Big Syke, known for his work with Tupac, reportedly has passed away. The rapper, age 48, was found dead in his Hawthorne, California home, per a report by TMZ.
Per the report, police responded to an emergency call at Syke’s home on Monday afternoon. Although specifics are scarce, it’s suspected that he died of natural causes as TMZ notes the rapper “struggled with heart and obesity issues in the past.”
For Tupac fans, Syke’s booming voice was a familiar one. He was featured on several of Tupac’s solo albums and was also a member of Thug Life and Outlawz. He appeared on the 1994 album Thug Life as well as subsequent Outlawz releases but he may have been best known for his guest appearances on Tupac’s first posthumous release, All Eyez on Me, with the songs “Check Out Time,” “Picture Me Rollin'” as well as the album’s title track.
Syke, born Tyruss Himes, met Tupac around 1994 as ‘Pac was becoming established as a solo artist and Syke was a member of a local rap group in Inglewood, California before he decided to join forces with Tupac. The two met through a mutual acquaintance and their friendship grew from there.
“He just took me under his wing, man,” Syke once said in an interview. “Next thing I know I was on the plane and in the studio. Next thing I know he said he wanted to start this Thug Life thing. We was in the studio and we did the first Thug Life song. It was called “Thug Life.” And everything else was just like a dream.”
Big Syke was preceded in death by Tupac and fellow Outlawz members Yaki Kadafi and Hussein Fatal, who passed away in 1996 and 2015 respectively.