Houston, Texas – Renowned Houston rapper Big Pokey, whose real name was Milton Powell, has tragically passed away after collapsing during a performance at a Juneteenth-themed event in Texas. The incident occurred on Saturday at the Pour09 Bar in Beaumont, where the artist fell backwards on stage, prompting immediate assistance from witnesses. Powell, 45, was rushed to a nearby hospital but succumbed to the incident on Sunday.
In a statement released by his publicist, it was acknowledged that Big Pokey was deeply cherished by his family, friends, and loyal fans. Fondly remembered as “The Hardest Pit In The Litter,” a nod to his debut album, the rapper’s untimely death has left a void in the music industry.
Video footage circulating on social media captured the sudden moment when Powell fell backward with his microphone while performing. Paramedics were summoned to the scene shortly before midnight, and the cause of his death has yet to be disclosed.
Big Pokey gained recognition as a founding member of the Screwed Up Click, a prominent hip-hop collective consisting of Houston-based artists. The group played a pivotal role in popularizing the city’s unique “chopped-and-screwed” sound, characterized by its relaxed, slow-paced tempo achieved by altering the pitch and speed of the music.
Powell achieved notable success, charting on the Billboard Hot 100 with his appearance on the Paul Wall single “Sittin Sidewayz” in 2005. Last year, he collaborated with Megan Thee Stallion on the track “Southside Royalty Freestyle.”
Following the news of Big Pokey’s passing, numerous artists including Juice J, Slim Thug, and Lil Flip have paid tribute to the rapper. Houston rapper Bun B took to Instagram to express his sorrow, describing Big Pokey as a “low key, humble mountain of a man who moved with honor and respect.” Bun B hailed him as one of the most naturally talented artists in the city and emphasized the indelible impact Big Pokey had as an iconic member of the Screwed Up Click.