Lovebug Starski

  • "Rest In Piece Hip Hop Royalty, your music will keep people..."
    - Freddie Orange
  • "I was watching Ralph McDaniels of Video Music Box express..."
    - Lisa P
  • "My God rest your soul...there will never be another like..."
    - Ms Harris
  • "Rest In Power! Bronx Native!"
    - Shelley Jackson
  • "Still in thought about how thehistory of our "pop" culture..."
    - Shawn P

Lovebug Starski (Johnny Nunez / WireImage / Getty Images) Lovebug Starski in the Hip Hop Memorials Photo Gallery Enlarged Photo
Lovebug Starski, pioneering rapper and DJ, died Thursday, Feb. 8, 2018 in Las Vegas, according to multiple news sources. He was 57.

Born in 1960 in the Bronx, he changed his name from Kevin Smith to Lovebug Starski and began to DJ at clubs during the 1970s. In 1979 he became one of the first to record the music that he called "Hip Hop." He released several singles during the 1980s.

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"He was the first double trouble threat in Hip Hop and rap music. He DJ'ed for the great MCs and MC'ed with the great DJs. Besides Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five, Lovebug Starski was one of the few that took his legendary street records status into the recording world," longtime friend and Public Enemy frontman Chuck D told HipHipDX.

It's unclear if Starski was the very first to use the term "Hip Hop" to describe the party music coming out of the Bronx during the late 1970s and early 1980s, but he was certainly at the heart of the influential scene during its formative years.

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