On Friday night, rapper Lord Infamous, one of the founding members of Oscar Award winning group Three 6 Mafia, died of an apparent heart attack at the age of 40.
According to his uncle and fellow group member DJ Paul, Lord Infamous, real name Ricky Dunigan, died at his mother’s house in Memphis.
“He was at home sitting at the table and he just lay his head down and he just left us,” Paul said.
In 2010, Infamous suffered a stroke and heart attack, but seemed to be doing better in recent years.
“He was a legend in the game, truly ahead of his time,” said Paul. “He was such a great lyricist and he always came with these different styles in his rap and his flow.”
Along with DJ Paul (who is his mother’s little brother) and Juicy J, the trio formed Three Six Mafia in the early ’90s. After a handful of local singles over the course of a few years, the group released it’s debut album Mystic Stylez in 1995. The group reached their commercial apex in the late ’90s/early ’00s with “Sipping On Some Sizzurp” and other hits. In 2005, the group became the first rap group to win a Best Original Song Oscar for their track “It’s Hard Out Here for a Pimp” from the movie Hustle and Flow.
Shortly after the Oscar win, Infamous bowed out of the group for personal reasons, but the group members remained close.
Recently, Infamous and some of the other members of the group’s early incarnations re-emerged as Da Mafia 6ix and put out a mixtape entitled 6ix Commandments.
As of now, plans for Da Mafia 6ix’s full length album are still set for March.
Paul will remember Lord Infamous as a kind person and dedicated musician. “Lord Infamous was the kind of person that never cared about having a lot of money or this or that,” says Paul. “He just liked to make music, he liked to rap, and he liked to make people happy.”