Friday, the music world lost another legend when Prince Be died from complications with renal kidney disease. As one half of the rap duo P.M. Dawn, Prince Be helped define the sound of the genre in the late 1980s and early 1990s, especially on their debut release, Of the Heart, of the Soul and of the Cross: The Utopian Experience.

In the wake of the stunning news, the following statement was shared on P.M. Dawn's official Facebook page.

Following that, a number of major music luminaries took to social media to express their grief over Prince Be's far-too-early passing.

Roots drummer Questlove went deep, writing that he, "coulda been hip hop's Brian Wilson. Eccentric. Rich. Textured. Talented. A Sad Beauty. Melancholy....Genius? 3 Dimensional?"


Man. We did #PrinceBe dirty. Forever etched in the minds of true school hiphopers as an undeserving piñata in krs' darkest hour---actually as I write this I will say *that incident* marked the beginning of the "political correctness" period of hip hop. Or it could mark the beginning of its ending (another "Prince" example, I never see #SignOTheTimes as "the masterpiece!!!" More than I see it as "the curtain call of genius" only to show up now and then---the ending)---after "the incident" nothing was the same. Nada. (For Kris or Prince Be...actually for hip hop period but that's another story) Prince Be coulda been hip hop's Brian Wilson. Eccentric. Rich. Textured. Talented. A Sad Beauty. Melancholy....Genius? 3 Dimensional? I quietly championed him that saddens me. Why? Cause I didn't want the other kids to think I was some sappy dweeb that felt bad for the kid from *that incident*?---yeah man. In my 40s now idgaf about speculation of my "coolness" and "downess" Actually I can't be dweeby enough...but yeah man---behind closed doors I'd marvel at how his mixes were so cotdamn clean. And his harmonies on point. And his content? All that spacey metaphysical emo "nextness" that defined post aughts/modern hip hop was his lane all day. And let's just get it out in the open: De La Soul deserves a #MacarthurGenius for #EyeKnow's rhyme cadence ALONE. Glass half fool is: "why mofos bitting De La flow!?!?" Glass half full is: "duh! When you are pioneering as De La & #3FeetHighAndRising was (listen up @mtv the pubescent reviewers they hire) it's gonna INFLUENCE & shift the axis: Digable/Arrested/Roots/Kast---everyone learned from that album--It's just that #PMDawn friggin mastered that jawn perfectly. Dude I so don't wanna be the posthumous post guy---I tried to not sermonize Ali because part of me knew that everyone would wax poetic. But the itch and the thought that #PrinceBe could make an exit in silence frightens me. Cause it ain't like no one that's been in the top 10 for the last 10 years on iTunes will say anything. that's maddening. This dude was a friggin mind blowing artist who deserved better than this man....thank you comrade for your contributions to hip hop.

A photo posted by Questlove Gomez (@questlove) on


Chris Rock paid tribute in his own irreverent style saying that, "I'm not gonna be crazy and compare him to prince or Bowie. But the guy made some pretty good music. "I'd die without you " is a great song."

While Justin Timberlake jumped in to add, "Gone too soon. RIP, good sir. You are a huge influence on me and so many."

Here are some more tributes to the Prince Be that really reveal the cross-genre impact of his art.


Just yesterday... DAMN!!!! #ripprincebe #pmdawn

A photo posted by delasolarvision (@wearedelasoul) on Jun 17, 2016 at 7:59pm PDT


Man.... Rest in Peace Prince Be #PMDawn #SetAdriftOfMemoryBliss #IIlDieWithOutYou

A photo posted by 9th Wonder (@9thwonder) on Jun 17, 2016 at 5:33pm PDT