Tame One, Artifacts & The Weathermen Rapper, Dead at 52

Tame One, veteran New Jersey rapper and member of hip-hop groups Artifacts and The Weathermen, has died. He was 52.

His death was confirmed by Pitchfork and on Facebook by the late rapper’s mother, Darlene Brown Harris. “What’s on my mind….I cant express this any other way. My son, Rahem Brown, Tamer Dizzle Is Dead,” she wrote on Sunday. “The medical examiner says the six pharmaceutical drugs … prescribed to him last Friday, combined with the weed he smoked over this weekend … his heart simply gave out. He will know better after the autopsy. I will not be responding to all the posts for a bit, but the hardest words I will ever post or say is, my son, my heart, is dead.”

Tame One, born Rahem Brown, expressed himself as a teenager by way of music and graffiti. Tame One’s 1994 debut alongside Artifacts groupmate El Da Sensei, Between a Rock and a Hard Place, was an ode to the influential art form and broke the duo into the mainstream. The album appeared on both the Billboard 200 and R&B/Hip-Hop Albums charts. Despite their collective success, Artifacts only went on to release one more album together, That’s Them, in 1997 before moving on to solo careers.

After the group’s initial split, New York hip-hop group The Weathermen, founded by a handful of East Coast producers and rappers, was formed. Tame One rapped alongside a number of co-members, including Cage Kennylz, Masai Bey, Aesop Rock, Yak Ballz, El-P, Jakki Tha Motamouth, Vast Aire and Breeze Brewin. The group released one mixtape in 2003, titled Conspiracy.

After 25 years, El Da Sensei and Tame One came together with producer Buckwild for their third album as Artifacts, No Expiration Date, which released on Aug. 20. “[In 1979], we would walk miles with markers and cans, taggin’ up everywhere,” he said in his final interview before his death. “I was influenced by my surroundings, I’m a product of my environment, and I capitalized upon what I saw. It’s a blessing to transform that energy and give back.”

Neena Rouhani