While this is an extremely difficult time and I have an empty feeling that won’t go away, it was actually a little easier for me to get dressed today. I didn’t have to worry about my shoe game being on point. See, Sean was an avid sneaker collector and connoisseur, and as quick as he’d throw a gratifying compliment to you if you were wearing a pair he admired, he’d have an entire room in an uproar if he were clowning you for wearing the wrong pair, “What the eff are those”?! .
I called Sean last Wednesday, he picked up the phone, and he basically cursed me out… but that was nothing out of the ordinary, he could be cantankerous and grumpy, especially when we were gearing up to promote a new project. I called him an ogre. For the 22 plus years I had the honor to know him, when I called the house Sean answered the phone with either; “What the F you want”, “What did I do?”; or Joe’s Pizza. From his answer, it was code for how much we’d get accomplished on that call.
When in a good mood, Sean was enjoyable to talk to on the phone. He was direct and to the point, not a lot of extra talk, ray ray ki ki bo bo as he called it. He’d play me new verses recorded fresh out of PF’s studio, talk sports and TV shows, and would amuse himself making me awkwardly uncomfortable by asking me what’s todays math?
We go so far back, I remember he had his fun with the beepers too. In a late night nocturnal studio session at D&D he would sneak off and page my beeper with a popular rappers number and watch me call them back. Some how I’d end up on a call with the likes of a Jeru the Damaja, asking him what he wants, and him asking the same of me; both equally confused on how we connected, Sean in the studio cracking up.
The practical jokes at my expense didn’t end there, and I adored them. They were personalized and imaginative. He never made you feel bullied or humiliated (unless you had fur on your shoes) it was always something we could laugh at together after the pranks unfolded. In early Heltah Skeltah interviews, when he became predictably bored with the questions, and I had still had a flickering rap career from my verse on Black Moon’s “U Da Man”, straight faced, he told various reporters that I was recording an album with Bon Jovi. Later when I stopped traveling on the road with Sean, whenever he found himself in Baltimore he would tell the audience in the middle of his set that I wasn’t there because I watched the Wire and I was too scared. In present internet days, there’d be times with no warning, where he might go on a twitter rampage encouraging people to send me their demos and beats. My timeline and email would fill up. That was Sean with his mischievous and appropriately inappropriate sense of humor. He made us laugh till Tek had water in his eyes and all of our stomachs hurt.
Sean loved Hip Hop, specifically “hardcore rap and Mary J Blige records”…. He appreciated a wide range of artists, but he actually liked his music the most. “Sean Carter is nice but Sean Price is the best” he proclaimed. (And we would learn last night that Jay Z’s respect for Sean was mutual as we learned via DJ Premier that Jay reached out to us to send his personal condolences and make a very generous donation to Sean’s fund.)
Sean was a lyrical warrior, a savage competitor, a true Bar Barbarian. “I’m the nicest rapper out duke Eff what he said”… He took pride in his writing, was self aware of his skill, and had no lack of confidence. It’s that type of tenacity that you want to see in your power forward, his position in the Fab 5, and he had no reservations complementing himself; when we spoke, often saying – “Cheeze I’m Nice, I can rhyme a little bit.” We agreed he was nice, we said it thousands of times, but he made the MC’s he kept company with better too. On a given track, much like a great basketball player he challenged Artists to step up, always leading by example… “Sean Sparks like Jon Starks in the 4th Quarter”… I thought the senior editor from Wired, named Peter Rubin summed up Sean’s DNA as an MC best when he wrote: “What Sean Price did was write bars. Thousands and thousands of them, each an exercise in menacing literality. But his ice grill was deadpan; every threat was tinged with a laugh, and you could always hear the smile lurking behind the serious.
