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Koopsta Knicca, Three 6 Mafia Rapper, Dead at 40

Hip-hop star born Robert Phillips died of complications from a stroke

Rapper Robert “Koopsta Knicca” Phillips, founding member of the Memphis-based rap group Three 6 Mafia, died Friday of complications from a stroke. He was 40.

Three 6 Mafia co-founder DJ Paul confirmed the death via the Commercial Appeal, stating that the rapper “went in peace … Everyone who knew Koop knew he was very funny and the coolest guy ever. He will be missed. We made classics together that’ll live on.”

Phillips was born in April 1975 and was one of the founding members of Memphis rap group Three 6 Mafia. After recording a solo album titled “Da Devil’s Playground” in 1999, he left Three 6 Mafia amid personal legal troubles.

He reunited with other ex-Three 6 Mafia members to form Da Mafia 6ix in 2013, after having released several solo projects.

The Commercial Appeal reports that he had been working on a follow-up to his 1999 solo album with DJ Paul at the time of his stroke.

“Me and Koop had just started writing his new album ‘Devil’s Playground 2’… but we didn’t get a chance to record yet,” said DJ Paul. “We had concerts coming up starting next month too. He also just got a home in Vegas that he was moving to on Tuesday, but never got to even see it in person.”

Another Three 6 Mafia alum died in December 2013 — Ricky “Lord Infamous” Dunigan died of a heart attack at the age of 40 as well.