Influential Bay Area hip-hop producer Traxamillion has died. He was 42.
The San Jose-born producer – real name Sultan Banks – was best known for pioneering hyphy, a genre of music and movement that emerged in Oakland, California, in the late-1990s. Coined by rapper Keak da Sneak, the genre is regional slang for “hyperactive” and is defined by up-tempo, drum-driven beats.
According to the San Francisco Chronicle, Banks died of a rare form of cancer, which he had battled since 2017. Speaking about his passing, Banks’ manager Prashant “PK” Kumar said, “He was an amazing musician/producer. He was an integral part of the hyphy music sound who helped reopen the door for Bay Area hip-hop. He did it in 2004 or 2005, and the rest of California got on it and adapted his sound.”
Oakland blog Thizzler On The Roof broke the news of Banks’ passing on 3rd January. “Rest In Peace Traxamillion,” they wrote on Twitter. “The San Jose producer who helped create the ‘Hyphy’ sound passed away today. This is a huge loss for Northern California. We send our condolences to his family & loved ones.”
Among Banks’ releases over the years was the landmark 2006 album, ‘Traxamillion Presents the Slapp Addict’. Listen to ‘Sideshow’ from the album, featuring Too $hort and Mistah FAB, below.