In the past week there’s been a tremendous flurry of media attention. Tributes given from long time supporters of Sean on Sirius radio from Scram Jones, DJ Eclipse & Premier, Statik Selektah, on specialty shows from Rosenberg, Combat Jack, Premium Pete and Dallas Penn, but other less likely, and bigger national media outlets which didn’t cover him in the past, have picked up on this part of Sean’s story. From a special by FunkMaster Flex on Hot 97, to landing on the cover of both The NY Post and Daily News where Sean would have surely appreciated being pictured next to Donald Trump, to even TMZ reporting. It’s rewarding to see him receive the recognition but at the same time frustrating. I found myself asking, why do so many talented Artists have to die to be relished, properly acknowledged? In conversation if I complained about something like this to Sean; and I would have, his most likely reply would be, “Cheeze if you can’t be used your useless”. “At the end of the day, it’s nighttime.”
Ask him about the changing of the guard in rap music, or his thoughts on what the current state of Hip Hop is today, and his answer would be “Nebraska”. Random answers complemented the random bars that commanded our attention, we craved to know what he would say or do next? Random Axe. He developed a close relationship with Hex and Black Milk and pushed Black for the right beats. He genuinely admired Guilty Simpson as an MC, one of the few that he would introduce me to including his brother Illa Noyz, Rusete Juxx, the late great Flood, Roc Marciano, Illaghee and Da Villans. These MC’s made him smile when he listened to their verses. He didn’t seek out big name feature artists to help sell his albums and didn’t allow us to do it for him either.
But at the heart, he played for one team throughout his career. He declared “I’m Boot Camp 4 Life” and no matter how turbulent times could become, he never waivered. He knew that his BCC kin loved him unconditionally, accepted his irrational ways, and most importantly that they could rhyme on his playing field. He always insisted that Rock was the better MC in Da Incredible Rap team of Heltah Skeltah, and told me on more than one occasion that coming up through the game, Steele was his favorite MC. Buck was a mentor and trusted confidant. We never had to ask, he proudly wore the Duck Down uniform, hats, shirts, hoodies, jackets, whatever, he carried our flag with him. Most importantly it seemed to him, he represented for Brooklyn, but more specifically for Brownsville, reminding us that “the sills been acquired since living in Tilden.”
Sean didn’t care much for industry events and politics, for that matter… In 2011, At a Rock The Bells press conference panel loaded with top tier Hip Hop talent, a reporter asked Sean who he was most looking forward to seeing, he replied “Nobody”, I’ll be in my dressing room smoking some trees until it’s my turn”. On Twitter and Instagram while many of his peers focused on accumulating followers, Sean countered by leading the social networks in blocks. Say something he remotely didn’t like, and you were banished. Some fans wore it as a badge of honor, proud that they were blocked by Sean Price.
At summer jam where he and I judged a battle on Hot 97’s festival stage for many, many years, he never did it for the exposure. He did it for the tickets for his family. Each year, instead of worrying about being back stage, or in VIP, he took his wife Bernadette and sat in the stadium where they could watch the show together.
Sean overstood that Bernadette held him down. I marveled how he invited her with him to all his shows. They rode out together. Hot, crowded dressing rooms full of dudes and smoke, Bernadette by his side and in the pictures too.
Bernadette – I don’t have to tell you but he loved you. And in turn we as fans loved that he shared bits and pieces of your private moments with us. He rhymed about you: “Yall know how I met her, we broke up and got back together, then broke up and got back together, pshhh – I love you, I hate you, I hate you, I love you, Our love is like husband and wife, or a brother and sister, unconditional love even if I aint with ya. Remember when I messed up, you kicked me out of the house? Wait a minute that was yesterday. “
Elijah, Terri, Shaun P, Cash you were his prized possessions. Underneath his armor, he was a man of value and integrity. He was a proud Father.
