Reggie Ossé, known to many as Combat Jack, has died after a battle with colon cancer, according to various sources. The respected podcast host and hip-hop historian revealed his cancer diagnosis back in late October, and had been posting updates throughout the fight. He was 53.
Hip-hop personalities and peers immediately expressed their condolences after news of Combat Jack’s death made waves around social media.
Combat Jack spent the ’90s as a music attorney, notably for Jay-Z and Roc-A-Fella records. He soon made the move to editorial work and became a managing editor for The Source. In 2010, he started The Combat Jack Show, a podcast that earned acclaim and a wide listenership thanks to its in-depth discussions and Ossé’s encyclopedic knowledge of hip-hop culture. It’s considered one of the earliest examples of the medium’s potential for hip-hop storytelling and discussion, which eventually bloomed into its own industry, birthing stars like Taxstone and giving new life to old rappers like N.O.R.E. and Joe Budden, who parlayed his podcast into the viral YouTube show Everyday Struggle.
This year, Combat Jack narrated Mogul: The Life and Death of Chris Lighty, a biographical account of the late music executive that was recently named 2017’s best podcasts by New Yorker.