UK rapper and hardcore pioneer MC Duke dies, age 58

UK rapper Kashif Adham – also known as MC Duke – has died at the age of 58.

Suburban Base Records – one of Adham’s frequent collaborators – announced the news of the rapper’s passing on their official Instagram account. “It is with profound sadness that we share the heartbreaking news of the passing of our dear friend, MC Duke,” began the post.

It continued: “Since the early 90s, we have had the privilege of calling him a friend and collaborator, with the most releases on our Suburban Base sister imprint, Boogie Times, witnessing his unparalleled talent and unwavering dedication to music. MC Duke solidified his status as a legend in the UK music scene. As a forefather of UK Hip Hop, his influence reverberates through generations, laying the foundation for the vibrant UK Rap scene that we know today, and we expect many will pay tribute at this devastating news.

“We were honored to work alongside him, assisting in the setup of his own Hard Disk label for further releases. In his final days, we (Danny & Winston) were grateful to visit and be by his bedside, alongside his family, sharing in the immense emotions that accompanied our farewell.

They added: “The loss of three dear friends and former Suburban Base artists within a two-week period is a devastating blow, leaving us grappling with profound heartache. Our thoughts and love are with MC Duke’s family during this difficult time, we are glad they know that his friends were there for him, and we stand ready to support them in any way we can.”

No cause of death has been revealed at the time of writing. British Producer and DJ Slipmatt took to the comments to share his condolences, writing: “Oh wow, so sorry.” Goldie also responded to the MC’s passing in the comments sharing: “Fuck ….. this hurts.”

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Adham grew up in East London and got his breakthrough at a DMC World Championships afterparty, where the tournament’s winner claimed that he could beat anyone who challenged him. Adham stepped up to the plate and won. He was signed by the UK hip-hop label Music Of Life in 1987.

Throughout his career, Adham released two albums and a handful of singles. He went on to establish a connection with UK rave label Shut Up And Dance Records. He began leaning towards hardcore and rave beats and founded Hard Disk – his own hardcore and jungle imprint.

In 2007, he featured among a number of other pioneering UK rappers on Charlie Sloth’s track ‘Can’t Forget About UK’.


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