screw Almost 36 minutes of the famous freestyle known as “June 27” He collapsed while performing at Pour09, a Beaumont bar and nightlife space about an hour east of Houston.
Videos of the rapper appearing in it quickly went viral on social media Megan Thee Stallion “Southside Royalty Freestyle 2022” He takes a deep breath into his microphone before appearing to pass out and fall onto his back. Bucky’s death was confirmed to the Associated Press by his publicist Latoria Lemon, as well as Tom Gillam III, justice of the peace for Jefferson County, where Powell was performing. Family members and officials are awaiting the autopsy results to find out the cause of death.
Big Pokey, known by a slew of monikers including Big Poyo and Podina, began to gain local fame in the late 1990s as an original member of Screwed Up Click, a friend-turned-rap group led by DJ Screw. The pioneering DJ developed the slow, low style of music known as “chopped and chopped” music that eventually became synonymous with Houston, whose mixtapes spread throughout the southeastern United States.
The sound reached a fever pitch in the mid-2000s, as fellow well-known Houston artists such as Lil’ Flip, Slim Thug, Paul Wall, Chamillionaire, and Yojk signed them to national distribution deals and brought mainstream attention to the sound.
Pokey released his debut album, “Hardest Pit in the Litter” in 1999, and “Da Game 2000” the following year. It was the pre-broadcast era where music was regionalized, and Houston’s most popular rappers could get rich without having to tour or play radio out of state.
Bucky grew up on the south side of Houston where he became a standout in football at Yates High School, and became very close friends with George Floyd, the black man who was killed by the Minneapolis police. He sparked global protests and national accountability with police brutality and racism.
“That was my brother. And to sit there and watch my brother die—the law killed my son at home in front of the world. We watched him fight for his life until he was lifeless. That was torture. He died a horrible death, and it hurts,” Bucky wrote in an editorial for the Chronicle published after days after Floyd’s death.
In the op-ed calling for police accountability, Bucky reflected on his days playing high school football with “Big Floyd” and their enduring bond.
“He’s from Houston, Texas, Third Ward,” he wrote, “and was proud of it every day of his life until they took her.” “He was someone. He has a whole community that loves him.”
Nationally, Pokey was known for his signature appearance on Paul Wall’s 2005 First hit single, “Sittin’ Sidewayz”. The chorus is sampled from Bucky’s verse on “June 27th” where it is said, “Sittin’ sideways, boys dazed / On a Sunday night, I might whip me some Maze,” referring to the legendary soul band.
“June 27th” is arguably the most influential song on the cut and rolled cannon, and one of the most important songs in the history of Texas rap. The sound still predominates today with Houston natives such as Beyonce And Travis Scott Incorporating taut elements into their music, along with other major artists such as Kendrick LamarKanye West and A$AP Rocky Bryson Teller. Hip-hop star Drake, an avid Houston rap fan, pays tribute to ‘June 27’ on his song “November 18”.
Bucky also created other Texas classics, dubbed by late Southern hip-hop icon Pimp C, such as “On Choppers”, featured guest verses on Glitter Big Mo!which is one of the most popular games in Texas Black Rob “Stop!”
His latest project is “Sensei” for 2021. He refers to another of his titles and calls it his comeback album.
Fans, friends, and collaborators deeply exploited his passing, with tributes pouring in from the likes of him Paul WallBullying is minimalAnd Lil’ Kiki’s best friendAnd bun b, who called Powell “one of Houston’s most naturally gifted artists”.
“He would pull over, do what he had to do and go home. A pillar of our city,” Bun B said on Instagram.
Powell leaves behind a wife and three college-age children.
Follow Associated Press journalist Gary Gerard Hamilton at @GaryGHamilton on all of his social media platforms.