Eminem, Drake and others in the rap world are mourning acclaimed Canadian battle rapper Pat Stay after he was stabbed to death in Nova Scotia.
Patrick Wayne Stay was 36.
It happened early Sunday, just after midnight, when police found a male stabbing victim at 12:35 a.m. in Nova Scotia. He was taken to the hospital, where he died, police in Nova Scotia, Canada, said in a Sunday evening statement.
The coroner ruled his death a homicide, and police were investigating.
Stay was the father of two young children, reported CNN.
Halifax Regional Police spokesperson Constable John MacLeod told CBC News he had no information about whether anyone saw the stabbing, or what had precipitated it.
According to hip-hop magazine HipHopDX, Stay had just left a friend’s wedding when he stepped between two people scuffling outside a bar in an attempt to defuse the fight, and was fatally stabbed.
Fellow battle rapper Dizaster corroborated that account, though he didn’t cite his source.
“Let’s dispel all the theories surrounding this tragic moment,” Dizaster tweeted. “I know there’s a lot of confusion, but here it is: He was breaking up a fight between two people at a bar. It wasn’t premeditated. Just classic goodhearted Pat Stay. Which makes this even more devastating.”
Hailing from Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Stay captivated audiences with his prowess in rap battles, in which two rappers confront duel before an audience with a mix of boasts, insults and rhymes. Sometimes it’s scripted, but more often it’s improvised.
The form was popularized by rapper Eminem in the 2002 movie “8 Mile,” and the veteran rapper lamented Stay’s passing.
“Hiphop lost one of the best battlers of all time … RIP,” tweeted Eminem, whose given name is Marshall Mathers. “KINGS NEVER DIE!!”
Just two days earlier Stay had posted a new track that had garnered nearly 300,000 views on YouTube and an untold number on Instagram, his two main social media platforms, where he had a large following.
“Pat Stay’s definitely one of, if not the, best,” wrote rapper Drake in a comment on that track, according to CNN.
“RIP to the Sucka Free Boss @patstay_902 one of my fav rappers ever,” Drake wrote in his Instagram stories after learning of the rapper’s death.
Fellow battle rapper and close friend Dizaster was devastated.
Dizaster called Stay “the only battler who’s ever pushed my pen for real, the only battler I genuinely couldn’t ever miss a bar or battle he’s ever done. There will never be another Pat.”
Major battle rap arena the Ultimate Rap League mourned a legend who was “one of the best to ever compete,” the league tweeted. “Hip hop has indeed lost a legend.”
Friends organized a GoFundMe site to help Stay’s family with funeral expenses, with nearly $125,000 raised by Monday evening, out of a $150,000 goal.