Kangol Kid, the influential rapper who founded the Brooklyn hip-hop group UTFO, has died after being diagnosed with stage four colon cancer. He was 55. Veteran New York City promoter Van Silk confirmed the news to HipHopDX, writing, “RIP KANGOL KID. He passed at 3:02 a.m. My prayers go out to my brother who fought a battle of colon cancer at Stage 4.”
Born Shaun Shiller Fequiere in Brooklyn, New York, Kangol Kid earned his nickname as a child due to his fondness for Kangol hats. He began his career as a breakdancer working with Doctor Ice, and the two danced for the hip-hop group Whodini before forming UTFO, which stood for “Untouchable Force Organization.” Along with members Mix Master Ice and Educated Rapper, who passed away in 2017, the group was best known for the 1984 hit ‘Roxanne, Roxanne’. The track fuelled what came to be known as the “Roxanne Wars” after rapper Roxanne Shanté responded with her diss track ‘Roxanne’s Revenge’, which led to a series of response tracks and rivalries. Throughout the 1980s and early 1990s, UTFO put out five studio albums, including their 1985 self-titled debut, Skeezer Pleezer, Lethal, Doin’ It!, and Bag It & Bone It.