Chico’s death was first reported on Monday (August 14) by Special Ed, who tweeted: “Just got a call. Rest In Peace Chico Del Vec. Junior Mafia.”
While a cause of death has yet to be revealed, Ed told AllHipHop in a brief statement: “I don’t have much details other than they found him in his room.”
As news of Chico Del Vec’s passing spread, reactions began pouring in from across the Hip Hop community, including from those closest to him.
Just got a call. Rest In Peace Chico Del Vec. Junior Mafia…
— Special Ed (@SpecialEd) August 14, 2023
Fellow Junior M.A.F.I.A. member Lil Cease appeared to react to the tragic news on his Instagram Stories, where he posted sad face, black heart and praying hands emojis along with the caption, “#JM.”
Faith Evans, who worked with the Brooklyn crew at the height of their popularity, posted similarly despondent emojis on Instagram underneath a throwback photo of her hanging out with Junior M.A.F.I.A.
Junior M.A.F.I.A.’s Nino Brown was also taken aback by Chico’s death as he posted several updates on his Instagram Stories expressing his shock and sadness.
“Nah Chico wtf [sad face emojis],” he wrote, before adding: “This one HURT man nah Chic wtf just saw u. Sorry can’t talk without crying so don’t think I’m ignoring y’all y’all don’t [know].”
Easy Mo Bee, the producer behind some of Biggie and Bad Boy’s biggest hits including “Going Back to Cali,” “Warning” and “Flava In Ya Ear,” posted a lengthy and heartfelt tribute to Chico Del Vec on Instagram, in which he praised the late rapper’s positive energy and character.
“I was in denial all day since the very first post that I saw,” he wrote. “Just didn’t want to believe that it was true. My eyes literally watered up a little bit. Chico was the kinda dude that checked in with me often. He would just call me up and be like ‘What up Mo Bee. You good?’ Never wanted anything. Just checking up on me. That’s who he was.
“Let me say something. This life can be so short. So cherish the good ones while they’re still here because any day could be their last. Always be good to yourself and appreciate the small things. The vanities and all the money in the world won’t keep you happy. It is the love of God, family and kindred spirits like Chico that will put a smile on your face and make this life worth living.”
He added: “Rest In Peace to a good dude and condolences to the entire #JuniorMafia, Chico’s family and all his loved ones. #KeepYourSoulTogether #HoldOnTight.”
Comprised of childhood friends of The Notorious B.I.G., Junior M.A.F.I.A. released their debut album Conspiracy in 1995, which spawned the career-defining hits “Player’s Anthem” and “Get Money,” both of which cracked the top 20 of the Billboard Hot 100.
The group disbanded in 1997 following the death of Biggie, who was shot and killed in Los Angeles at the tender age of 24, but their legacy lived on in Lil Kim, who established herself as not just a solo star, but arguably one of the greatest and most influential female rappers of all time.
In 2005, Lil’ Cease, Kleptomaniac and Larceny reunited to release Junior M.A.F.I.A.’s second and final album, Riot Musik, but it failed to replicate the success of its predecessor.
As R.A. The Rugged Man wrote on Twitter while mourning his death, Chico Del Vec “was a key member of Junior M.A.F.I.A. and a big part of Biggie’s life.” He was famously shouted out on B.I.G.’s Ready to Die track “Suicidal Thoughts,” on which he rapped: “Call my n-gga Chic, tell him that my will is weak.”
HipHopDX sends its condolences to Chico Del Vec’s family and friends. Check out more reactions to his passing below.
I just heard Chico Del Vec passed. He doesn’t get mentioned but he was a key member of Junior Mafia and a big part of biggie’s life. He always showed me love, that was my man. RIP condolences to his family.
— R.A. the Rugged Man (@RAtheRuggedMan) August 15, 2023
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