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Blurred Story of Hip-Hop Journalist Greg Tate’s Cause of Death

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Hip-Hop journalist and cultural critic Greg Tate’s cause of death has been followed by many rumors since he passed away on December 7, 2021, at the age of 64. May he rest in heaven.

The heartbreaking death news of Greg Tate, one of the most incisive, insightful, and influential cultural critics of the past 35 years, was confirmed by his publisher Duke University Press.

“Hard to explain the impact that Flyboy in the Buttermilk had on a whole generation of young writers and critics who read every page of it like scripture,” The New Yorker’s Jelani Cobb tweeted aptly summing up the impact of Tate’s iconic 1992 essay collection on the world. “It’s still a clinic on literary brilliance.”

Hip-Hop journalist and cultural critic Greg Tate's cause of death has b

Tate came to fame for his work analyzing Black artistry and influence, and he was at the front of the first wave of journalism documenting the birth of hip-hop. While serving at The Village Voice from 1987 to 2003, Tate searched the burgeoning aesthetics, influences, and values of hip-hop, contextualizing it within Black creative lineages and white-dominated spaces of popular culture.

The iconic music critic’s first book, 1992’s Flyboy in the Buttermilk: Essays on Contemporary America, collected work that had starred in The Voice. It became a definitive work for Tate, with selections addressing Miles Davis, Public Enemy, Jean Michel Basquiat, and more.

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Before entering The Voice, Tate had established the Black Rock Coalition with Konda Mason and Vernon Reid in 1985. The nonprofit organization, which is still in operation, tries to correct an inequity in the music industry by offering resources to Black artists.

During all aspects of his work and his life, Tate had “a keen sense for the way that both artists and communities discern where they fit in the world, and what is expected of them, and then either go along for the ride or carefully plot their escapes,” as Hua Hsu wrote in 2016.

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Greg Tate’s Cause of Death is Still Unknown

Although there is no official report about Greg Tate’s cause of death at this time, some unofficial sources have started to claim he lost his life due to heart disease. Some others believe the legend died of COVID.

However, our team does not confirm any rumors; we are trying our best to find related information about the tragedy and provide the latest updates as soon as possible. Nevertheless, family privacy should be respected at this difficult time.

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Tate’s life began in Dayton, Ohio, in 1957, and his family relocated to Washington, D.C., in his early teen years. Tate remained there through his years at Howard University, but after publishing work for The Voice via Robert Christgau, he left for New York in 1982 to follow the city’s busy, up-and-coming hip-hop scene more closely.

US day News offers its deepest sympathies to his family, friends, fans, and all of his loved ones on these challenging days too. You can also leave a condolence message below the comment box to honor him.

“It was like writing war dispatches right there on the ground. There was all this incendiary work coming out. It was unprecedented. It didn’t sound like anything that had come before. There was a lot to talk about,” he recalled to Pitchfork in 2018.

The Flyboy follow-up, 2016’s Flyboy 2, included Tate’s critical essays. Between those projects, Tate published Midnight Lightning: Jimi Hendrix and the Black Experience in 2003 and edited the essay collection Everything But the Burden: What White People Are Taking From Black Culture.

He remained a steady presence in cultural criticism, contributing to The New York Times, The Washington Post, Rolling Stone, Vibe, The BelieverEncyclopedia Britannica, and more. He also took on positions as a visiting professor at Brown University and Columbia University.

In addition to his writing, scholarship, and advocacy, Tate led the band Burnt Sugar, a freewheeling, funk-influenced jazz ensemble. Under Tate’s leadership, the group self-released more than a dozen records. He was working on a book about James Brown for Riverhead Press when he lost his life.


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