Grime pioneer Major Ace has died, his family reports. The rapper, whose real name was Luke Monero, had been suffering from a brain tumour for almost three years.
Major Ace was part of the UK garage crew Pay As U Go Cartel, which was instrumental in shaping the grime sound. His brother Cass confirmed Moneroâs death via Instagram on 9 October.
Grime musicians including Lethal Bizzle, Tinchy Stryder, Wretch 32 and Wiley paid tribute on social media, with the latter thanking Major Ace for âshowing me the wayâ. On Twitter, fellow MC Chipmunk described Major Ace as âone of the MCs who made me wanna do thisâ.
Pay As U Go Cartel, who had a Top 20 hit in 2002 with Champagne Dance, included figures such as Wiley, DJ Target, Flow Dan and Rinse FM co-founder DJ Slimzee, who was a childhood friend of Major Ace.
After Pay As U Go Cartel disbanded in 2002, Wiley founded the seminal grime crew Roll Deep, which at times has counted Dizzee Rascal, Skepta and Jme as members. Major Ace later formed the grime group East Connection with Pay As U Go Cartelâs Maxwell D and Gods Gift.