Syko, the Seattle rapper and producer best known for producing Mac Dre's iconic hyphy anthem "Thizzle Dance," was killed in a car accident on Friday, Nov. 16, according to friends and fans posting on social media.
Many of those mourning the producer shared a KOMO News article about an unnamed man who crashed in Everett, Washington Friday. The Snohomish County medical examiner's office confirmed that death to KQED, and one of Syko's close friends, Darryl Reese, confirmed that Syko, real name Theophilus Adams, did indeed pass away yesterday.
Reese described Syko, who was originally from Portland, Ore., as a passionate musician, good friend and devoted father of two kids. "He was a very happy dude," Reese says. "I never argued with Syko. He was crazy, tremendous energy. He would light up a room every time he stepped in it."
Syko helped define the Bay Area's hyphy movement with his bouncy, bass-heavy production on Mac Dre's 2002 Thizzelle Washington album, including the ubiquitous "Thizzle Dance" and "Boss Tycoon." Syko's sound later inspired artists like Mistah F.A.B. and E-40 as hyphy, the Bay Area's best-known rap subculture, became a phenomenon in the mid 2000s.
In addition to his own production work, Syko was an advocate for other producers and underground musicians.
"People don't realize he was a champion of that sound," said Reese, who interviewed Syko for his podcast, The Glow Up, last year, where the producer spoke extensively about his work with Mac Dre. "That’s what always mattered to him, producers getting their credit."
"The main thing he wanted to do always was support and show love," said Gizzle McFly, a Richmond, Calif. rapper who collaborated with Syko extensively since 2012. The two of them were in the process of recording an album together at the time of Syko's death. "Any conversation with him, he based that off what he learned from Mac Dre—which was somebody who believed in him and gave him a shot. And from him having that shot, he made some of the most memorable and influential songs in West Coast and—I would say—rap history."
In his final Instagram post, Syko hinted at the future.
"Don't define me by Thizzle Dance and Boss Tycoon," Syko wrote. "If I can make Drake dance on stage to my shit, I know I got some more work to do."
This story was updated on Nov. 19 to include quotes from Gizzle McFly.