Rapper Timothy “Tim Smooth” Smoot passed away yesterday morning at the age of 39. According to NoLa.com, the New Orleans, Louisiana native succumbed to his long battle with cancer.

The southern emcee, often credited as a pioneer in NoLa rap, made his mark on the Hip Hop community with his first single “I Gotsta Have It,” released on Yo! Records in 1991. His debut Straight Up Drive ‘Em released in 1994 via Rap-A-Lot Records, with which he put out several more albums.

During his life, he had a working relationship with Mystikal, who featured him as a guest at his House of Blues show in December 2010. “Had I never met Tim, I would be a totally different artist,” he said. “He even co-wrote the title cut with me on ‘Mind of Mystikal.’ Thanks for the memories.”

His sister, Nicole Smoot, also commented on her brother’s passing. “I hope they remember how he was – he was a friend to everybody, everybody loved him,” she said. “He never had a fight in his whole life, and he was 39 years old. He was a happy person. He was always cracking jokes, and even with the cancer, he never didn’t have a smile on his face.”