On a song called “Violent” off Sean’s Jesus Price album he starts the song off with an adlib line saying “I’m such a failure” he was joking of course, made us laugh yet again, but sadly, do believe that Sean had doubts and insecurities about his value and accomplishments. From looking around this room and witnessing the outpouring of grief that the hip-hop community displayed upon hearing the news of his passing, it showed how many people and Artist’s he touched. Pause – The love and light you bring out, makes you anything but a failure. You were inspiring, and left us a massive catalog of music to remember you by. But make no mistake about it; we love you for the person that you were, even more so than the legend that your music will live on to define.
“Sean is the man, and I’m doin all that I can
When I rhyme, I feel like the the world’s in the palm of my hand
All I is, is all I am
And all you is, who gives a Damn?” P!
That is all.
“My heart hurts. Sean Price is gone. Rest in Paradise legend,” 9th Wonder tweeted. Rapsody added, “This is the worst. To the legend…and big man with a big heart and big sense of humor…we love you Sean Price. RIP.”
Sean Price went from being a childhood hero of mine to a great friend. He was the most competitive MC I’ve ever met & kept me on my game,” Talib Kweli tweeted. Killer Mike also wrote, “RIP Sean Price. Mic God, lyrical Warrior and supreme Emcee.”
Rest in Power Sean Price. You were always a friend, a brother and an inspiring lyricist. We love you & we will always miss you Ruck – Immortal Technique
RIP to Sean P…. So sad man. He was a huge inspiration to me,” Macklemore wrote. “Grew up on BCC. Prayers to his family, friends and Duck Down.”
Ice-T added, “Sean Price of ‘Helta Skelta’ dies at 43…….. Waaaay too soon. RIP. Respect.”
Dat was a beautiful eulogy, word sean p/ruck was just one of dem dude great personality alway on top of things great music giver and just kept it a hundred no matter da situation, i enjoyed reading this
That was a nice eulogy,since sean price started his solo shit I been pulling people out from under they rocks to hear some real shit, I got a pic wit him n my boy who passed too bernedette took the pic for us sean blocked me on his ig for breaking his balls the same way he did ..but it wasn’t a badge of honor when ya idol shuns you riP
Been a fan since enta da stage, shinin and nocturnal and that was a deep, poignant eulogy, much respect to you and the entire mighty BCC. As an emcee myself Sean is a shining example of how we should all say fuck it, say what you feel
My mind was blown when the news came of Seans passing. At that point I realized how much of his music was in my iPod lol in my rotation for the gym work.. His aggressive style was a motivator for me in many ways! Rest in Power P!
That was a nice ode to the Man. Rock and Ruck taught me that to be an MC, dnt follow the normal whatever out. Keep that ish hard, true and definetly lyrical. They helped make me the smash mouth rapper I am. Like Ice T said…”Way to soon.” By the way MIC TYSON is one of the illest albums ever. Im out kid
That was amazing!!!! Rest in peace to on of my favorite MC ‘s on the planet. You will be missed and Hip Hop had taken an L……
Just a few daze or so before Sean P passed… i was reading a whole story magazine on the life and times of JIMI HENDRIX… and in my mind, not comparing the two at all… it was as though SEAN P came and went and just disappeared like a HALEY’S COMET!! So… if no one was around to see or hear his words… then you missed it! You missed out! GOD REST SEAN P! ☝? I still cry on the inside thinkin all this is a hoax! Yet his words and music will live on forever…. ✌PEACE!
