Lord Infamous, a founding member of Three 6 Mafia, died in his sleep on Friday (Dec. 20) night. He was 40.
It is believed that Lord Infamous, born Ricky Dunigan, suffered a heart attack. He was not ill at the time of his death but had suffered both a stroke and heart attack in 2010. He died at his mother's house in his native Memphis, Tenn.
"He said he was tired, he wanted to sleep. He sat down at the kitchen table, put his head in his arms to lay down ... to get some sleep," DJ Paul told the Hollywood Reporter. His mother left and when she came back Lord Infamous was not breathing.
"He did pass away at his mother's house last night in Memphis," Paul's publicist Dove Clark confirmed to HipHopDX. "The cause of death is unknown. We're actually trying to figure out how he died and that is all the information we currently have."
Lord Infamous began his rap career as one of the three founding members of Three 6 Mafia, then called Backyard Posse. He was wrangled into the group by family member Paul in the early '90s. The group would add Koopsta Knicca, Crunchy Black and Gangsta Boo to become Three Six Mafia, Memphis' most notorious hip-hop crew, and release several albums before members began leaving to pursue solo careers in the early Aughties. He reportedly served time in 2006 and was not part of Three 6 Mafia's Oscar win for Best Original Song that year.
Later, Lord Infamous would go on to form Black Rain Entertainment with fellow Memphis rapper II Tone, and in 2013 rejoined four of the original Three 6 Mafia members -- Paul, Gangsta Boo, Crunchy Black and Koopsta Knicca -- to form the group Da Mafia 6ix. They released their debut mixtape 6ix Commandments this past November.
I will never forget the shows we rocked together . My heart is in pieces
— Lola aka Boo (@GangstaBooQOM) December 21, 2013
R.I.P. lord Infamous
— juicy j (@therealjuicyj) December 21, 2013