Artifacts Rapper Tame One Dead At 52
Tame One, the veteran New Jersey underground rapper best-known for his time in ’90s group the Artifacts, has died. NJ.com reports that Tame One died on Sunday night. No official cause of death has been reported. Tame One was 52.
Tame One was born Rahem Brown in New Jersey, and he’s Redman’s cousin. Tame One got his start as a graffiti writer before forming Artifacts with fellow New Jersey rapper El Da Sensei in the late ’80s. In 1994, Artifacts released their debut album Between A Rock And A Hard Place on Atlantic’s Big Beat imprint. It’s an immaculate example of that era of East Coast rap music — neck-jerk boom-bap beats, blustery hooks, tons of personality. The album wasn’t a huge commercial success, but it made the album charts and became a cult favorite. Artifacts released one more album, 1997’s That’s Them, and broke up shortly thereafter.
After the end of Artifacts, Tame One thrived for years on the underground circuit. He released his debut album When Rappers Attack on Eastern Conference Records in 2003. Tame One also joined the Weathermen, the sprawling underground rap supergroup. Tame One and his fellow Weatherman Cage formed a duo called Leak Bros and released the album Waterworld in 2004. Tame One kept cranking out underground albums, including a 2009 collaborative LP with Del The Funky Homosapien. Artifacts reunited in 2009, and they just released the Buckwild-produced reunion LP No Expiration Date earlier this year.
El Da Sensei shared a tribute to Tame One on Instagram today, writing, “Gonna miss my brothers. Tame man…..I will continue the legacy! We did some great things.” Below, see El’s full post and check out some of Tame One’s work.