Memphis hip-hop veteran and Three 6 Mafia co-founder Lord Infamous has died.
The rapper, whose real name was Ricky Dunigan, died late Friday night at his family’s home in Memphis. The news was confirmed by publicists for the Three 6 Mafia offshoot group, Da Mafia 6ix, following multiple online reports. He was 40.
It’s not known what the cause of death was, but Dunigan had reportedly dealt with heart issues back in 2010.
The Memphis hip-hop community was quick to respond, with several of Infamous’ friends and collaborators going online to express their condolences. Three 6 member Gangsta Boo tweeted: "I will never forget the shows we rocked together. My heart is in pieces.” She added “Rest in Peace Lord Infamous. Please respect the family and dear friends during this tragedy.”
Infamous began his career in the early-'90s working with his younger half brother Paul Beauregard, aka DJ Paul. They went on to found Three 6 Mafia with Juicy J and Koopsta Knicca in 1991. Infamous also maintained a solo career, releasing several acclaimed albums, beginning with 1994’s Lord of Terror.
He ran into legal problems in the mid-00s which forced him to take a hiatus from the group during its highest profile period, when Three 6 won the Academy Award for Best Original Song for "It's Hard Out Here For a Pimp" from the film "Hustle & Flow."
This past year Infamous, along with several Three 6 Mafia alumni, returned under the name Da Mafia 6ix, releasing a mix tape in the fall.