Non-Phixion Affiliate "Uncle Howie" Tenenbaum Dies

The one-time face for Non-Phixion, uncle to Ill Bill and Necro, passed away last week, leaving a legacy in Rap.

Fans of Non Phixion, Ill Bill and Necro are likely familiar with Howard Tenenbaum. Uncle to both Necro and Bill, "Uncle Howie" became known as an affiliate of '90s and early '00s Brooklyn hardcore Hip Hop quartet Non Phixion, as well as an official mascot/spokesman to Bill's Uncle Howie Recordings label.

Throughout many releases in the camps, Howie appeared on interludes, commercials, webisodes and DVDs. Late last week, Bill confirmed through Twitter (@IllBill1972) that his uncle had passed away. "Uncle Howie RIP - Rest in power my G," part of the message said.

The cause of death is unclear, though Howie had reportedly been sick for some time.

In October of 2008, Ill Bill told DX about his relationship with his uncle, after recording a dedication track "My Uncle" on that year's acclaimed release Hour of Reprisal.

DX: With the song “My Uncle,” how do you set the tone so people can understand how much this person, struggling with an addiction a lot of the Hip Hop community laughs at, means to you?
Ill Bill:
I can only do that by doing interviews or putting it into the music the way that I did. I’m trying to really illustrate what my thoughts are and where I’m coming from with my uncle with this song. That’s a big part of why I did that record in the first place.

It’s hard to really do that. Unless I’m having a one-on-one conversation with somebody, it’s hard to do that. Part of the reason I put the skits on the record is really to just give my uncle some [positive mental attitude]. Dude is going through it. He’s relapsed numerous times since he was living with me. He’s really just not doing the right thing. The back-story on that song was that I did it for him. My intention beyond that was open-ended; I didn’t know if I was gonna put it on the record or not. I didn’t want to embarrass him. I’ve never really went that far; I never got that personal, as far as my uncle goes. He loved it. He told me he’d be upset with me if I didn’t put it on the record. It’s hard to really talk about, but dude walks around if he – knock on wood, man, he’s still here, but he walks around as if he’s gonna be dead tomorrow. That’s just his attitude, and it kinda fucks my head up to even think about it. He appreciates his life less than I do.

DX: He’s always been credited as your manager. Regardless if there’s utility in that role, does that mean a lot to him?
Ill Bill:
You know what? [Laughs] Just to clear the air on that one, he’s the furthest thing from managing anyone, let alone his own life, but I mean, he’s like our spiritual manager. Beyond that, he’s been my conscience through my life. When I get to that fork in the road, I always tend to make the right decision. I give a lot of credit to my uncle for that.

HipHopDX extends our condolences to both Bill and Necro, as well as Non Phixion and others who knew him. May Uncle Howie's legacy live on through music, stories and the label named after him.

28 Comments

  • Chr.

    Rest in peace Uncle Howie. He was as real as they come. Gone but never forgotten.

  • Anonymous

    much love from washington state uncle howie lives on

  • HeilSatan

    Damn, sucks hes gone, but its great how he influenced his nephews, they prolly wouldnt kickass like they do if it wasnt for him

  • PLR

    R.I.P Howie, you will NEVER be forgotten! Drucifer you sick twisted fuck... yeah he was in the "I Need Drugs" video BEING HIMSELF! Kabala your another sad cunt.... The guy will ALWAYS be a LEGEND! My condolences go out to ILL BILL & Necro and all the fam that supported, loved & knew Howie. Peace

  • kabala

    Necro and Ill Bill took advantage of this man. They disrespected him by showing the world the drug and shooting up shit and used it for their own credibility. They're going to hell. I ain't down with immortalizing a fiend period.

    • TheSmokingNinja

      MAN GO FUCK YOURSELF! ILL BILL AND NECRO LOVED HOWIE AND HOWIE IS THE SOLE REASON FOR NECRO AND ILL BILLS SICKEST SHIT. "TAKEING ADVANTAGE" YOU MAKE ME SICK FAGGOT. THATS LIKE SAYING YOU TAKE ADVANTAGE OF YOUR MOTHER IF YOU WRITE SHIT ABOUT HER HARD TIMES. ILL BILL AND NECRO PROLLY WILL GO TO HELL BUT THE FACT OF THE MATTER IS WHEN YOU GET THERE, UNCLE H, NECRO AND ILL BILL WILL MAKE YOU EAT YOUR IGNORANT FUCKIN WORDS. RIP UNCLE HOWIE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • BLAZE1420

    REST IN POWER HOWIE, NEVER TO BE FORGOTTEN!

