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New Orleans Hip-Hop Pioneer Tim Smooth Dead at 39

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New Orleans based rapper Tim Smooth passed away Tuesday, July 26 after a long battle with throat cancer. He was 39 years old.

Smooth, whose real name is Timothy Smoot, first established himself as a teen MC in Louisiana’s burgeoning ’90s hip-hop scene. The MC was a member of Rap-A-Lot Records early on in his career, putting forth his Too Cool-assisted ‘Straight Up Drivin’ Em’ album. He released his first single, ‘I Gotsta Have It,’ in 1991, and went on to craft four albums and collaborated with various artists and labels including Big Boy Records.

It was at Big Boy Records where he met and cemented a lifelong bond with fellow New Orleans rapper Mystikal, a friendship that lasted until the end of his life.

“Had I never met Tim, I would be a totally different artist,” Michael “Mystikal” Tyler told the Times-Picayune. “He even co-wrote the title cut with me [in] ‘Mind of Mystikal,’” he added. “Thanks for the memories.”

Known as the ‘the Knight from Kennedy Heights,’ Smooth established himself an early pioneer of New Orleans hip-hop.

“I hope they remember how he was – he was a friend to everybody, everybody loved him,” his sister, Nicole Smoot, said to Nola.com. “He never had a fight in his whole life, and he was 39 years old. He was a happy person. He was always cracking jokes, and even with the cancer, he never didn’t have a smile on his face.”

According to KevinNottingham.com, he was involved in a new project with Jr. Mack and The Mighty Pimptations before his passing.

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