Clarence Reid, also known by his stage name Blowfly, has died aged 76.
Blowfly was renowned for making x-rated, often comedic, party records from the 1970s onwards and has been described as the “godfather of hip-hop” due to his influence on the genre. His work has been sampled by Beyoncé, Wu-Tang Clan, DJ Shadow, Eazy-E and the Avalanches, among others.
According to a statement on his Facebook page, Reid died on 17 January from liver cancer. The statement, written by his drummer Tom Bowker, says: “[Clarence’s sister Virginia and I thank you for all the love you have shown this week. We also thank you for supporting Clarence’s 50+ year music career – especially these last few years. We love you and will keep you informed on services and tribute performances in Clarence’s honour.”
Tributes have poured in from musicians, including Run the Jewels rapper El-P, Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea (who appeared on Reid’s Shake Your Ass) and hip-hop producer Just Blaze, who called him a forefather. According to Bowker, Blowfly will release one final album, 77 Rusty Trombones, which is out in February.
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