Robert “Koopsta Knicca” Cooper Phillips, a member of the Memphis hip-hop group Three 6 Mafia, passed away early Friday after suffering a massive stroke. Koopsta Knicca was 40. Three 6 Mafia co-founder DJ Paul confirmed Koopsta’s death in a statement that the rapper “went in peace. Everyone who knew Koop knew he was very funny and the coolest guy ever. He will be missed. We made classics together that’ll live on.”
Koopsta was hospitalized and on life support since last weekend after suffering a stroke. “Doctors have advised that arrangements should be prepared for Koop and that he is in need of a miracle,” a GoFundMe page for the rapper alerted fans on Wednesday.
Former Three 6 Mafia member Juicy J wrote on Instagram, “R.I.P koopsta Knicca we made history! You will be missed #mafia4life prayers up for the family.” The rapper joined Juicy J, DJ Paul and the late Lord Infamous in Three 6 Mafia in the early Nineties, featuring on all the group’s albums from 1994’s Smoked Out, Loced Out to 2000’s When the Smoke Clears: Sixty 6, Sixty 1. In 2000, Koopsta left the group both to pursue a solo career and due to legal troubles, the rapper was arrested on charges of domestic violence, assault and aggravated burglary.
While no longer a fulltime member of Three 6 Mafia, Koopsta continued to contribute verses to the group’s post-2000 albums. Knicca was also a member of Three 6 Mafia offshoots Da Mafia Six and the Killjoy Club, the latter a 2014 collaboration with Insane Clown Posse. At the time of his death, Koopsta was working with DJ Paul on a sequel to Knicca’s 1994 solo debut Da Devil’s Playground.
“Me and Koop had just started writing his new album Devil’s Playground 2 but we didn’t get a chance to record yet. We had concerts coming up starting next month too. He also just got a home in Vegas that he was moving to on Tuesday, but never got to even see it in person,” DJ Paul told the Commercial Appeal.
Koopsta is the second Three 6 Mafia member to die prematurely in recent years. In December 2013, Koopsta’s friend and collaborator Ricky “Lord Infamous” Dunigan died in his sleep from a heart attack at age 40.
Source: Rolling Stone
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