Greg Tate Tributes Paid to Music Writer and Critic After His Death Aged 64

Tributes are pouring in for renowned music writer and critic, Greg Tate, following his death. He was 64-years-old.

Considered a major cultural force and pioneer of hip-hop journalism, Tate was celebrated for analyzing Black artistry and influence throughout his career and for chronicling the birth of hip hop as it happened.

He was also a founding member of artists' collective and nonprofit organization, the Black Rock Coalition, and leader of the Burnt Sugar ensemble.

Tate's death was confirmed by a representative for Tate's publisher Duke University Press, per Pitchfork. A cause of death has not been confirmed at this time.

Jazz critic Nate Chinen also confirmed Tate's death on social media on December 7, paying tribute to the "fiercely original critical voice."

"Absolutely gutted to learn (from a trusted source) that Greg Tate has left this dimension," Chinen tweeted.

"What a hero he's been—a fiercely original critical voice, a deep musician, an encouraging big brother to so many of us. Total shock."

Tate's illustrious career started in New York City in the Village Voice in 1987 where he became one of the publication's most recognized writers and was dubbed "one of the godfathers of hip-hop journalism" by hip-hop publication The Source.

"rip greg tate... impossible to mimic, though we all tried... a giant, a good and big-hearted person, the realest one... wrote this in 2016 and could have easily written 100,000 more words about his influence on us," tweeted writer Hua Hsu.

While Jelani Cobb of the New Yorker also paid tribute to Tate and his impact.

"Hard to explain the impact that Flyboy in the Buttermilk had on a whole generation of young writers and critics who read every page of it like scripture. It's still a clinic on literary brilliance. Godspeed, Greg Tate," Cobb wrote.

Meanwhile, singer-songwriter Saul Williams shared an anecdote about Tate, tweeting: "My first gig at CBGBs, my band was setting up for sound check, Greg Tate walks in w his guitar & amp, walks right on stage and plugs in. He looks me dead in eye, 'You know I'm in your band, right? Y'all ain't traveling to space without me.' & that was that."

Philosopher Cornel West also shared a moving tribute to Tate and his genius.

"I am devastated by the loss of my very dear brother Greg Tate! He was a great love warrior, intellectual titan & spiritual genius whose profound commitment & compassion for Black People & Black Culture was absolute! We shall never forget him!" he wrote.

Greg Tate
Conductor Greg Tate speaks on stage at 'Deep Roots of Rock: Making Rock Relevant Again' during the 2015 SXSW Music, Film + Interactive Festival at Austin Convention Center on March 20, 2015 in Austin, Texas. Robert A Tobiansky/Getty Images for SXSW