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Tame One, Member of Notable Nineties Underground Hip-Hop Group Artifacts, Dead at 52

Tame One ©Twitter

Underground hip-hop legend Rahem Brown — who utilizing the sobriquet Tame One comprised the influential nineties rap group Artifacts along with El Da Sensai and DJ Kaos — passed away over the weekend at the age of 52.

His mother broke the news on Sunday evening in a Facebook post.

“I can’t express this any other way,” Darlene Brown Harris posted. “My son, Rahem Brown, Tamer Dizzle Is Dead.”

She went on to say that the cause of his death was likely a drug reaction, though authorities would know more once an autopsy is performed adding, “The medical examiner says the six pharmaceutical drugs that Trinitas hospital prescribed to him last Friday, combined with the weed he smoked over this weekend…his heart simply gave out.”

The news was met with a profound wave of mourning in the hip-hop community.

Rock Steady Crew legend Crazy Legs, rapper Immortal Technique and producer Just Blaze were among the many friends, admirers and collaborators who took to the internet to share their love for the deceased MC.

However, the emotional post from his former partner El Da Sensai on Facebook in reaction to the news stood out.

“I'm crushed. I'm ok...not ok. I feel every kinda way!!! My brothers are gone!!!! I'm sorry I seen a lot of y'all calling me. I just need a moment to process all this sh—t,” he wrote. I'm shocked…devastated as a lot of you are. This is not fair...not like this.”

He continued, “Darlene Brown Harris im so sorry. I love you. Your son was like a brother to me and we shared a gift With the world and stood the test of time even when we didnt know we werecapable. I'm proud of us.. Tame & Kaos do y'all hear me? We just put out some of our best work yet and now your gone. I will never understand this but I have to except it.”

Newark, New Jersey, natives, Brown, Kaos (who passed away in 2019) and El Da Sensai released the Artifacts debut album “Between a Rock and a Hard Place” in 1994.

Underground audiences gravitated to it, spurred on by hit singles like “Wrong Side of da Tracks” which highlighted the group's love of the graffiti scene in which they were active participants, and features by prominent artists like Brown’s first cousin Redman.

The group would release one more album, 1997’s “That’s Them” before disbanding and taking a 25-year hiatus before releasing their final project of new material, “No Expiration Date” in August of this year.

Brown found success outside the group, releasing music well into the new millennium. His 2003 solo debut “When Rappers Attack” drew praise from music critics. He also served as a member of the underground supergroup Weathermen alongside its founder Cage, El-P, Aesop Rock and several other notable underground stars.

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