My condolences to the Price family, the Duck Down camp and all the friends and fans around the globe. I’ve been active in the in hip-hop community in Philly for nearly 20 years as an artist, a promotor, a talent scout, a culture upholder, networker, a fan and a friend to the talent that I am so spoiled to be around constantly—so when i say that the entire scene in 215 has been in mourning, I mean just that–everyone is shellshocked. My social feeds are adorned with quotables, riP hashtags, dozens and dozens of pics from times Brownsville and Philly shared a stage, or a event, or a session. He was a friend to the whole scene out here. Looking back this past week ive realized that Sean P and alot of the MCs here are relatable–you spoke so truthfully in the eulogy about not receiving the proper attention while he still here, that is a trait of the Philly MC, but that was never an issue as long as Sean P was still crackin a grin, cuttin somebody up, bringing his daughter on the stage, being loyal to your squad and the circle around you and so forth. Its as if he reminded alot of us here that its going to be ok–because respect will take you on a further ride then any limo or private jet. From a artists perspective, having Sean feature on a joint or give you a dap on your craft or text you back or even just bust it up with you when there was no beat playing—you felt validated and honored–it was not something you took for granted nor would it be something you used a crutch. He was us. We could identify with him—My friends, my peers, my brothers and sisters lost a piece of themselves with Sean’s passing. I can’t recall when everyone from the MCs to the journalists to the bartender to the merch guy to established and to the rookies–all dealing with grief. I can however proudly say that his name and the values he held in this culture/business will never be compromised from anyone on the this end of I-95. I never got the opportunity to tell him in person, but… Hey Sean, thank you.
I remember seeing the whole BCC over by Emory University so many years ago. Sean aka Ruck still had the locks. Man that was a unforgettable Saturday. Thanks for your contributions to hip-hop Sean. Never taken for granted ever. Salute!
I felt this 100percent…. And was glad to see that i wasn’t the only one with that empty feeling… Price was great…. Price Is great… I contemplated not listening to any other artists if they didn’t have love or didn’t do a track with him… I figured rap couldn’t survive without him. Yes he is that influential.. I feel bad for the state of hip-hop now… Price made me feel there was still hope…. Gonna miss son.. I feel like I lost a family member yo…
Jamming Nocturnal side B. Been a Duck Down fan since high school- 93. I’m a old man now. These records shaped my youth. R. I. P. Sean Price.
Thanks for sharing. We as fans always received bits and pieces of his sense of humors on the interviews and that always left us craving for more. Condolences to the whole bcc and heaven definitly gained a rap god. #RipSeanPrice
That was a really good tribute! Made me feel like I knew him too
Rest easy God…..
Condolences to the Price family and the whole DuckDown/BCC. Been a fan since Enter the stage and actually loved Heltah Skeltah the most out of any BCC group or affiliation. Always looked for a new smash to come from Price and could always count on a hard track from the brotha…. One of the most underrated MCs and definitely the most well known unknown MC, not to mention the “brokest rapper” I know…. RIP Sean Peeeeeeeee
The perfect home going letter, beautiful expression.
I’m still messed up. BCC was my structure on how to do a rap group properly. I still have Nocturnal on cassette. Hope he’s watching from a better place. Bootcampian Champion. “Eshkoshkaaaaaa”
It’s not that I’m a snob or some old school fool, it’s just that listening to Ruck on the mic raises your bar so high that a lot of other MCs become toys to your ears.
Loved boot camp click .. one of my favorites growing up. . Still have the tapes from 94… its a shame he passed away.. give my blessings to his fam.. im 38 years old… and till this day still pump there shit… bbc for life.. this generation will never understand true meaning of hip-hop .. like that … shout out to the whole boot camp… smith and weson ,helter skelter , buck shot .. original gun clappers… I miss that error. .. peace…
Rest in paradise I remember P liked a few posts on my insta, shit I felt special lol at the same time I’d see him blocking folks shit was funny.
Blessing to the Price fam… bcc for life! Listening to him now!
Words can’t express how I feel every time a legend passes away. Sean Price is one of my favorite emcees from one of my favorite crews in the history of hip hop. God bless his soul, his family, fellow fans, and Duck Down! I wrote a piece dedicated to him. Rest in PPPP!!!!!
