Speaker Knockerz, the deceased rapper, is said to have been a trailblazer for the Southern hip hop genre, namely in the Carolinas.
Knockerz, born Derek McAllister Jr., died earlier this month in his home. There was no foul play in his death and a toxicology report has not come out yet. He was 19 years old and a funeral was held for him about a week ago.
Knockerz, a rapper and producer from South Carolina, generated millions of pageviews via YouTube, even though he wasn’t signed to a record label. Upon his death, hundreds of thousands of people tweeted about it.
“It was viral music,” said local artist Ben G, according to the Free-Times.
“It was catchy. A lot of his beats, as simple as they may be, they were super, super, super great and high quality. People saw the versatility he had. He would have gone far,” he said.
Ben G performed a new song that Knockerz produced.
“He hadn’t been rapping for that long,” said Zack Dillan, known as Loud Visuals. “It was almost impossible for it to travel as fast locally as it did on the Internet. He went at both at the same time, to go out of Columbia and to stay in Columbia. The Internet just moved so fast.”
And local rapper Fat Rat da Czar said that Knockerz’ career was “born at home,” adding “that’s a different thing from my era. You had to build your name up in your neighborhood and your community.”
As of Tuesday afternoon, fans were still tweeting “RIP” and offering condolences to the rapper’s family.