Singer Johnny P Reportedly Dead at 44

For anyone relatively familiar with the earlier days of Chicago's hip-hop scene, the name Johnny P is readily recognizable. The man behind many of the hooks for acts like Do Or Die and Twista reportedly passed away this week after allegedly battling a coma for the last few weeks, FakeShoreDrive reported via family members.

The "Po Pimp" crooner made a name for himself with the high-end falsetto stylings that came to dictate the sound of one of Chicago's first breakout acts in the rap game and garnered credits alongside artists like Scarface and 2Pac. Signed to Rap-A-Lot Records in 1998, Johny released The Next, which featured Do or Die, Scarface and production from Mike Dean and The Legendary Traxster. "Po Pimp" hit number one on Billboard's Hip-Hop charts and "Smile" with Scarface and 2Pac reached No. 12.

While he never quite achieved the heights of some of his contemporaries, Johnny P left a legacy in the local hip-hop circuit that won't soon be forgotten. Last year he reconvened with Do Or Die for the group's first project in nearly a decade, once again teaming up with the trio for Picture This 2. Talking to AK of Do Or Die at the time for an XXL piece, he spoke of working again with the longtime collaborator: "Man, Johnny? That's the dude man, he came in when we was working on those first projects and just added something that set it all of, like the Chicago Nate Dogg or something."