*Rapper Robert “Koopsta Knicca” Cooper Phillips, member of Memphis group Three 6 Mafia, died Thursday (Oct. 8) in Memphis due to complications from a stroke he suffered on Sunday, reports Billboard. He was 40 years old.
Phillips contributed to every Three 6 Mafia album through the early and mid-’90s, beginning with their 1994 debut “Smoked Out, Loced Out.” He launched a solo run with the 1999 album “Da Devil’s Playground” shortly before leaving the group in 2000 following arrests on charges of domestic violence, assault and aggravated burglary.
After remaining involved with the group through the 2000s, Phillips officially rejoined in 2013 when Three 6 Mafia reunited as Da Mafia 6ix. The reunited group released an album, “Watch What U Wish…” earlier this year, and was working on a comeback.
“Me and Koop had just started writing his new album ‘Da Devil’s Playground 2…’ but we didn’t get a chance to record yet,” Three 6 Mafia founder DJ Paul told Memphis’ Commercial Appeal. “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.”
DJ Paul added that Phillips “went in peace,” saying of his friend and bandmate that “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.”
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