Pumpkinhead, also known as PH -- a fixture on the underground and battle-rap circuits for nearly two decades, died Tuesday morning (June 9) at the age of 39. The cause of death was not made public at press time. He is survived by a wife and two sons, and only just days ago announced that the family was expecting a baby girl.
Pumpkinhead, born Robert Diaz, collaborated with Talib Kweli, Royce Da 5'9", Murs, Del the Funky Homosapien, Jean Grae, Wordsworth, Immortal Technique, producer Marco Polo and other veterans of the indie-rap scene. A native of Park Slope, Brooklyn, praised for his distinctive gruff voice, a knack for hilarious punchlines and a humble personality, he was perhaps best known for his 2005 album Orange Moon Over Brooklyn, released by SoulSpazm and distributed via Rawkus Records, the label that helped launch the careers of El-P, Mos Def and others.
Pumpkinhead was mourned on social media by Talib Kweli, Atmosphere and others. Funeral arrangements have not yet been made public.