Pumpkinhead, a New York City-born underground rapper, died Tuesday morning in a New Jersey hospital. He was 39.

Pumpkinhead Dies

Pumpkinhead, whose given name was Robert Diaz, had been admitted to a hospital in Somerville, N.J., earlier this week for minor surgery. His cause of death has not yet been revealed, but Graeme “GMS” Sibirsky, the co-founder of Diaz’s label MCMI Records, confirmed his untimely passing to Rolling Stone.

Diaz had been a fixture in New York’s underground rap scene since the early 90s. He’d often compete in rap battles and other hip-hop competitions, including Braggin’ Rites and End of the Weak.

In addition to his freestyle rapping, Diaz was also a recording artist. His best known album was 2005’s Orange Moon Over Brooklyn. His other albums include The Old Testament, Beautiful Mind and Know the Ledge.

“To lose such a great human being so early in his life, man. No words,” wrote fellow hip hop artist Talib Kweli on Instagram. “There is a fraternity of artists who were around for all of this. PH inspired us all. He will live on thru us even though his physical presence will be missed. RIP Robert Diaz.”

A photo posted by Talib Kweli (@talibkweli) on

Diaz is survived by his wife, who is expecting a daughter with him, and his two sons.

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