Lou Reed died earlier today, of complications related to the liver transplant surgery he had in May. The punk rock forefather and Velvet Underground frontman was 71. At the time of the procedure, his wife, performance artist Laurie Anderson, said that he had been "dying" prior to receiving the transplant.

Reed was a veritable institution in the city of New York, and in many ways, a huge inspiration in the rap world. His talk-singing on "Walk On The Wild Side" is often cited as an example of rap, and was most famously sampled by A Tribe Called Quest for "Can I Kick It." In the 80s, Reed released a song called "The Original Rapper," and has kept himself current during recent years, having praised Kanye West for Yeezus in interviews and an album review.

[via Rolling Stone]

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