Big Pokey, a legendary Houston rapper of the Screwed Up Click and a pioneer of the "chopped-and-screwed" sound, has passed away, reports the Associated Press. He was 48.

On Sunday, Big Pokey, whose real name is Milton Powell, collapsed on stage during a performance as viewed in a video that was shared on social media. Tom Gillam III, who serves as justice of the peace in Jefferson County, where Big Pokey was performing, said that an autopsy to determine the cause of death was pending. 

His passing was also confirmed on Big Pokey’s Instagram account.

"It is with deep sadness that we share the news of the passing of our beloved Milton 'Big Pokey' Powell," the statement said. "He was well loved by his family, his friends, and his loyal fans."

"In the coming days, we will release information about his celebration of life and how the public can pay their respects,” the post continued.

Houston mayor Sylvester Turner offered his condolences and paid tribute to Big Pokey on Twitter.

“The City of Houston and I extend our prayers and condolences to our own Screwed Up Click legendary rapper #BigPokey family and friends,” Turner wrote. "Though many called him “low key”, his presence was larger than life in helping to catapult our hip hop scene nationally. We are grateful.”

Since the 1990s, Big Pokey has been a trailblazer and a mainstay of the Houston rap scene. He was a founding member of Houston’s rap collective Screwed Up Click which was formed by the late DJ Screw.  

In 1999, Big Pokey released his debut album Hardest Pit in the Litter followed by D-Game in 2000 and Da Sky’s Da Limit in 2002, Evacuation Notice in 2008, and several others.

Big Pokey also appeared with Megan Thee Stallion and other Houston rap legends on Traumazine’s “Southside Royalty Freestyle" in 2022.

DJ Paul of Three 6 Mafia also expressed his condolences for the loss of Big Pokey on Twitter.

“Mannn Big Pokey,” his post read. “This is Crazy! That Video Was Hard To Watch But Atleast You Was Doing What U Love Brother.”

We at EBONY extend our prayers and deepest condolences to the family and friends of Big Pokey.