A famed New York DJ, Lovebug Starski, has died at 57, according to reports over the weekend.
Starski, born Kevin Smith, died of a heart attack in Las Vegas, NPR reported.
— Okayplayer (@okayplayer) February 9, 2018
— 2DOPEBOYZ (@2DopeBoyz) February 9, 2018
Starski is credited with helping create the phrase “hip-hop” during the late 1970s.
The DJ as well as Keith Cowboy of Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five began a call-and-response: “I’d say the ‘hip,’ he’d say the ‘hop.’ And then he stopped doing it, and I kept doing it,” NPR reported.
According to Chuck D, the rapper from Public Enemy, “Lovebug Starski was A DJ, MC, and innovator. A pioneer who excelled before and after the recording line of ’79, the year when rap records began. He was the first double trouble threat in Hip Hop and rap music. He DJ’ed for the great MCs and MC’ed with the great DJs. Besides Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five, Lovebug Starski was one of the few that took his legendary street records status into the recording world.”
He was still performing over the past decade, including a show with KRS-One in Las Vegas last week, Pitchfork reported.
We Lost One Of Our Greatest Pioneers Of Hip Hop…
He Is Also Known As One Of The People Who Came Up With The Name "HIP HOP" Aside From Another Legend "Keith Cowboy" Of "The Furious 5"…
Salute To All The Pioneers and Condolences To His Family.#HipHop pic.twitter.com/AH4bNrSIOg
— DJ Premier (@REALDJPREMIER) February 9, 2018
— The Source Magazine (@TheSource) February 9, 2018
R.I.P Lovebug Starski. You will be missed 🌹https://t.co/Df4KUdTmPw
— HotNewHipHop (@HotNewHipHop) February 9, 2018
— HYPEBEAST Music (@HYPEBEASTMusic_) February 9, 2018
From The Epoch Times