He was 48
Just a few short months after announcing that he was battling colon cancer, hip-hop veteran and podcaster Reggie “Combat Jack” Ossie has passed away at the age of 48.
The well-connected and much-loved industry insider pulled in tons of listeners to hear him share behind-the-scenes stories of hip-hop history as well as interview new and established talents on his eponymous show. The former lawyer and editor for influential hip-hop magazine The Source kicked off a wave of similarly themed podcasts when he started The Combat Jack Show in 2011. Because he knew so many people throughout the industry, the reaction to his death has spread far and wide, touching everyone in the business.
“Hip Hop has lost one of its most important historians and voices… we had serious ups and downs but I was so happy we had made things good… Rest In Peace to my friend Combat Jack,” wrote radio personality Peter Rosenberg on Twitter.
“DAMN MAN REST IN PEACE TO MY BROTHER @Combat_JackONE OF THE FIRST PEOPLE TO EVER EMBRACE ME IN THIS WHOLE SH*T. MY HEART IS HEAVY MAN F**K. LOVE ALWAYS,” wrote an upset Action Bronson.
Other podcasters pointed out that Combat Jack was always ahead of the curve.
“RIP Combat Jack, who let us into his family and onto his podcast, who brought donuts to our apartment and carried stories for days,” wrote the It’s The Real podcast. “He left the Lil B show screaming ‘swag!’ and saying he’d seen the future. A great laugh, a great mind, a great friend and a better man.”
Others pointed out the depth of Osse’s knowledge that was lost with his passing.
“Reggie Osse was a name I knew from before the Internet,” wrote writer Dart Adams. “When I saw he was online as Combat Jack telling old industry stories it bugged me out since several of those stories I heard third/fourth hand but HE did the deals. He was in the office. He told the OTHER side. Blew my mind.”
“Heartbreaking. RIP Reggie “Combat Jack” Osse. Great man, storyteller and leader. Your contributions to hip hop will never ever be forgotten,” wrote Tidal’s Elliott Wilson. “Ultimate salute.”
Combat Jack revealed to his fans that he was battling colon cancer back in October. In an Instagram post he shared that he had missed his first-ever podcast because of the diagnosis.
“Internets, what’s up? It’s your man Combat Jack. In 7 years of podcasting, I’ve never missed an episode. I got hit with some real life sh*t. I was recently diagnosed with Colon Cancer,” he shared on social media. “I was rushed to the hospital, had some pretty severe surgery…I’m on the mend right now. I’m about to jump on this journey to health with chemo and alternative medicine.”
Osse’s last Instagram post was a tribute to his late friend Ed Woods, an entertainment lawyer who worked with Osse back in the pre-podcast days that he drew many of his stories from. Many of the tweets leading up to his death were bigging up other people fighting cancer or artists that he believed deserved a spotlight. Taken together, it jibes the sort of person that many people are painting him to be in the wake of his death.
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