Don Newkirk, the musician best known for his collaborations with De La Soul and 3rd Bass, died at the age of 56.

Rahiem of the Furious Five revealed the news of Newkirk’s death on Facebook.

“It is with a heavy heart I announce the transitioning of my brother Don Newkirk,” Rahiem wrote. “Fifty-six years young. Don Newkirk was among the first R&B artists signed to Def Jam records. My condolences go out to his family. S.I.P bro,” he wrote.

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Newkirk provided a series of voice-overs on De La Soul’s iconic 1989 album, 3 Feet High and Rising. He also appeared on 3rd Bass’ song, “The Gas Face.”

In October 1989, Newkirk released his solo album, Funk City. It was released on Russell Simmons OBR/Columbia Records (a subsidiary of Def Jam Records). Included on the album were the songs “I Desire” and “Sweat You”.

Within some time, Newkirk released the single “Small Thing”. Russell Simmons encouraged Newkirk to put together his second album for OBR/DefJam. His Southmore album entitled Between Love & Lust was recorded in 1992. However, before its release, the DefJam label was sold.

In 2021, Newkirk renamed the project Nostalgia and released the 1992 recordings, making them available on all streaming platforms.

Newkirk reflected on his career during an interview with AllHipHop in 2021. 

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“Maybe I would have had more success if I had stuck to emceeing, being the 3 Feet High and Rising came out and ‘Gas Face’ [by 3rd Bass] was about to come out,” he told the outlet. “And then I was pretty much in the Native Tongues camp but not really a Native Tongue, more so because I was singing than spitting. But I’m glad that it did go down the way it went down because it created this legacy that I’m only now realizing, has made an effect that I didn’t even know from back then because we didn’t have internet.”