The final autopsy of rapper Milton “Big Pokey” Powell, well known for his song adopted by the Tuskegee marching band, reveals that he died of a massive heart attack after collapsing during a performance on June 17. The preliminary autopsy was inconclusive surrounding his death, but Monday’s results provided the final answers.
“The cause of death, in layman’s terms, ‘Big Pokey’ had a massive heart attack,” Jefferson County, Texas Justice of the Peace Tom Gillam III told KFDM/Fox 4 News.
“He had hypertensive and atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease.”
Gillam signed the death certificate on Monday afternoon.
“Atherosclerosis is a hardening of your arteries due to gradual plaque buildup. Risk factors include high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, tobacco use, obesity, lack of exercise and a diet high in saturated fat,” according to the Cleveland Clinic.
Atherosclerosis develops over time and may not show symptoms until you have complications like a heart attack or stroke.
Big Pokey and Tuskegee
Powell recorded the song Ball N-Parlay on his debut album, “Hardest Pit in the Litter” which debuted in 1999. The song has since become the signature song of the Marching Crimson Pipers at Tuskegee University.Powell would later put out two subsequent albums, D-Game 2000 and Da Sky’s Da Limit, over the course of the next three years. But his lore within the circles of HBCU bands and fans lies with the hit song Ball N-Parlay. The marching band does not appear during football season without playing the song. Members of the crowd at Tuskegee sing the lyrics along with the band with a slight alteration to customize the song for the University. It is instantly recognizable when the music starts and the crowd reacts accordingly every time.