"Express Yourself" rapper Nicky Da B dead at 24
Nicky Da B, who was an up-and-coming bounce performer and best known for his track "Express Yourself," died on Tuesday, Sept. 2 at the age of 24.
Da B's manager confirmed that the young performer died after a brief illness, but no other details are yet available on what caused the rapper's mysterious sickness. Emerging onto the scene with his first club hit "Drop It Hot Potato Style" in 2011, Da B, whose real name is Nickesse Toney, was known as a high-energy dancer and fashion guru.
Toney did gigs with veteran local rappers in New Orleans such as Big Freedia and Katey Red before working with manager Rusty Lazer. After he began collaborating with Lazer, he and Toney started making hyperactive contemporary bounce music and doing uber-stylish artistic videos together.
To express his loss, Lazer posted a heartfelt message on Facebook to remember the late artist.
"There are no words to express the loss all of us who knew Nicy Da B are feeling right now," Lazer wrote. "Thank you all for the kind messages and thoughts. Though his death is tragic he would love nothing more than to be remembered for having brought smiles and joy to people he worked with, performed for and called his friends."
Toney's fellow bounce rappers, Freedia and Katey Red, were from an era when gay men were not easily accepted into the bounce music scene. They both loved seeing their colleague flourish and being accepted after their hard efforts to make non-acceptance a thing of the past.
"We're saddened by his loss. The bounce community will miss him. He was a phenomenal new sound for us, and he would have been going places."
Toney's family was reached for comment, but they haven't responded yet. Details surrounding the bouncer's shocking death remain unclear.