AP Photo/Mary Altaffer

Today hip-hop mourns the passing of Dem Franchize Boyz member Buddie, real name Gerald Tiller. Buddie and Dem Franchize Boyz helped shape the sound of mid-2000’s hip-hop with inescapable singles like “Lean Wit It, Rock Wit It” and “I Think They Like Me.”

In addition to their music propelling much of the snap-rap era, as well as the very first viral hip-hop clips on YouTube, their larger-than-life personas saw them as something of crossover artists during the burgeoning “rock star” era of rap, culminating in their releasing a mash-up single and video with KoRN.

Buddie’s impact was not limited to music, as Dem Franchize Boyz helped popularize the fashion of giant white t-shirts, bringing the trend to a national level.

No word yet on services or his age, but several artists have expressed their condolences. Read them as well as revisit some of Dem Franchize Boyz’s finest moments below:

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🥺🥺 R.I.P Buddie you Will be Missed #demfranchizeboyz

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R.I.P Buddy 🙏🏾🙏🏾🙏🏾 #demfranchizeboyz

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