Hip-hop has lost one of its most looming figures in Reggie Ossé, aka Combat Jack, after a battle with colon cancer. He was 53 years old.
Combat Jack was best known as the host of the popular podcast The Combat Jack Show, where he profiled and interviewed other luminaries of the hip-hop community, including the late Chris Lighty, who he knew personally through his many years working as a label executive and entertainment lawyer. He represented hip-hop entertainers such as Jay Z, Damon Dash, DJ Clark Kent, Nice & Smooth, Capone-N-Noreaga, Deric “D. Dot” Angelettie, Ski Beatz, and others, starting from an internship in legal affairs for Def Jam Recordings.
Combat was fond of acting as a generational bridge in rap, often providing explanations and guidance of complex industry standards for up-and-coming artists, and urging patience with the younger acts for fans and impresarios of his own generation. He acknowledged that hip-hop is a youth culture while standing up for the history of rap and its place within the culture.
His death was confirmed by one of his closest associates in New York radio personality Peter Rosenberg, who issued a fond farewell on Twitter. “Hip Hop has lost one of its most important historians and voices…” he wrote, “We had serious ups and downs but I was so happy we had made things good… Rest In Peace to my friend Combat Jack….”
Jack’s presence in the hip-hop world will be missed, as will his engaging discussion and endless wisdom. Rest in peace, brother Ossé.