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UTFO hip hop artist The Kangol Kid dead at age of 55 after fighting stage four colon cancer


UTFO hip hop artist and break dancer The Kangol Kid has died at the age of just 55 after battling stage four colon cancer.

His friend Van Silk confirmed the news to the outlet HipHopDX, texting them: ‘RIP KANGOL KID. He passed at 3:02 a.m.’

Van Silk, who also has colon cancer, added: ‘My prayers go out to my brother who fought a battle of colon cancer at Stage 4.’

Dearly departed: UTFO hip hop artist and break dancer The Kangol Kid has died at the age of just 55 after battling stage four colon cancer

He continued: ‘Early on, we discussed our fight with this disease because my fight with colon cancer is stage 2.’

Van recalled: ‘He told me it had spread in October. I encourage all to get your prostate and colon checked. May my brother Kangol Rest In Heaven.’

His widow Tajiri Swindell wrote on Instagram: ‘We have been through so much together more than most would in 100 years…you were perfect to me , no matter what you made sure I knew you loved me and I will love you for the rest of my life.’

Kangol, whose real name was Shaun Fequiere, grew up in New York City in a Haitian family and became a star of old school hip hop.

Throwback: His stage name derives from his childhood nickname which he received because of his fondness for Kangol hats

Throwback: His stage name derives from his childhood nickname which he received because of his fondness for Kangol hats

His stage name derives from his childhood nickname which he received because of his fondness for Kangol hats.

Young Shaun realized he had talent when he sang an Andy Gibbs song at his Brooklyn’s Catholic school talent show, he told AllHipHop.

He reflected that the talent show experience ‘was the start for me. Outside of the house, Catholic school stage, gave me the platform to realize I’m okay at this, you know? I don’t suck at this thing called performing.’

In 1983 he helped found the hip hop and break dance group UTFO, an acronym that stood for Untouchable Force Organization.

As seen in 1988: In 1983 he helped found the hip hop and break dance group UTFO, an acronym that stood for Untouchable Force Organization

As seen in 1988: In 1983 he helped found the hip hop and break dance group UTFO, an acronym that stood for Untouchable Force Organization

Their biggest hit single was the 1984 number Roxanne, Roxanne about trying to impress a ‘stuck up’ woman who remained distinctly indifferent.

Roxanne, Roxanne resulted in an unprecedented number of answer records and a beef so intense it became known as the Roxanne Wars.

Through the 1980s and early 1990s the group put out five studio albums but eventually broke up in the latter decade.

‘I was always the business dude of the group. I understood promotion. I understood marketing,’ Kangol reflected earlier this year.

End of the road: Through the 1980s and early 1990s the group put out five studio albums but eventually broke up in the latter decade

End of the road: Through the 1980s and early 1990s the group put out five studio albums but eventually broke up in the latter decade

‘You know, just keeping the hat on – I understood, you know, becoming a character and doing these things that I’ve done. And that wasn’t the other members so that always created, you know, a problem.’ 

He suggested that they write for Full Force but the rest of the group demurred and when Kangol went on to work with Full Force on his own ‘rifts’ ensued.

At the start of this year he revealed that the surviving members of UTFO were still not close as ‘we still see the 20-year-old kidding each other.’

Kangol explained: ‘We don’t see the adult, the grandfather that we are today and let’s address this unlike how we addressed this when we were kids.’

Trailblazer: Paving the way for a legion of hip hop artists to come he became the first in his genre to pursue brand endorsements - specifically with Kangol

Trailblazer: Paving the way for a legion of hip hop artists to come he became the first in his genre to pursue brand endorsements – specifically with Kangol

Blazing a trail for a legion of hip hop artists to come he became the first in his genre to pursue brand endorsements – specifically with Kangol.

He has confessed that when the brand first reached out to him he was not business-savvy and was just relieved not to be the target of a lawsuit.

Evidently in retrospect he took a dim view of the deal they struck – while discussing his Kangol endorsement as the ‘seed planting’ for future rappers, he remarked: ‘You know, it took for cats like us to get robbed for these cats today to get paid.’

Kangol, who in 2012 became the first rapper honoree of the American Cancer Society, was diagnosed with colon cancer this February and quickly had surgery.

Devastated: His widow Tajiri Swindell wrote on Instagram: 'We have been through so much together more than most would in 100 years…'

Devastated: His widow Tajiri Swindell wrote on Instagram: ‘We have been through so much together more than most would in 100 years…’

After the operation he confessed on the local New York station PIX 11 this March that he ‘fell out inside’ when he first learned of his disease.

However after gathering himself and having his spirits buoyed by his close friends he resolved to ‘fight this’ as ‘one of the things you think of immediately is family.’

Kangol, who had been a cancer awareness advocate for years, noted that ‘I have a five-year-old little girl. I have three grown men, you know, boys, but my five-year-old is the one that made me say, you know: “I gotta go take care of this.”‘

In October he revealed on his Instagram that his illness had taken a turn for the worse requiring him to be hospitalized.

Wow: Kangol, who in 2012 became the first rapper honoree of the American Cancer Society, was diagnosed with colon cancer this February; he is pictured last month with LL Cool J

Wow: Kangol, who in 2012 became the first rapper honoree of the American Cancer Society, was diagnosed with colon cancer this February; he is pictured last month with LL Cool J

‘Please forgive me for not returning calls and more. Things have become, and are becoming a little more difficult than imagined,’ he wrote. 

‘I’ve been admitted again for complications related to my condition. Thank you to those who have been instrumental in my latest ordeal.’

He concluded the message: ‘Your actions have been well received and greatly appreciated. I am blessed to have you by my side through this. I love you all.’



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