Thomas first shot to fame in 2011 after he was named in XXL Magazine’s Freshman Class alongside luminaries such as Mac Miller, Kendrick Lamar and Meek Mill. During his career, Thomas recorded with rappers such as Jadakiss, The Game, Kevin Gates, French Montana and Diddy.
Thomas was one of seven siblings who said that he began rapping at the age of 8. His first major release was his 2010 mixtape, Armageddon, that featured guest appearances by Busta Rhymes and Cam’ron.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Rappers Including Lloyd Banks & Kemba From the Bronx Have Paid Tribute to Fred The Godson
Thomas’s death was confirmed by his friend DJ Self. The New York DJ wrote in an Instagram post on the afternoon of April 23, “Was loved by many never heard one bad thing about you RIP @fredthegodsonmusic Sleep Well my brother ??.” Rapper Lloyd Banks has also offered his condolences to Thomas’s loved ones on Twitter. Kemba from The Bronx paid a heartfelt tribute to Thomas with a tweet that read, “RIP Fred The Godson man. F***. When I was growing up in Hunts Point, he would pull up like a superstar. Everyone thought he was the best. I was trying to be as good as he was. Him and my older brother friends. I was the little homie. This s*** hurts.”
2. The Day Before His Death, Thomas’ Publicist Said the Rapper’s Fever Had Been Reduced From 105 Degrees
The day before his sad death, Thomas’s publicist told The Source that the rapper was completely relying on a ventilator to breathe. Thomas had been public about his battles with asthma in the past. His publicist said that Thomas’s fever had been reduced significantly from a high of 105 degrees but that his kidneys had stopped functioning. The publicist also said that Thomas’s vital signs, including his heart rate, had been showing signs of recovery.
Two weeks before his death, on April 6, Thomas confirmed to his legions of fans that he was battling coronavirus. In the post, Thomas called joked calling the illness, “Covus 19.”
3. Thomas’s Partner, LeeAnn Jemmott, Had Been Updating His Fans About His Progress on Social Media
On April 10, Thomas’s partner, make-up artist LeeAnn Jemmott, told XXL Magazine that the rapper “was going to make it.” Jemmott went on to say that Thomas was being weened off of using the ventilator. Thomas and Jemmott have two children together. Jemmott told XXL:
He is fighting and he is winning. He has no sign of infection. His heart is strong and working well. His kidneys have been affected, but as of today, he has started dialysis to clean the toxins out of his blood. Fred is going to make it. God is good!
On April 21, Jemmott reiterated her positivity in an Instagram post saying that “Fred is fighting ant he is going to win.” Two days prior to that, Jemmott wrote on Instagram, “Fred is fighting ya’ll keep him in your prayers… Pray specifically for lung and kidney recovery!!! He is strong ya’ll, he got this ??❤️??.”
Immediately following Thomas’s hospitalization, Jemmott told News 12 The Bronx that doctors had told her the rapper may not pull through.
4. Thomas Was Unable to Rap Without Using His Hands
In an interview with XXL Magazine, Thomas’s producer, Clark Kent, said that Fred The Godson was unable to rap without using his hands. During the interview, Thomas mentioned fellow New York rappers Jay-Z and Notorious B.I.G. as being famous for using their hands while recording and performing.
Kent said that Thomas once tried to go into the recording booth and attempt to not use his hands. Kent told the magazine, “It’s like it didn’t animate for him, it didn’t come to life for him. And then he realized that I wasn’t going crazy.” Following Thomas’s death, Kent told TMZ, “His wordplay was incredible. He was easily one of the most dangerous MC’s around. Lately, he was battling this horrible virus. Today he lost the fight.”
5. Thomas’s Father Was a Bouncer at the Legendary New York City Music Venue, The Tunnel
Thomas said in a 2013 interview with Singers Room that his father had been a bouncer at the New York City music venue, The Tunnel. Thomas told the website, “My pops was a bouncer at the Tunnel. It was a big influence on me without me even knowing it the time.”
Thomas went on to say that thanks to his father’s job, he would receive early releases of albums. Among those was Jay-Z’s seminal album, Reasonable Doubt. The Tunnel nightclub operated from 1986 until 2001 in New York City’s Chelsea neighborhood. Actor Vin Diesel worked as a bouncer at the venue, according to CNN.