Duke Bootee, Rapper and Co-Writer of Hip-Hop Classic ‘The Message,’ Dead at 69

Duke Bootee, the pioneering rapper who co-wrote and appeared on Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five’s classic “The Message” — Number One on Rolling Stone’s list of the 100 Greatest Hip-Hop Songs of All Time — died Wednesday at the age of 69.

Born Edward Fletcher, the rapper died at his home in Savannah, Georgia. The cause was end-stage congestive heart failure, his wife, Rosita, confirmed to Rolling Stone.

Fletcher served as a member of Sugar Hill Records’ house band alongside fellow New Jersey funk veterans like bassist Doug Wimbish, guitarist Skip Alexander, and keyboardist Jiggs Chase, the latter of whom recruited Fletcher for Sugar Hill Records.

READ ALL ABOUT IT AT ROLLINGSTONE

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