Ecstasy of Rap Group Whodini Dead at Age 56
UPDATE (Dec. 24):
On Wednesday evening (Dec. 23), a rep for John "Ecstasy" Fletcher of Whodini provided a statement to XXL from the late rapper's family regarding the rapper's passing.
"The African and Native American ancestors have gathered around and chosen this day, during the Winter Solstice, Dec 23rd, 2020 to call upon a most endeared, generous, and sincere soul who graced The World’s heart through performance, hip-hop, family, children and grandchildren," the statement reads. "John 'Ecstasy' Fletcher was a beloved man, the life partner to Deltonia and ex-husband to Carla, twin brother to Joseph,artist, friend, and lifetime performing partner to the Legendary Jalil of Whodini."
The statement continues: "Whodini set a Hip Hop course of legendary status that we are all sure to pass on to our grandchildren. Please send love and prayers to our family, and with open hearts we ask the ancestors to cover his soul in peace and tranquility. Play his music if it moves you, and know he'll be hearing you on his way home this day, Dec 23rd."
Jalil Hutchins, one-third of Whodini, also said, "One Love to one of Hip Hop’s Greatest! There will never be another.”
Producer 9th Wonder describes Ecstasy as a source of strength and guidance for the rap community. "A pillar. One of our foundational pieces," he began. "Our Temptations. Our Four Tops. Our Isley Brothers. A standard. That’s what Whodini was and is to us. Mr. John 'Ecstasy' Fletcher was a part of that standard. So many of us in this culture have taken away from him, Jalil, and Grandmaster Dee.....from words and lyrics, to the beats. They not only had songs that shaped our culture, but lyrics that became sayings. Friends...how many of us have them? One Love. It’s so many. Thank you Ecstasy. Thank you for the road you paved for the thousands and thousands of women and men who want to one day call themselves a rapper. May your spirit live on, forever."
According to a report from TMZ on Wednesday (Dec. 23), Ecstasy, born John Fletcher and known to wear a Black Zorro-style wide-brimmed hat, has passed away at 56 years old. The cause of death has not been revealed.
Questlove of The Roots announced the tragic news of Ecstasy's passing via social media this afternoon. "One Love to Ecstasy of the Legendary #Whodini. This man was legendary and a pivotal member of one of the most legendary groups in hip hop. This is sad man," he wrote in an Instagram post.
Pioneering rap group Whodini was formed in 1982, and was comprised of Jalil Hutchins, Ecstasy and Grandmaster Dee. Their renowned sound combined rap with R&B way before the popularity that meshing the genres had scene in the 1990s. Altogether, the New York City-based trio released six studio albums with their debut effort being their self-titled album, which dropped on July 8, 1983. The group's other albums are Escape (1984), Back in Black (1986), Open Sesame (1987), Bag-a-Trix (1991) and Six (1996).
Whodini dropped countless singles as well including "Freaks Come Out at Night," "Friends" and "The Haunted House of Rock."
In the early 1980s, they were managed by Russell Simmons, co-founder of Def Jam Records.
Two years ago, in 2018, Whodini received the Hip-Hop Icon award at the 3rd Annual Black Music Honors. A tribute of the group's most notable songs were performed by Doug E. Fresh, YoYo, Monie Love and DJ Mell Star.
The death of Ecstasy has shocked many members of the hip-hop community, who have paid tribute to the rapper online.
DJ Premier wrote via Twitter, "A TREMENDOUS LOSS OF OUR HEROES... NO ONE DID IT LIKE THIS... THE VOICE, THE ZORRO STYLE HAT, THE ICONIC HIP HOP THAT WHODINI BRINGS TO HIP HOP... [R.I.P. Ecstasy]🙏🏾👑🕊SALUTE JALIL AND GRANDMASTER DEE... LOVE TO THE FLETCHER FAMILY..."
Jermaine Dupri paid his respects as well, writing, "My God, this one hurts me so bad,I can’t even believe I’m posting this,Ex you know I love you 🙏🏾🙏🏾 thank you for every word,every conversation every good time,may your soul Rest In Power 🕊🕊🕊 #whodini q."
See more reactions to Ecstasy's passing below.
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