Orange County rap-rockers Kottonmouth Kings were dealt an untimely blow this past weekend--on Saturday, as they were preparing for the Tuesday launch of their 13th album, Mile High, they were hit with the news that former member Patrick "Pakelika" Cochrun had died at the age of 34.
Cochrun, who had performed with the band for many years as the masked "Visual Assassin," died shortly after being transported to the hospital as a result of an asthma attack that caused him to go into cardiac arrest.
Although Cochrun left the band in 2010 in search of other pursuits, he will be well-remembered by fans of the band for his unique stage presence and 6'7" frame. He was considered an integral element to the band's overall cult popularity in pro-marijuana circles.
Kottonmouth Kings leader Brad "Daddy X" Xavier expressed grief at the passing of his longtime friend. "Nothing can prepare you for such horrible news," he said in a statement. "This reminds us all just how precious life is and the importance of friends and family. It has been a couple of years since Big Pak performed with the Kings, but his presence and the impact he made on us will live forever."
The band has dedicated its new video for the tune "Mr. Cali Man" to Cochrun, and plan to organize an event to help pay his hospital bills.
In the meantime: "We ask that everyone light a candle at 4:20pm this week for our fallen brother and friend," they request.