Brooklyn, NY

Educated Rapper (also known as EMD) of the classic Hip Hop group UTFO has passed away, according to former Geto Boys DJ Ready Red, Rahiem of the Furious Five, fellow UTFO member Mix Master Ice and legendary Bronx promoter Van Silk. He was 54.

The news was confirmed late Saturday (June 3) after the “Roxanne, Roxanne” MC had been taken to a Brooklyn hospital where he, unfortunately, did not pull through. Prior to his passing, Mix Master Ice, who was UTFO’s DJ, penned an emotional tribute via Facebook.

“This is a All Out Cry For Prayer,” Ice wrote. “I just got the ok from family to go viral.. As I hold his hand, I need everyone’s power in prayer to pray for one of my best friends since 1979 & hip hop partner, Jeffrey Campbell.. Known to our World Wide fans as: The Educated Rapper MD or EMD 1/4 of the U.T.F.O. crew, which stands for: ‘Untouchable Force Organization.’ * He is extremely ill and not doing well..Please help us pray for a Miracle Blessing..”

While details surrounding his passing are scarce, Van Silk, who is a self-professed “Hip Hop Ambassador” and legend in his own right, mentioned he had cancer while speaking to HipHopDX.

“I just got off the phone with Rahiem,” Van Silk says. “They were all at the hospital last night. It was the first time all original members of UTFO had been together in a long time. He had been sick with cancer and must have had it for a while.”



Van Silk penned a tribute of his own via Facebook as well.

“Sorry..I heard the pain and prayer last night when I called when you was with him,” he wrote. “Thanks for letting me be part of that moment. MAY OUR HIP HOP AMBASSADOR SLEEP IN PEACE..REST SIR. JEFFERY CAMPBELL aka EDUCATED RAPPER.”

The news has already set off a ripple effect across the Hip Hop community. Ready Red also took to social media to express his shock at the sudden turn of events and explained to DX how quickly it happened.



“Van Silk posted that he wasn’t doing well and a few hours later Rahiem from the Furious Five posted a R.I.P,” Ready Red tells HipHopDX. “When I first heard of the Educated Rapper, I took notice of his clear delivery and excellent flow. He was a top notch MC in the best era ever. He will be missed.”

The Brooklyn-based UTFO was active between 1984 and 1992 during Hip Hop’s golden age, and was responsible for the aforementioned celebrated classic “Roxanne, Roxanne” and “Pick Up The Pace” from the 1985 Hip Hop film Krush Groove. The members of UTFO —  Kangol Kid, Educated Rapper, Doctor Ice and Mix Master Ice — were also among the first breakdancers to appear on daytime television.

Several other notable Hip Hop figures took to social media to express their condolences, including Kool Keith, Chuck D, Rahiem, DJ Premier, Masta Ace, Geechi Suede of Camp Lo, RA The Rugged Man, Pete Rock, and (of course) Mix Master Ice and Kangol Kid.