My heart burns as I write and celebrate the life of Sean Price- Before he passed at night-he made his mark as being nice on the mic-/
He entered the stage with Buckshot, Mr. Walt, Dru-Ha, 5FT, and Evil Dee-One fifth of The Fab and the power forward of BCC- Ruck of Heltah Skeltah was the great Sean P-/
Straight out of Brownsville- he hound skills- successfully rocking sound fields without a major deal- son never chilled- in interviews he kept it real-/
Monkey Barz a solo classic- read the creds before unwrapping the plastic-bobbing my onion head to the tunes of Professor Patrick-losing one of the greatest is tragic-he was one of the few that could spit metaphors that were massive to the masses-/
leflaur leflah eshkoshka-wishing I would’ve met him so he could sign my poster- keeping his memory alive with his music in my folder-dedicated to the boot camp soldier
The Boot Camp Soldier (Sean Price Dedication)
this dude was such an inspiration to hip hop, i been a fan of his ever since he’s been a solo artist & he will surely be missed.R.I.P. Sean P.
Who would try to sell a potato on the Pawn Star TV show?
P that’s who!!!
Great words, Rest in Power Sean P
Great Eulogy. I quote a Sean Price line almost every day of my life. My Favorite MC. He will be missed. P!!!
Losing Sean Price is the equivalent of losing Big L to me.. two of the most underrated rappers of all-time. RIP Sean P… :'(
very well done. Nobody could have done any better than you Dru. We appreciate the delivery of the beautiful eulogy. Thanks baby. We love you.
Sean Price a legend and lyrical genius for real! Been rhyming for a while but when I heard the Magnum Force album I was incredibly inspired, Rock and Ruc were lyrical acrobatic monsters. I then began following his solo career and really used to put on Sean P not only to hear some of the greatest punchlines but also to get my laugh on, I anxiously waited for Son to say some funny shit and it never failed my stomach was in knots.
Can’t express enough to say hip hop took a hit from one of the best; as Sean would have said: “Sean is the best, yall niggas is the opposite par, shut the fuck up put a sock in it par; BE QUIET”
RIP SEAN P
Bklyn Stax (B’ville BK)
Im Brazilian..in here..Sean is like GOD RAPPER..” teras” .so many souls feel it that way..REST peace..THE GOD RAPPER tun TO GOD OF ALL EXISTENCE!!Keeping P body
Was a Fan since High School in ’93, Happy i was a teen during the golden ERA and was able to experience the BCC at it’s peak, still a FAN and will rep BCC until i stop breathing. RIP RUCK #DECEPTICONS
I’VE WRITTEN ABOUT TAWL SEAN AND FEW TIMES. THIS YEAR IS ABOUT TO END IN ANOTHER WEEK. I’M HURT, THAT IT HAS TO END WITHOUT SEAN PRICE BEING AROUND. YET ALONE, SEE 2016. DONE LOST A LOT OF CLOSE PEOPLE. AND SURE TO LOOSE MORE. NOT TO BE BITING WHAT STEELE SAID, BUT HE’S RIGHT. TOMORROW’S NOT PROMISED IT’S EARNED. AND STILL NOT SURE TO GO TO PARADISE. IF JESUS DIED, WE WILL TOO. IT’S A SAD THING MAN. BOOT CAMP CLIK, I LOVE YOU GUYS. YA’LL DONE RAISED ON THE STREETS LEVEL, AND OTHER FACETS OF LIFE TOO. I RESPECT YA’LL FOR NOT BEING COMMERCIALIZED, AND TALKING ABOUT OTHER THINGS APART FROM THEM WHAT ARE THEY RAPPERS???. I DON’T KNOW WHAT THEY CALL THEMSELVES DOIN. BUT YA’LL THE TRUTH THOUGH. THANK YOU. SEAN PRICE YOU TOO MAN. R.I.P.
Sean price was the man a brilliant rapper and I’m from California I’ve been following him since black moon and since therapy how many of you remember that joint. As he got older he became a much better lyrical mc I was shocked when I heard the news you and your music will be missed I went out and bought every song he ever made god bless you and your family big ruck. And to the whole bootcamp Clik keep your head up buckshot, tek, Steele, top dog,rock,starang, Louisville, illa noyz.