Born in London to Igbo-Nigerian parents, the rapper born Benedict Chijioke released his debut album, Awkward, in 2001, which showcased a quintessentially British take on American-styled boom-bap. Most impressively, Ty was revered highly for his storytelling, with early cuts like "Oh You Want More" earning him a very loyal following.
The news of Ty's condition came from a fundraiser that was launched in early April, which said that he was "admitted into the hospital with medical complications related to Covid-19. Shortly after, he was put in a medically induced coma to temporarily sedate to help his body receive the appropriate treatment."
After his condition began to improve, Chijioke was moved out of intensive care in mid-April, but following an update posted on his fundraising page, organiser Diane Laidlaw said: "Ty's condition had been improving but last week, while on a normal ward, he had contracted pneumonia which worsened his recovery and ultimately Ty's body couldn't fight back anymore... close friends, family and fans are devastated of his death."
The British music scene took to Twitter to pay their respects:
Rest in Peace, Ty (Ben Chijioke).— AWATE (@AWATEMUSIC) May 7, 2020
Paved the way for artists like myself and continued to bring through new talent on his radio shows. My thoughts are with his family, friends and fans. pic.twitter.com/1HUgSJGIH5
It breaks my heart to have to share this.— Jasmine Dotiwala (@jasminedotiwala) May 7, 2020
I had been waiting for @tymusic to recover before using this pic of our crew celebrating him.
It's now a tribute photo on a devastating day.
We are all in shock and trying to process this news.
Ty was our boy our whole lives. RIEP. pic.twitter.com/59oBokfyE6
Incredibly sad news this evening. RIP Ty. Our thoughts and condolences are with his family and friends. pic.twitter.com/5FfTT89iAP— Mercury Prize (@MercuryPrize) May 7, 2020
RIP Ty❤️ pic.twitter.com/SOGpuDRwKb— Children of Zeus (@ChildrenOfZeus) May 7, 2020
RIP TY. A friend, a role model and a true foundation to UK Rap! 💔😢 pic.twitter.com/EhlqndyvGI— Charlie Sloth (@CharlieSloth) May 7, 2020
RIP TY— Wiley (@GettinEmHypa) May 7, 2020
Ty fly high my brother ❤️— GHETTS (@THEREALGHETTS) May 7, 2020
Ty’s ‘Wait A Minute’ is a classic song for the Channel U generation and beyond. A UK hiphop legend - RIP 🙏🏾— Austin (@AustinDarbo) May 7, 2020
ah man RIP Ty. When we signed to Big Dada our first shows outside of France (quite frankly our first proper gigs full stop) were opening for him. He gave us tips, showed us around London, he was an amazing artist & performer— Teki Latex (@TekiLatex) May 7, 2020
Last tym i c Ty i ws shook 2chat him in the shop. I left the shop an i ws gon go bk in. Wish i did nw jus 2say fanx. He engineerd my studio session w vikter duplaix in 2012 and ws supa helpful gettin it recorded dwn. RiP— Scratchclart ⬛ (@ScratchaDVA) May 7, 2020
R.I.P. to a true legend.