It is with great sadness to learn of the passing of Gift of Gab last week, and while we mourn this loss, we will remember him through his music and the legacy he leaves behind. Known for his clever wordplay and tongue-twisting rhymes, Gift of Gab dominated the Hip-Hop scene while performing with the Bay Area group Blackalicious.
The Sacramento-based Hip-Hop duo, Blackalicious, was formed by Gift of Gab (born Tim Parker) and producer Chief Xcel (born Xavier Mosley) when they met while attending John F. Kennedy High School. The pair built a Hip-Hop career that lasted over a decade, releasing four studio albums and earning the respect of the music community through their commitment and artistry. Their song “Alphabet Aerobics,” released in 1999, turned heads with its fast-paced lyrics that impressively progressed through the letters of the alphabet. Blackalicious DJ remembers his longtime friend in a statement he made last Friday: “He’s the most prolific person I’ve ever known. He was all about pushing the boundaries of his art form in the most authentic way possible. He truly believed in the healing power of music. He viewed himself as a vessel used by a higher power whose purpose was to give positive contributions to humanity through Rhyme.”
The Orchard offers sincere condolences to Parker’s family and loved ones. He will be deeply missed.