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Koopsta Knicca dead: Three 6 Mafia rapper was 40

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Johnny Nunez/WireImage

Robert “Koopsta Knicca” Phillips, Memphis rapper and longtime member of Three 6 Mafia, died early Friday morning at age 40.

Da Mafia 6ix member “DJ Paul” Beauregard confirmed the news on Instagram, writing “You Will Be Missed My Brother!!! … Love U Koop!!!”

A representative for Three 6 Mafia and DJ Paul told Commercial Appeal that Phillips died from complications from a stroke he suffered on Sunday. In a statement to the Memphis publication, DJ Paul wrote, “Everyone who knew Koop knew he was very funny and the coolest guy ever. He will be missed. We made classics together that’ll live on.”

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Born Robert Cooper Phillips, the Memphis-born rapper joined Three 6 Mafia in 1991. He contributed to several albums that decade including When the Smoke Clears: Sixty 6 Sixty 1. He left the group in 2000 to pursue a solo career — his first solo album, Da Devil’s Playground, was released in 1999.

He later returned to work with the group when many of the members reunited as Da Mafia 6ix in 2013. In December of 2013, fellow Three 6 Mafia member Ricky Dunigan died at age 40 after suffering a heart attack.

Juicy J joined DJ Paul in remembering Phillips on Instagram and wrote, “R.I.P koopsta Knicca we made history! You will be missed #mafia4life prayers up for the family.”

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