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The Educated Rapper of UTFO dies, hip-hop pays its respects

The rapper with the show-stealing verse on "Roxane Roxanne" has died of cancer.

Jeffery Campbell aka The Educated Rapper, of 80s pioneering group UTFO, passed away on Saturday, with cancer as the cause of death.

Late last week, UTFO’s Kangol Kid released a message on Instagram urging fans to pray for his one-time partner in rhyme.

“Thursday night the 4 members of UTFO came together for the first time in two decades,” Kangol scribed. “Unfortunately, its purpose was to pray for a miracle for our brother Jeffrey Campbell known to the world as ‘Educated Rapper’ or ‘EMD.’ We ask that you join us in prayer for that miracle as well. Thank you for respecting our privacy.”

On Saturday, Kangol once again took to social media to confirm The Educated Rapper’s passing.

“With incredible sadness and greater regret, I am officially announcing that my UTFO brother Jeffrey Campbell aka ‘EDUCATED RAPPER’ is rocking the mic in Heaven. This feeling I feel right now is so unfamiliar for I have NEVER lost a brother that I've done so much with. I've made history with this man. Only two other men (Doctor Ice @officialdocice and Mixmaster Ice @mixmasterice) understand the loss I feel right now. We're all we have left. Thank you E for taking this incredible ride with me. Hip-Hop Will NEVER forget your contribution...and I will never forget our journey. I love you and will forever miss us. ~Kang.”

Others in the hip-hop community sent out condolences and well wishes for Campbell as well.

Chip Fu of the Fu Schnickens shared a personal story with The Educated Rapper.

UTFO released one of the greatest rap records ever in 1984 with “Roxanne Roxanne.”

Produced by Full Force, the record was about the members of UTFO trying to gain the affections of a fly girl from around the way named Roxanne. She was too “stuck up” and high post to give the guys the time of day. The rappers told stories of Roxanne shunning them. “Roxanne, Roxanne, I wanna be your man,” went the chorus. EMD had the most technically sharp verse and stole the show. (EMD's verse begins at 1:02 in the video below.)

“Educated Rapper's verse on "Roxxane" is the earliest memory I have of being amazed by the technical aspect of a rhyme scheme. RIP ” Just Blaze wrote today on Twitter.

The popularity of “Roxanne, Roxanne” was so rampant, that it sparked no less that a dozen response record during it’s height. The most popular retort was “Roxanne’s Revenge” by legend Roxanne Shante, produced by Marley Marl.

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