Project Blowed rapper Gajah, who was a member of the Los Angeles underground Hip Hop group Acid Reign, has died at 42. Tributes for the fallen MC started popping up on social media over the weekend from fellow L.A. rap staples Myka 9 of Freestyle Fellowship, 2Mex, Abstract Rude and, of course, Project Blowed.
In a statement sent to HipHopDX, Gajah’s Acid Reign partner-in-rhyme BëOND reflected on their roughly 30-year friendship as he expressed his grief.
“Gajah’s been my best friend and brother-in-rhymes since we were 14,” he tells DX. “Watching him grow from a young hungry Hip Hop head to the full-grown wordsmith we all know him as has been the most inspiring event I could have ever lived though. I’ll love and miss you always Gaj, Acid Reign forever!!”
Myka 9 adds, “He was absolutely hands down one among us. an entity of extraordinary talent and statesmanship, a peaceful river of rhyme that in skill flowed with ranges from a calm stream to roaring rapid fire delivery. It was an honor to know him and create with him. The pain is real. It’s all love!”
Meanwhile, Abstract Rude remembered his friend with a touching Instagram post that made it painfully clear just how much he was revered in the underground rap community.
“1 of our best skilled, most humble and nicest dudes in the history of this Blowed family…has gone home this morning,” he wrote. “Our dear brother @gajahmatik of Acid Reign. U will be missed so much my brother.
‘To the family, his beautiful child and immediate close ones like @itsbeond @olmecaofficial @djethos @biz.one.87, my condolences and heart felt sympathy and love and strength. #ripGajah #acidreignforever #gajahforever yr music and memory and legacy lives on!!! 4Life!”
Open Mike Eagle expressed his shock in another Instagram post, writing, “been tough to make the space to write this on the road. Gajah meant a lot to me. Not only was he incredibly talented and insanely skilled, he was a really really kind person.
“when I got to LA not a lot of the OGs were rocking with me at first but Gajah was. we did songs and shows together before I had any right to be featured next to someone of his stature. sending love to @itsbeond @olmecaofficial and @turtl_lunarpistola.”
Uncommon Nasa, who toured with Gajah multiple times, was completely caught by off guard by Gajah’s death. He took his thoughts to a newsletter and included his initial Instagram post upon hearing the news.
“I am in complete shock and more numb than I’ve ever been to learn that Gajah has passed away,” he wrote. “I’m almost not in the condition to make a post like this but I want to make sure that people know how special Gajah was.”
He added, “This kind of loss of a friend is unprecedented for me. I have so many memories of Gajah and but so much space, so I wanted to make sure I shared some of my strongest thoughts along with what’s above. Gajah had the talent to be one of the best battle rappers of all time and while he did show and prove in so many ways, he used his talent to talk about things in his music few others did.
“He was focused on the homeless, the jobless, people making minimum wage, personal responsibility, drug abuse and world peace (literally, world peace!). There was never a topic too large for him to tackle or a statement too bold for it to not fit coming from him. He was always after positivity, ethics and growth. This was all true of him off stage and behind the scenes, but there were not many that better put those kinds of sentiments into moving, powerful and fun music like Gajah.”
Although no cause of death has been confirmed, BëOND shared, “He went to the hospital and he was sent home with kidney and gallstones Tuesday night. He thought he would take the meds and get better but the pain never stopped. Due to the pain he was unable to sleep very much and was exhausted. Thursday night he finally went to sleep and never woke up.”
HipHopDX sends our condolences to Gajah’s family and friends. Check out some of the tributes below.
RIP Gajah @Gajahmatik. It was an honor to record and produce for Acid Reign, one of the very first signings to Alpha Pup when we started the label. Condolences to the Navarette family, his daughter, and the Project Blowed collective.
— Daddy Kev (@daddykev) April 9, 2022
rest in peace Gajah. project blowed forever
— ghetto fragile. (@Mike_Eagle) April 9, 2022
My friend died (right)
Rest in Peace, Gajah
Of Acid Reign and The Project Blowed ?????? pic.twitter.com/b2xAmjdkGu
— Abbs (@AbbstractedMind) April 9, 2022