Three 6 Mafia has lost one of its founding members, as Lord Infamous passed away last night (December 20) at his mother’s home in Memphis. He was 40.
HipHopDX can confirm that Lord Infamous, born Ricky Dunigan, passed away by way of a heart attack. DX talked to his half-brother and Three 6 Mafia co-founder DJ Paul just hours after learning of the death.
“He had a heart attack in his sleep,” Paul says during an exclusive interview with HipHopDX. “His mother found him dead this morning. He had been dead, the doctors say, for about five hours. And she came home, he was sitting at the kitchen table with his head down on his arms. He had told his girlfriend that he was sleeping and he wanted to go to sleep. His girlfriend left and was like, ‘You going to be fine?’ And he was like, ‘Yeah, I’m going to be good.’ And she was like, ‘You sure?’ and he was like, ‘Yeah, yeah, I’m positive, I just want to get some sleep.’ So he laid his head in his arms at the kitchen table and he went to sleep and then when his momma came home, he was sitting at the kitchen table passed away.”
In 2010, it was reported that Lord Infamous suffered a heart attack and stroke. Both Gangsta Boo and Juicy J tweeted about the rapper’s condition during his residency at the hospital. Juicy said, “Lord infamous is doin ok” in a tweet around the time he was at the hospital. Details regarding Infamous’ heart attack at the time were scarce.
“We don’t know yet [if the two incidents were related],” Paul said. “It probably did. A lot of times people have heart attacks and a lot of people survive heart attacks and usually when they have that second, third one, it’s pretty much over with.”
DX also asked Paul about his reaction to the death, to which he responded he is currently in disbelief. Paul also said that Lord Infamous had premonitions about dying.
“I think I was one of the last people to find out,” he said. “I found out this morning around 9 o’clock. They had been calling me. His family had been calling me. I think I remember, when I look back, I turned my ringer off. I usually sleep with my ringer on because of situations like this because it was the wee hours of the morning is when I found out that my momma had passed… But for last night I had turned the ringer off for the first time so I could get some sleep ’cause I had a lot that I had to do today.
“When I woke up this morning, they was telling me that this had happened,” DJ Paul continued. “I didn’t believe it at first, they was like, ‘Ricky died,’ and I’m like, ‘Ricky who?’ and I was like, ‘Get the fuck outta here.’ I couldn’t believe it even though I was kind of preparing for it just because one day he was talking kind of crazy a couple of weeks ago and he was like, ‘I think I’ve got four months to live,’ and this and that and I was like, ‘No you don’t, get outta here.’ He was telling the same thing to his momma last week.”
Lord Infamous is one of the founding members of Three 6 Mafia. Along with Juicy J and DJ Paul, he appeared on all of the group’s early releases and released his debut solo effort, Lord Of Terror, in 1994, which preceded the group’s breakthrough independent release, 1995’s Mystic Stylez. He also participated in creating Three 6 Mafia offshoot group, Da Mafia Six’s latest release, 6ix Commandments, which was released last month.
“He got a chance to see all his dreams come true,” DJ Paul said when asked about Lord Infamous’ role on 6ix Commandments. “Me and [Gangsta] Boo and everybody back in the studio, like he always wanted to see that ’cause we all grew up together. We was 14, 15 when it started so he was happy to see that.”