Hip Hop pioneer Lovebug Starski suddenly passed away at his home in Las Vegas on Thursday (February 8), according to multiple social media posts. He was 57.
The Bronx native was born in 1960 and was one of Hip Hop’s earliest MCs. He’s also one of two people who’s credited for coining the phrase “Hip Hop.” In 1978, he became a DJ at the Disco Fever Club and released several singles as Little Starsky, including 1979’s “Gangster Rock” and 1981’s “Dancin’ Party People.”
Although he never quite got the recognition he deserved, his name is often mentioned in the same breath as fellow Hip Hop pioneers Kool Herc and Grandmaster Flash.
Chuck D, who told HipHopDX Starski died from a heart attack, was a longtime friend of the Public Enemy mastermind.
“Lovebug Starski was A DJ, MC and innovator,” Chuck told DX. “A pioneer who excelled before and after the recording line of ’79, the year when rap records began. He was the first double trouble threat in Hip Hop and rap music. He DJ’ed for the great MCs and MC’ed with the great DJs. Besides Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five, Lovebug Starski was one of the few that took his legendary street records status into the recording world.”
Tributes have started pouring in for Starski on social media.
Check out some of the posts below.
This song made me believe anything was possible. When I met you I looked up to you & you didn't disappoint me. You were as cool as I hoped you would be. Rest in power Love Bug. I salute you & respect you OG. You paved the way😢 #LoveBugStarski #IBelieve #YouGottaBelieve #HipHop pic.twitter.com/ZMnCss5WeU
— LLCOOLJ. (@llcoolj) February 9, 2018
Rest in Peace to one of the pioneer originators of Hip Hop the BX legend Lovebug Starski.
— R.A. the Rugged Man (@RAtheRuggedMan) February 9, 2018
Some terrible news: hip-hop legend Lovebug Starski has died suddenly and unexpectedly in Las Vegas at age 60. ☹️ Very sad. The man was a gifted entertainer, a warm, generous soul. He had been rocking Vegas venues and joined KRS-One on stage last week. Rest peacefully good sir. pic.twitter.com/kHggNAbIsS
— Jonathan Shecter (@SheckyGreen) February 9, 2018
We Lost One Of Our Greatest Pioneers Of Hip Hop…
He Is Also Known As One Of The People Who Came Up With The Name "HIP HOP" Aside From Another Legend "Keith Cowboy" Of "The Furious 5"…
Salute To All The Pioneers and Condolences To His Family.#HipHop pic.twitter.com/AH4bNrSIOg
— DJ Premier (@REALDJPREMIER) February 9, 2018
I'm tired of pioneer after pioneer passing then out come the pour down of memorabilia, ITS OK to pour out the memories of Hip Hop FOUNDING generations BEFORE THEY DIE!!!!
— Monie Love (@DaRealMonieLove) February 9, 2018
RIP Lovebug Starski