May 16, 2022

Influential Bay Area hip-hop star Traxamillion dies of cancer at 42

View Original Notice ? Influential Bay Area hip-hop star Traxamillion dies of cancer at 42

San Jose hip-hop artist Traxamillion, whose memorable beats greatly helped popularize the Bay Area’s hyphy movement of the early 2000s, has died

The acclaimed producer, who was born Sultan Banks on Feb. 26, 1979, was 42.

He died after a multi-year battle with a rare form of cancer on Jan. 2 at his aunt’s house in Santa Clara — where the hip-hop star had been in home hospice care — Traxamillion’s manager, Prashant “PK” Kumar, told the Chronicle.

Word of his death spread quickly on social media, drawing remembrances and tributes from a number of people.

“Rest In Peace @traxamillion The San Jose producer who helped create the “Hyphy” sound passed away today. This is a huge loss for Northern California We send our condolences to his family & loved ones. #RIPTraxamillion,” tweeted Thizzler on the Roof.

“RIP TRAXAMILLION the legends are always the ones who bring something to the game that shifts it,” tweeted Metro Boomin.

The San Jose native, who attended Andrew Hill High School, will be remembered for his cutting-edge beats and production work featured on songs by Keak da Sneak, E-40 and other notable Bay Area artists.

He’s most strongly associated with the Bay Area hip-hop music/cultural movement known as “hyphy” — which is slang for hyperactive. Often compared to the crunk hip-hop subgenre, hyphy is characterized by thundering beats, a party vibe and frenetic rhythms.

The term is attributed to Keak da Sneak, the Oakland rapper who reportedly first coined it in the mid-’90s.

Yet, Traxamillion played as big a role as anyone in determining what hyphy sounded like, with his production work on such songs as Keak da Sneak’s “Super Hyphy.”

Although he was also an accomplished rapper, Traxamillion did most of his work in the producer’s chair, helping other hip-hop artists achieve their goals — as well as his — in the studio.

“My motto is to let rappers do what a rapper does,” Traxamillion told noted hip-hop scribe Todd Inoue in a 2006 interview for the Metro. “I’m in tune with what I want to hear. If I go into a booth, I won’t be satisfied until it sounds like what I hear in my head.

“(Rappers) ask, ‘What do you think?’ And I go, ‘What do you think? Does it sound right?’ I believe to never take an artist out of their element.”

Traxamillion took top billing with the release of his 2006 album, “The Slapp Addict,” which featured Too Short, Mistah F.A.B., San Quinn, Keak da Sneak, Dem Hoodstarz and other Bay Area talents.

The album was an amazing showcase for Traxamillion’s talents — especially his creativity in creating a variety of compelling beats. “The Slap Addict” is widely regarded “as the soundtrack of the hyphy movement,” Kumar told the Chronicle.

 

 

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View Original Notice ? Influential Bay Area hip-hop star Traxamillion dies of cancer at 42

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