Newsbeat

Black The Ripper: Skepta, Chip, Maya Jama and more pay tribute to UK rapper

Black the Ripper Image copyright Instagram/ Black the Ripper

Tributes have been paid to UK rapper Black The Ripper, who has reportedly died aged 32.

The north London artist, whose real name was Dean West, had earned a solid fanbase with mixtapes like Afro Samurai and Holla Black.

He was also known for campaigning for the legalisation of cannabis in the UK.

There's not been a formal confirmation of his death, but Newsbeat has tried to contact the team at his company Dank Of England for further details.

The cause of his apparent death is not yet known, but it is believed he passed away on the Caribbean island of Montserrat where some of his family live.

In a heartfelt Instagram post his business partner of 16 years, Screech Tree - who is the co-founder of Dank Of England, said the news "didn't feel real".

He called the father-of-one a "freedom fighter" and added: "I can't describe this feeling.

"I know life will never be the same for me again without you, I'm proud of you g, I love you.

"Never imagined I'd ever be saying this but rest in peace my brother."

Other tributes have come from fellow rappers including AJ Tracy, Ghetts and Skepta who wrote "bless your soul brudda" on Twitter.

Chip shared a picture with Black The Ripper and added the caption: "Real tears. I never cry. Rest in peace my bro. Forever here for your son."

Novelist was among the acts who said they would miss him, while Top Boy actor Micheal Ward tweeted: "Real sad news RIP Black The Ripper, my condolences to his family & loved ones."

BBC Radio 1 presenter Maya Jama also posted a photo of her with the late musician and said the news was "so, so sad".

She added: "He was such a lovely soul, praying for his family. This year has been scary, stay safe."

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