Sad news to report… HIP HOP has lost another LEGEND!
John “Ecstasy” Fletcher, rapper and founding member of the pioneering hip-hop group Whodini, has died at the age of 56. The group’s Grand Master Dee confirmed Fletcher’s death to Variety. No cause of death was provided.
News of Fletcher’s death was first revealed by the Roots’ Questlove, with many others in the rap community also mourning the death of the Whodini rapper. “One Love to Ecstasy of the Legendary #Whodini,” Questlove wrote on social media. “This man was legendary and a pivotal member of one of the most legendary groups in hip hop. This is sad man.”
One of the first rap groups to break into the mainstream, the New York-based Whodini are best known for Eighties hip-hop classics like “Friends” — a crossover hit in 1984, pop’s greatest year — and “Freaks Come Out at Night,” both from the then-duo’s 1984 LP, Escape. Fletcher served as co-vocalist in the group, with the rapper notably appearing onstage with his trademark Zorro-like hat.
Whodini — Fletcher and Jalil Hutchins, the main creative force behind the group — came out of the early-Eighties New York hip-hop scene that produced Afrika Bambaataa, Kurtis Blow, and Run-DMC; with the latter group, Whodini shared a manager (Russell Simmons) and a collaborator (producer Larry Smith).
His family released the following statement.
The African and Native American ancestors have gathered around and chosen this day, during the Winter Solstice, Dec 23rd, 2020 to call upon a most endeared, generous, and sincere soul who graced The World’s heart through performance, hip-hop, family, children and grandchildren.
John “Ecstasy” Fletcher was a beloved man, the life partner to Deltonia and ex-husband to Carla, twin brother to Joseph,artist, friend, and lifetime performing partner to the Legendary Jalil of Whodini.
Whodini set a Hip Hop course of legendary status that we are all sure to pass on to our grandchildren.
Please send love and prayers to our family, and with open hearts we ask the ancestors to cover his soul in peace and tranquility. Play his music if it moves you, and know he’ll be hearing you on his way home this day, Dec 23rd.”
Cards and letters can be sent to:
3799 Main Street P.O. Box 87176
College Park, GA 30337
Sincerely, The Family of John “Ecstacy” Fletcher
The details of the tragedy have not been revealed, but his family tells TMZ that the death came as a shock, as Ecstasy was healthy and avid gym-goer. They also say he was talking to people shortly before he died, but suddenly stopped breathing.
Ecstasy will be missed by his friends, family and LEGIONS of fans around the WORLD!!