Damn, you can never get used to hearing news like this. Veteran Brooklyn emcee and friend of the DopeHouse, Pumpkinhead (PH), passed away this morning from reasons yet to be determined.
A staple in the underground rap scene in New York during the late 90’s, PH continued to release music over the years (If you’ve yet to hear his Marco Polo-produced Orange Moon Over Brooklyn LP from 2005, I highly suggest you check it out.) and helped play an intricate part in the success of today’s battle scene.
He was one of the most genuine folks I’ve met in the game and he was loved by anyone who knew him. Rest in Paradise Robert “Pumpkinhead” Diaz. You will be missed.
Longtime friends and partners-in-rhyme Talib Kweli, Pharoahe Monch, Brother Ali, and others have also offered their condolences…
Just finding out I lost a great friend today. RIP Robert Diaz AKA Pumpkinhead. Robert and I went to PS 282 together in Brooklyn, 4th grade. We then reconnected when he became an MC during the indie era of the late 90s. He signed to Makin Records, I signed to Rawkus. Then PH went on to reinvent himself again in the new battle rap era. He LOVED MCing and was great at it. To lose such a great human being so early in his life, man. No words. There is a fraternity of artists who were around for all of this. PH inspired us all. He will live on thru us even though his physical presence will be missed. RIP Robert Diaz.
Everybody that knew PH loved that dude. And I'm not just saying that cuz he passed away. Thats the TRUTH. RIP Robert Diaz AKA Pumpkinhead.
— R.A. the Rugged Man (@RAtheRuggedMan) June 9, 2015
Heartbroken to learn about the great Pumpkinhead transitioning from this life. Incredible MC and precious soul. Loved, Honored & Remembered.
— Brother Ali (@BrotherAli) June 9, 2015
wow. just heard the news about our brother pumpkinhead. rest in peace to a talented and great man.
— atmosfish (@atmosphere) June 9, 2015
Condolences and love to the family and friends of PH aka Pumpkinhead. He had a real passion for this culture and lived it like few do.
— soulkhan (@soulkhan) June 9, 2015
I’m completely devastated. RIP PH. pic.twitter.com/wDmsRaHk20
— PHAROAHE MONCH (@pharoahemonch) June 9, 2015
Also, before the recent trend of throwback freestyles came into play, PH was rocking the classics left and right. Back in 2009, we even teamed up with him to release his My Era (No Skinny Jeans Allowed) mixtape – which found him alongside the likes of Sha Stimuli, Copywrite, Homeboy Sandman, and others. For a little blast from the past, I’ve included it below.