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Bimbé Cultural Arts Festival 2023

Source: Paige Boyd / Paige Boyd

The local Hip-Hop community is mourning the loss of one of its own.

Joshua “Rowdy” Rowsey passed away on Wednesday, April 17, as confirmed by local entertainment company OnlyUs Media, which listed him as one of its artists.

ABC11 confirmed that Rowsey died of a sudden heart attack. He was just 32 years old.

A longtime advocate for the Triangle’s Hip-Hop scene, the 2017 Carolina Music Award nominee has been featured nationally on BET, NPR, and PBS Kids, according to OnlyUs Media’s website. He also gave a well-received TEDX Talk on the importance of Hip-Hop culture.

Rowsey continued his mission to spread the culture, whether as the founder of the UNC Cypher and Med City Cypher or as the program director for the Downtown Durham – Afrofuturist Teen Center Blackspace. He also taught at UNC’s Carolina Hip-Hop Institute and was an official Hip-Hop ambassador for the State Department.

The artist and educator will be celebrated during a live cypher on Friday, Apr. 19 in Downtown Durham, at the Bull inside CCB Plaza at 9:19pm.

We, at K975, send our condolences to Rowdy’s family, friends, and peers in Hip-Hop.