Unfortunately, a much respected figure in hip hop recently passed away. Former Zulu Nation Minister of Information Grandmaster T.C. Izlam (real name Tony Bell) was killed in Atlanta, according to NYC hip hop promoter Van Silk and DJ Kevie Kev Rockwell. News of T.C. Izlam’s death was told to Silk during one of his usual Facebook Live video posts. Rockwell called him in the middle of the recording and he could be heard saying, “They killed T.C. Izlam, man…they got him. They killed my man.”
T.C. Izlam coined the “Hip-Step” subset of hip hop and he was considered a “little brother” to many pioneers within the culture. HipHopDX spoke to some of these figures on a conference call. It included Kurtis Blow, Grand Mixer DXT, Kool Kyle and Kevie Kev. DJ Kool Red Alert was also on the call, but was too shocked to make a cohesive statement. A reoccurring sentiment was T.C. Izlam’s ability to share knowledge and be a dope M.C.
“T.C. was and is one of the youngsters that came up among us that was a teacher,” DXT said. “He was a well-educated young man and his ambitions to lead and teach were profound. We don’t know what the circumstances are and were, but we know our brother is gonna be missed by the community.”
Kurtis Blow, who made the Tricka Technology album with T.C. Izlam, DJ Krafty Kuts, and A. Skillz, had some words for his lost friend: “We spent a lot of time together on tour. To see him on stage, he shocked and surprised me as a real legitimate force. He wasn’t just an MC. This guy was really good. He was masterful and incredible.” Blow continued, “He made me love hip hop. I knew there were other people who loved it as much as I did and do. He was one of them.”
You can check out T.C Izlam featured on the track “Tricka Technology” below.