Early Hip-Hop Legend John ‘Ecstasy’ Fletcher Of Whodini Is Dead at 56

Whodini’s Jalil Hutchins (L) and John Fletcher backstage at an October 20, 1984 show at Chicago’s UIC Pavilion. Photo: Paul Natkin/Getty Images

John “Ecstasy” Fletcher, member of the early, influential hip-hop group Whodini, has died at the age of 56, People reports. A cause of death has yet to be revealed. The first to publicly announce the rapper’s passing, Questlove took to Instagram Wednesday to memorialize Fletcher, who, along with bandmate Jalil Hutchins, founded the group in 1982. “One Love to Ecstasy of the Legendary #Whodini,” wrote The Roots drummer. “This man was legendary and a pivotal member of one of the most legendary groups in hip hop. This is sad man.” DJ Drew Carter, also known as Grandmaster Dee, who joined the group in 1986, confirmed the rapper’s passing to Variety.

Based out of Brooklyn, Whodini recorded six studio albums in total, producing 14 charting singles including “One Love,” “Friends,” “Five Minutes of Funk,” “Freaks Come Out at Night,” “The Haunted House of Rock,” and more, with crossover hit “Friends” cracking the Billboard Hot 100 in 1984. Their song, “Magic’s Wand,” a tribute to New York DJ Mr. Magic, is credited with being the first hip-hop song with a music video. Whodini’s final album, 1996’s Six, was executive produced by Jermaine Dupri, who also posted in remembrance of Fletcher on Wednesday.

“My God, this one hurts me so bad, I can’t even believe I’m posting this, Ex you know I love you,” Dupri tweeted, alongside a video of a baby-faced Whodini in 1985. “Thank you for every word, every conversation, every good time, may your soul Rest In Power.”

John ‘Ecstasy’ Fletcher of Whodini Is Dead at 56