John "Ecstasy" Fletcher, of Hip-Hop Group Whodini, Dead at 56
Image via Getty / Leon Bennett
The hip-hop world mourns another legend.
On Wednesday Questlove announced the death of John "Ecstasy" Fletcher, a co-founder of New York hip-hop group Whodini. "This man was legendary and a key member of one of the most legendary groups in hip hop," wrote Questlove in an Instagram tribute post. "That's a sad man."
Ecstasy was 56.
His family published the following statement.
The ancestors of Africa and Native Americans gathered on that day during the winter solstice on December 23, 2020 and decided to invoke a deeply loved, generous, and sincere soul who graced the heart of the world through achievement, hip-hop, family, and children and grandchildren.
John "Ecstasy" Fletcher was a loved one, the life partner of Deltonia and ex-husband of Carla, the twin brother of Joseph, artist, friend and lifelong partner of the legendary Jalil von Whodini.
Whodini has established a hip hop course of legendary status that we are all sure to pass on to our grandchildren.
Please send love and prayers to our families, and with an open heart we ask the ancestors to cover his soul in peace and tranquility. Play his music if it moves you and know he will hear you on his way home today, December 23rd. "
Cards and letters can be sent to:
3799 Main Street P.O. Box 87176
College Park, GA 30337
Sincerely, The family of John "Ecstacy" Fletcher
The details of the tragedy were not disclosed, but his family tells TMZ that the death came as a shock since ecstasy was healthy and avid athletes. They also say he spoke to people shortly before he died but suddenly stopped breathing.
Ecstasy founded Whodini in 1982 with Jalil Hutchins and recruited DJ Drew Carter, also known as Grandmaster Dee, a few years later. The group is considered to be a pioneer in hip-hop, as in the early years of the latter genre they were known for seamlessly blending R&B and rap.
Whodini released half a dozen studio albums between 1983 and 1996 and delivered a number of charts including "Magic's Wand", "Friends" / "Five Minutes of Funk", "Funky Beat" and Halloween-themed cut "The Haunted House of Rock." ".
"One Love" to one of the greatest Hip Hop! "Said Hutchins in a statement." There will never be another. "
In 2018, the Brooklyn group received the Hip Hop Icon Award at the 3rd Annual Black Music Honors, in which Doug E. Fresh, YoYo, Monie Love and DJ Mell Star paid homage to Whodini's greatest hits.
On Wednesday, hip-hop characters and fans used social media to pay tribute to ecstasy and the indelible mark it has left on music.
"One pillar. One of our properties. Our temptations. Our four peaks. Our Isley Brothers. One standard. That was and is Whodini for us," producer 9th Wonder said in a statement. "Mr. John 'Ecstasy' Fletcher was part of that standard. So many of us in this culture took him, Jalil and Grandmaster Dee ... from words and lyrics to the beats. They didn't just have songs that our culture took coined, but texts that became sayings. Friends ... how many of us have them? One love. There are so many. Thank you ecstasy. Thank you for the path you have paved for the thousands and thousands of women and men I want to call myself a rapper one day. May your spirit live on forever. "
You can read additional tribute news below.
I just got the sad news that #Whodini's Ecstasy passed away today. Thanks for the music of my youth. I always loved the Zorro hat !!! Condolences to his family. pic.twitter.com/6zdSQTdAI4
- Loni Love (@LoniLove) December 23, 2020
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