Rapper Big Pokey Passed Away at Just 45 Years Old, Much to the Surprise of Friends and Fans

What was rapper Big Pokey’s cause of death? The 45-year-old Houston-based rapper died suddenly on June 17, 2023. How did the hip-hop artist die?

Jamie Lerner - Author

Jun. 19 2023, Published 8:17 a.m. ET

It’s always shocking when someone dies young, but even more shocking when they die in front of their fans. Houston-based rapper Milton Powell, known to fans as Big Pokey, passed away on June 17, 2023. At just 45 years old, Big Pokey was performing for his fans at Pour 09 Bar in Beaumont, Texas, when he lost consciousness.

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Big Pokey is known for his various mixtapes and studio albums, most notably his 2002 album, Da Sky’s Da Limit, which peaked at no. 47 on the Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart. Since his career began in the 1990s, rapping with DJ Screw, he’s collaborated with several artists and DJs. He was also featured on Paul Wall’s “Sittin’ Sidewayz,” which hit number 93 on the Billboard Hot 100.

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Big Pokey’s cause of death is still unknown but could be related to heat stroke.

At only 45 years old, Big Pokey’s death shocked fans and contemporaries all around the world. Rapper Bun B first broke the news in an Instagram post: “I wasn’t ready for this,” he wrote. “One of the most naturally talented artists in the city. Low key, humble mountain of a man who moved with honor and respect.

“He was easy to love and hard to hate. He’d pull up, do what he had to do and head home. One of the pillars of our city. If heart of gold was a person. Iconic member of the SUC. There will never be another and will be missed dearly. We love and honor you Sensei. Rest in heaven.” Several of their contemporaries, such as Slim Thug, Three 6 Mafia, Webbie, and more commented with their condolences.

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On Saturday night Big Pokey passed out while performing at the Pour 09 Bar. A video of the soon-to-be-fatal event went viral on social media, which showed cops quickly rushing to the scene. Several people swarmed Big Pokey and the cops to see what had happened, and no one appeared to perform CPR on him.

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While several people blame the COVID-19 vaccine for Big Pokey’s death, the vaccine is a highly dubious cause. No scientist has proven any link between the vaccine and long-term fatal side effects, and considering Big Pokey probably got his last booster more than a few months ago, the vaccine’s formula is likely no longer in his system.

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It’s more plausible that Big Pokey’s sudden death was related to the heat stroke in Texas. One Twitter user shared a screenshot of the heat warning sent to those in Jefferson County, Texas. She wrote, “The air was extremely thick, and we had heat warnings all over the state. People were passing out all over the place from heat.”

If Big Pokey had any prior heart or respiratory conditions, the heat could have exacerbated this, and without immediate CPR, that is a possible cause of death. However, until an autopsy is performed, we’ll have no way of knowing exactly how he died.

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Big Pokey is survived by his two daughters, along with other family members who have yet to be disclosed at this time. Funeral and memorial arrangements will be made in the coming days. We're sending our deepest condolences to Big Pokey’s friends, family, and fans.

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