Hip-hop legend Reggie Osse, also known as Combat Jack, has died at age 48. The news comes less than two months after Ossé disclosed he was battling an aggressive form of colon cancer.
Ossé’s death was confirmed on Wednesday morning by Hot 97’s Peter Rosenberg, who tweeted, “Hip Hop has lost one of its most important historians and voices… we had serious ups and downs but I was so happy we had made things good… Rest In Peace to my friend Combat Jack….”
On October 23, Ossé took to Twitter to inform fans and listeners that he had colon cancer.
In the tweet, the hip-hop legend wrote, “I was rushed to the hospital, had some pretty severe surgery. I’m on the mend right now. I’m about to jump on this journey to health with chemo and alternative medicine. Take care of your health. Your boy aint going nowhere though. We’re gonna keep doing this. Keep rocking’ with us. #RaiseTheBar #CombatCancer Let’s Go!”
On October 25, Ossé posted a video of himself talking to LL Cool J on the phone from his hospital bed. In the video, LL Cool J tells Ossé, “I just wanted to give you give you a hug, you know, tell you stay strong, stay encouraged, and everything will be fine. Just want you to feel good about your life.” Osse graciously responds, “I’ve been so encouraged ever since they told me… I’ve never felt no discouragement, no type of heaviness. I know it isn’t gonna be easy once I get out of the hospital… but, you know, I keep everything around me positive. And you calling to let me know– thank you, this means a whole lot.”
On November 15, Ossé took to Instagram with a health update. “A month ago I checked into the hospital. Today I’m still on the mend. Walking is tough bc I lose my breath. But it’s a process. Lost all my weight and muscle. Still, wanted to let y’all know the progress and my focus to #CombatCancer. Thank you All for your endless support!”
Although Combat Jack had been posting health updates, colon cancer has not yet been specified by his reps or family members as the official cause of death.
Ossé, a former hip-hop music attorney, was the executive and former managing editor of The Source. He also host the podcast The Combat Jack Show, and the Complex TV show version of the podcast.
Ossé graduated from Cornell University, where he was a member of the Kappa Xi chapter of Phi Beta Sigma fraternity. He went on to receive his law degree from Georgetown University. In 1989, he scored an internship in legal affairs for Def Jam Recordings.
Over the course of his accomplished career, Ossé represented producers, musicians, and entertainers like Jay Z, Damon Dash, Rock-a-fella Records, DJ Clark Kent, and Ski Beatz, among others. In 2006, he wrote the book Bling, which documented hip-hop’s history, and relationship with, jewelry.
Fans, friends, and admirers of Ossé have flocked to social media to mourn his loss. DJBooth writes, “As if 2017 couldn’t get any worse, we have lost our dear friend @Combat_Jack, who has passed away from his battle with colon cancer.”
Brandon-Jinx, the host and producer of “The Culture Complex”, tweeted, “Damn. Rest In Peace Combat Jack. Combat was a living history book for hip hop and was always down to share that information. More importantly, he was kind. We need more of that. And his presence will be missed deeply, but he’ll never be absent.”