Arrested Development has been captivating audiences around the globe for the better part of three decades. On Friday (October 26), Arrested Development’s de facto leader Speech had the difficult task of letting the world know the Grammy Award-winning group lost its elder and an integral part of band, Baba Oje. The 86-year-old passed away at 4 a.m. on Friday morning.

“Hip-Hop culture just lost a soldier,” Speech began. “#RIPBABAOJE. BABA OJE the elder from the 2x Grammy Award winning group ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT passed this morning at 4am after fighting acute Leukemia, he was 86 years old. Baba was the oldest member of any hip-hop collective and his mere presence in rap spoke volumes for the genre and for a generation looking for symbolic wisdom and answers.

“He was an activist for the homeless, a military veteran, a world traveler, spiritual advisor to the group, strict vegan, dancer, vocalist and avid roller skater. His family & friends are scheduling service arrangements for him next week Friday. We will deeply miss Baba Oje and ask for prayers for his family.”

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October 26, 2018. Hip-Hop culture just lost a soldier. #RIPBABAOJE BABA OJE the elder from the 2x Grammy Award winning group ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT passed this morning at 4am after fighting acute Leukemia, he was 86 years old. Baba was the oldest member of any hip-hop collective and his mere presence in rap spoke volumes for the genre and for a generation looking for symbolic wisdom and answers. He was an activist for the homeless, a military veteran, a world traveler, spiritual advisor to the group, strict vegan, dancer, vocalist and avid roller skater. His family & friends are scheduling service arrangements for him next week Friday. We will deeply miss Baba Oje and ask for prayers for his family. I met Baba hanging with the young dudes while I was in college, he was always super cool and always willing to talk to the youth! I gathered up the nerve to ask him to be in my hip hop group, he at first said no. But he later reconsidered when he thought about the fact that a young black man was striving to start a positive rap thing. However, we both found out that this partnership was bigger than we even knew. We both learned later that Baba knew my parents and in fact, was the best man in my mother and fathers wedding way before I was even thought of! That's the spiritual bond we shared, he was literally like family to me, I will miss him terribly. – Speech

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Speech went on to reveal how he first met Baba. He would later discover Baba was the best man at his parents’ wedding.

“I met Baba hanging with the young dudes while I was in college, he was always super cool and always willing to talk to the youth!” he continued. “I gathered up the nerve to ask him to be in my hip hop group, he at first said no. But he later reconsidered when he thought about the fact that a young black man was striving to start a positive rap thing.

“However, we both found out that this partnership was bigger than we even knew. We both learned later that Baba knew my parents and in fact, was the best man in my mother and fathers wedding way before I was even thought of! That’s the spiritual bond we shared, he was literally like family to me, I will miss him terribly.”