Toker of 90’s gangster rap group Brownside has passed away. He was 51.
Toker, whose real name was Gilbert Izquierdo, helped create and pioneer the West Coast Chicano sound of Hip Hop in the mid-90s with Brownside.
Brownside was founded in 1994 by Ruthless Records/N.W.A. founder the late Eazy-E. Eazy signed the group to his Ruthless records label seeking to create a Chicano version of his critically acclaimed rap group N.W.A. Hit singles “Gang Related “ “Do or die” and “Eastside Drama” garnered Brownside mainstream success and opened many doors for Mexican American rappers.
Known for their raw lyrics and depictions of L.A gang culture, Brownside set a precedent in 90’s hip hop.
“No one had ever seen anything like it.” said friend and fellow Brownside artist L.A Eyekon.
“Toker was with Eazy-E rapping in both English and Spanish. At the time, no one else had ever done that. He spoke about real issues that were happening in our neighborhoods and in our communities. He was a legend.”
Shortly after the deaths of Eazy-E and fellow Brownside member Danger the group disbanded.
Through the years, Toker became an advocate for prison reform and was an active philanthropist.
His cause of death is unknown.