Brooklyn, NY – Hip Hop careers have the allure of world travel, adulation and (hopefully) money but one thing they don’t have is a health plan. As our Hip Hop pioneers age, more often they are finding themselves in precarious situations.
Jimmy Spicer, one of the first MCs to release a rap song on wax, has been diagnosed with advanced brain and lung cancer. Fellow pioneering Hip Hop artist Kurtis Blow shared the news on Twitter roughly two weeks ago.
“Jimmy Spicer – One of the pioneers of [Hip] Hop needs our help,” he wrote. Attached was the link to Spicer’s GoFundMe page.
According to the GoFundMe page, Spicer is currently undergoing radiation treatment for his brain tumor but needs chemotherapy for the tumor in his lung. So far, he’s raised less than $1,500 out of his $100,000 goal.
Spicer dropped “Adventures Of Super Rhymes” in 1980 and laid out the blueprint for MCs like Slick Rick and Dana Dane. With his storytelling raps, he captivated listeners with his wild tales of life in Brooklyn.
Spicer’s music has been sampled by numerous Hip Hop artists. Wu-Tang Clan famously sampled Spicer’s “Money (Dollar Bill Y’all) for the classic cut “C.R.E.A.M.” and Montell Jordan used snippets of the same track for his 1995 hit “This Is How We Do It.”
Kanye West, MC Lyte, Busta Rhymes, 2Pac, Warren G and The D.O.C. have also taken a few notes from Spicer to create some of their music.
But in terms of solo output, Spicer has retreated from the music industry for the better part of three decades.
According to author Mark Skillz, he simply wanted to focus on his family.
“In 25 to 30 years, he hasn’t really done an interview,” Skillz tells HipHopDX. “Jimmy is a real mercurial dude. When I finally got Jimmy on the phone — I went through his daughter, his producer and Count Coolout and finally through Facebook, I got in touch with Jimmy — he said, ‘Ok I’ll do your interview.’
“We did like a two or three hour interview. Around 2010, I went to Brooklyn and met him and hung out with him. Jimmy was 53 at the time. I never met a 53-year-old like Jimmy Spicer. This dude showed up at the crib at 2 a.m. ready to go club hopping!”
He continues, “I’m around 45 and so I’m like me and clubs — that’s been over — but not Jimmy. Not Jimmy. That dude can dance. Most rappers — the overwhelming amount of rappers — cannot dance. Most MCs can’t dance. It wasn’t until the ’90s when you saw Big Daddy Kane, Heavy D or MC Hammer who could dance. But Jimmy can.”
To donate to Spicer’s GoFundMe page, check out this link.