  • junMaf*ckin

    God Bless yo. Love that song "My Uncle" off Hour Bill. Shit is raw....

  • Thizzman13

    R.I.P Uncle Howie, i know he provided insperatiation for the group now he can inspire them as an angel he just went home when his dad called he had to answer, Cali salutes U, Pay Respects To him ppl I send Condolences to the Fam

  • OIN

    RIP Uncle Howie. He provided a lot of entertainment to Non-Phixon/Necro/Ill Bill fan's throughout many years. May he rest in peace.

  • QuBix

    R.I.P. Uncle Howie - Real people, real music. Ill Bill, Necro, Non Phixion, LCN, make real hip hop. Keep your heads up because certainly your music has kept up mine. Keep it real. Peace.

  • Creature

    R.I.P. Uncle Howie! Nyc Salutes you.

  • I_Am_Beast

    R.I.P. Howie Tenenbaum, you've provided inspiration and wisdom to those around you for years, it's sad to hear you're gone. It's tough to know that you weren't able to pull it together, but it stands as a life lesson to others that may be headed down a similar path. My thoughts and condolences go to ILL BILL & Necro, Bill especially. Uncle Howie lives as long as Bill Braunstein has the ability to hold a mic. Salute a fallen soldier.

  • doubl negative

    It'z an anomaly 2 find a brother into Non-Phixion/Necro, but I've alwayz been PC when it comez 2 white emceez. Da 1st joint NP dropped had a similar production line-up 2 Illmatic's, but it waz relegated 2 da back-pack audience and it'z a shame it never got it'z due recognition from da mainstream. Necro'z an ill producer, and I've seen him live 4 timez, once with Ill Bill. Uncle Howie seemed like a cool guy, so RIP 2 that dude.

    • hiphop101bitch

      smdh@double negatives comment. You speak for yourself. I am black and a hiphop head to the 10th power. I know so many brothers from New yorkas, to everywhere who love non phixion period. I love hiphop black or white kid. If they are nice on that mic with word play. I will cop their albums.The thing i don't get is a backpack audience no one gives a fuck about that b word up. People put labels on shit. You are not alone you probably just have black friends that like other shit. Music is music. White boys don't label different heavy metal they just fucking bang out to that shit. R.I.P. Howie

    • kush nap

      aside from adding z to everything i agree with this nigga. non phixion first album shoulda been heralded as a hip hop classic, but media machines and labels dont wanna accept a white emcee spitting fire thats not named eminem, let alone a group of them! flawless beats, thematically tight, lyrically nuts, and unique. that whole team gets slept on. bill and necro been raw forever. necro is a genius on the boards, he got a standout track on a new classic in OB4CL 2, nuff said. if you dont know uncle howie, look em up on youtube, he was a character to say the least. legendary bug out.

  • Charmelle

    Hes still a real person. You shit on him like he wasnt even born. I resent that you fucking clown. RIP Uncle Howie.

  • kush nap

    howie is a street legend for real. survived the streets decade after decade. he was always larger than life, and despite all his problems, a good motherfucker. bill and necro always big him up, im sure theyll continue to do so. and drucifier you a fag for real, howie was a survivor, when survivors go its never expected. not many ppl on the street last as long as he did. RIP to a real OG. hold ya head fam.

  • Drucifer1983

    I hate to make light of anybody passing away, so before I say anything I'm say R.I.P howie and tell necro and Bill to keep their heads up......... Now............. Aint this the dude in the Necro "I need Drugs" video that was smoking crack and Shooting Heroin(and it wasnt special effects, that was like a home video of this guy actually getting High)..............And were suppose to be surprised by this???

    • c

      im always surprised when somebody who has been STRUGGLING to fight their addictions loses the battle. most people like to write drug abusers off as bad people who deserve to die, but those people were just like you before making that one mistake of doing drugs. and from there you can lose all control of what you become. still, you cant just write those folks off due to their influenced behavior.

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  • It's Um

    damn, man sorry to hear that. My condolences.

  • Amazing2See

    Much respect to howie and the his whole family. RIP to the man that had such a large hand in making some of my favorite artists who they are.

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