The hip-hop world is mourning the loss of another legend.
On Wednesday, Questlove announced the death of John "Ecstasy" Fletcher, a co-founding member of the New York City hip-hop group Whodini. "This man was legendary and a pivotal member of one of the most legendary groups in hip hop," Questlove wrote in an Instagram tribute post. "This is sad man."
Ecstasty was 56.
His family released the following statement.
The African and Native American ancestors have gathered around and chosen this day, during the Winter Solstice, Dec 23rd, 2020 to call upon a most endeared, generous, and sincere soul who graced The World’s heart through performance, hip-hop, family, children and grandchildren.
John "Ecstasy" Fletcher was a beloved man, the life partner to Deltonia and ex-husband to Carla, twin brother to Joseph,artist, friend, and lifetime performing partner to the Legendary Jalil of Whodini.
Whodini set a Hip Hop course of legendary status that we are all sure to pass on to our grandchildren.
Please send love and prayers to our family, and with open hearts we ask the ancestors to cover his soul in peace and tranquility. Play his music if it moves you, and know he'll be hearing you on his way home this day, Dec 23rd."
Cards and letters can be sent to:
3799 Main Street P.O. Box 87176
College Park, GA 30337
Sincerely, The Family of John "Ecstacy" Fletcher
The details of the tragedy have not been revealed, but his family tells TMZ that the death came as a shock, as Ecstasy was healthy and avid gym-goer. They also say he was talking to people shortly before he died, but suddenly stopped breathing.
Ecstasy formed Whodini with Jalil Hutchins in 1982, and would go on to recruit DJ Drew Carter, aka Grandmaster Dee, several years later. The group is considered a pioneering act within the hip-hop realm, as they were known for seamlessly fusing R&B and rap during the latter genre's early years.
Whodini would go on to release half a dozen studio albums between 1983 and 1996, and delivered a number of charted singles, such as "Magic's Wand," "Friends"/"Five Minutes of Funk," "Funky Beat," and the Halloween-themed cut "The Haunted House of Rock."
"One Love’ to one of Hip Hop’s Greatest!" Hutchins said in a statement. "There will never be another."
In 2018, the Brooklyn group received the Hip Hop Icon award at the 3rd Annual Black Music Honors, where Doug E. Fresh, YoYo, Monie Love, and DJ Mell Star gave a tribute performance of Whodini's greatest hits.
On Wednesday, hip-hop figures and fans took to social media to pay tribute to Ecstasy and the indelible mark he left on music.
"A pillar. One of our foundational pieces. Our Temptations. Our Four Tops. Our Isley Brothers. A standard. That’s what Whodini was and is to us," producer 9th Wonder said in a statement. "Mr. John 'Ecstasy' Fletcher was a part of that standard. So many of us in this culture have taken away from him, Jalil, and Grandmaster Dee ... from words and lyrics, to the beats. They not only had songs that shaped our culture, but lyrics that became sayings. Friends ... how many of us have them? One Love. It’s so many. Thank you Ecstasy. Thank you for the road you paved for the thousands and thousands of women and men who want to one day call themselves a rapper. May your spirit live on, forever."
You can read additional tribute messages below.
Thank you Ecstasy for showing us how to do it. RIP pic.twitter.com/ppfUZeZesp
— Ice Cube (@icecube) December 23, 2020
My God, this one hurts me so bad,I can’t even believe I’m posting this,Ex you know I love you 🙏🏾🙏🏾 thank you for every word,every conversation every good time,may your soul Rest In Power 🕊🕊🕊 #whodini q pic.twitter.com/6RGuOankWl
— Jermaine Dupri (@jermainedupri) December 23, 2020
1987 I entered the @Defjam tour w PE. I tended to be nervous looking at 15000 fans in front of me every night. There were 2 MCS that directly mentored my calm that summer. 1 was @RealDougEFresh the other was Ecstacy of Whodini. Always there to reassure w advice tips #RestInBeats pic.twitter.com/UzCj5RN4ve
— Chuck D (@MrChuckD) December 23, 2020
A TREMENDOUS LOSS OF OUR HEROES...
NO ONE DID IT LIKE THIS...
THE VOICE, THE ZORRO STYLE HAT,
THE ICONIC HIP HOP THAT WHODINI BRINGS TO HIP HOP...
SALUTE JALIL AND GRANDMASTER DEE...
LOVE TO THE FLETCHER FAMILY... pic.twitter.com/vdhDYwR7rw
— DJ Premier (@REALDJPREMIER) December 23, 2020
— DAG SAVAGE (@DagSav) December 23, 2020
Whodini's "Friends" has to be one of the most sampled rap songs of all time. Everyone from Nas to Kanye to Dr. Dre to MF DOOM to 2Pac have pulled bits and pieces from that song. RIP John “Ecstasy” Fletcher. RIP Larry Smith. True pioneers.
— Andrew Barber (@fakeshoredrive) December 23, 2020
RIP Ecstasy of Whodini 🙏... one of the first Hip Hop acts I caught live as a kid growing up. I would buy their records on sight. He always had such a unique sound and style. Salute! One love.💜✌️ https://t.co/Ox1GSEU4NL
— DJ Z-TRIP (@ztrip) December 23, 2020
RIP to Ecstasy from https://t.co/MiqnKeBFeK of the most under appreciated voices in hip hop. Too many hits! Condolences to his fam ✨🙏🏾✨
— QTip (@QtipTheAbstract) December 23, 2020
— Loni Love (@LoniLove) December 23, 2020
I say this a lot about Whodini, but they don't get the props they deserve because Sugar Hill (1979-1982) and Def Jam (1984-) mythology sucks up all the air. Never forget they were *second billed* on the Raising Hell '86 tour over both LL Cool J *and* Beastie Boys #RIPEcstasy pic.twitter.com/pNEw5sVyzZ
— Christopher R. Weingarten (@1000TimesYes) December 23, 2020
RIP Ecstasy of Whodini
“Maybe one of these days you'll have to learn
That love is something that you gotta earn
And once you earn it gotta know how to keep it
You got to want it as well as you need it" 😢😢 pic.twitter.com/onENvsKBHf
— Nuclear Suplex Attack (@DJMichaelTimex) December 23, 2020
5 mins of Funk is on my playlist to this day. RIP Ecstasy of the legendary Whodini. 🔥🎤 pic.twitter.com/E9tu5qtzZm
— JerriLynn (@Jerri_Lynn25) December 23, 2020
RIP Ecstasy 🕊
Alexa play “I’m a Ho” by Whodini pic.twitter.com/WwI5mquHkM
— orange moon | 11.18 🦂 (@_ItsPlatinum_) December 23, 2020
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