Kangol Child, Early Rapper Who Sought ‘Roxanne,’ Dies at 55

In David Toop’s important early-rap historical past guide, “The Rap Assault” (1985), Kangol Child defined one among his lyrical improvements: “One other new factor is Z-rap. It’d be like a code language. I might discuss to him and his title’s Physician Ice. I might say, ‘Dizoctor Izice. Yizo hizo bizoy wizon’t youza kizoy mesover herezere?’ — that’s simply saying, ‘Yo, homeboy, why don’t you come over right here?’ and what I did is make a rap out of that language.” It was a mode he deployed on “Roxanne, Roxanne,” and it anticipated the later linguistic zigzagging of E-40, Snoop Dogg and others.

In 1985 UTFO launched its debut album, referred to as merely “UTFO,” which continued the Roxanne saga with “Calling Her a Crab.” In a 1985 live performance overview, Jon Pareles of The New York Occasions praised the group for its “syncopated, overlapping patter” and “spitfire supply.”

UTFO would go on to launch 4 extra albums, and have become widespread sufficient for their very own slot on the Contemporary Fest tour, a street present that was then an index of hip-hop’s rising reputation. In 1985, UTFO carried out on the Apollo Theater, believed to be a primary for a rap group. In 1987, they collaborated with the heavy metallic band Anthrax.

After UTFO’s run within the highlight, Kangol Child wrote and produced for different artists, together with the group Whistle and the baseball star Darryl Strawberry, who recorded a novelty rap track, “Chocolate Strawberry.” He did voice-over work and wrote a music-industry recommendation column, first for Black Beat journal after which for

Within the final decade, Kangol Child was actively concerned with most cancers charities. In 2012 he was honored by the American Most cancers Society for his fund-raising efforts as co-founder of the Mama Luke Basis. He was identified with colon most cancers in February.

He’s survived by his mother and father; three brothers, Joel, Andy and Alix (all memorably name-checked on UTFO’s “Lisa Lips”); three sons, T.Shaun, Andre and Giovanni; a daughter, Amancia; and 7 grandchildren.

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