One of our unsung Hip-Hop heroes has transitioned. De La Soul contributor Don Newkirk has passed away.
As spotted on Complex, the musician is no longer with us. Rahiem of The Furious Five confirmed the sad news via an Instagram post. “With a heavy heart i announce my brother Don Newkirk’s transitioning 56 years young 👑🌹♥️🙏🏿 my condolences go out to his family. Don Newkirk was one of the first R&B artists signed to Defjam records. May he S.I.P” he wrote.
The official De La Soul account also sent their condolences. “Ever since high school, we all knew Don Newkirk was undoubtedly a special kind. Fearless in expression and just a positive, talented vessel destined for success. His voice was the final cherry on top that closed our album 3ft High and Rising. Thank you Don, may you rest peacefully fam.”
The Long Island native was featured on several notable records including several voiceovers on Three Feet High and Rising and the 3rd Bass single “Gas Face.” He would go on to release his debut album Funk City on Def Jam Records in 1989. Since then, he took his musical talents to films including The Best Thief In the World, Mogul: The Life & Death of Chris Lighty. Most recently Newkirk and Prince Paul scored the soundtrack to the Netflix television series Who Killed Malcolm X?
The cause of Don Newkirk’s death has yet to be revealed.