BREAKING: Shock for fans as American rapper dies

Rapper Timothy Parker – better known as Gift of Gab – has died aged 50.

The Blackalicious star died following a battle with kidney failure, with his co-star Chief Xcel penning a heartfelt tribute to announce the news.

Chief Xcel – real name Xavier Mosley – said that his friend died ‘peacefully.’

‘It is with much sadness and a heavy heart I announce the passing of my friend and brother of 34 years, Timothy Jerome Parker aka The Gift of Gab,’ he wrote. ‘He returned peacefully to the essence on June 18, 2021.

‘I met Tim Parker aka The Gift Of Gab in September of 1987 at John F. Kennedy High in Sacramento. He was a junior and I was a sophomore. I had moved to Sac earlier that summer from Union City.

‘Gab had moved there two years prior from Pacoima. We had a home economics class together, Mr. Hightower, third period. He sat in the row directly behind me.

‘Tim being from So Cal and me being from the Bay, we would argue all class period about who was doper, Ice T or Too Short.’

‘A friend of mine, Armstead Jackson, played a mixtape for me he had from New York and on it was ‘Top Billin’ by Audio Two,’ Chief XCel continued.

‘It blew my mind. Armstead let me borrow the tape. I played it for Tim that same day in class. It blew his mind and we knew we actually had the same love for Hip Hop.’

The rapper added: ‘We often said that each project we recorded (3 LPs and 2 EPs) were snap shots of our lives. Gab always strove to do it with as much honesty and integrity as possible.