New Orleans bounce artist Nicky Da B has died, according to his management. He was 24.
“It is with heaviness in our hearts today that we confirm the passing of Nicky Da B. Nicky was a beautiful soul and we will always be grateful for his magnetic personality and loving spirit,” his managment said in a statement. “We were inspired by his talent as much as his tireless optimism, compassion and humility. Our condolences go out to his family at this time.”
In the midst of their mourning, Nicky’s family has reached out to his fans, asking for donations to help cover funeral costs. “Times are tough. If you have a little bit to spare, Nicky Da B’s mom is accepting donations for funeral expenses on Paypal,” his manager wrote on Tumblr. “Thank you all for the massive amount of love and support. It’s really sustaining all of us right now.” Nicky Da B’s PR company confirmed the Paypal account is linked to the late rapper’s mother.
The NOLA rapper achieved his greatest success by teaming up with Diplo on the modern dance classic “Express Yourself” in 2012. The video, which has more than 2.6 million views, features Nicky, Diplo and a lot of twerking — a full year before the dance reached its saturation point at the 2013 VMAs.
Big Freedia — the most visible bounce artist to come out of New Orleans — tweeted her reaction to Nicky’s passing:
— Big Freedia (@bigfreedia) September 2, 2014
Nicky Da B was known for his smooth lyrical delivery that stood in contrast to some of his bounce contemporaries, touching on influences of Jamaican dancehall and call-and-response party-style chants. And his “Hot Potato Style” video — which superimposed his mouth onto famous faces from John Stamos to Paul McCartney — was notably crafted by the same film crew behind Beasts of the Southern Wild.
Diplo and Lil Internet reacted to the sad news online as well with shock and remembrance:
He was not only an important figure for New Orleans.. Bounce music.. He was a good friend and gave me one of my defining songs .
— CATEGORY 6 PLURICANE (@diplo) September 2, 2014
— @ LIL INTERNET (@LILINTERNET) September 2, 2014