Ricky Harris, a comedian, actor and childhood friend of Snoop Dogg who provided background vocals on the seminal debut rap albums of both Snoop and Ice Cube, died on Monday. Harris was 54.
Harris died of a heart attack, his manager reported. Harris had suffered another heart attack two years ago. He grew up in Long Beach, Calif., and sung in the church choir with Calvin Broadus, Jr. Broadus would grow up to become legendary rapper Snoop Dogg, and Harris provided the voices of DJ Eaz-E-Dick and DJ Sal-T-Nuttz DohJah. He also served as a producer on Snoop’s MTV variety show in 2009, Dogg After Dark.
Before all of that, though, Harris provided vocals on the comedy skits for “AmeriKKKa’s Most Wanted,” the 1990 debut rap album by Ice Cube.
Many comedians also looked up to Harris as a stand-up for his energetic and kinetic appearance on Def Comedy Jam in the 1990s.
As an actor, Harris appeared in Poetic Justice, Heat, Moesha (as J.W.), Everybody Hates Chris (as Malvo), and even recently, portrayed a protestor in the award-winning FX miniseries, The People V. O.J. Simpson, as well as a role in an upcoming Goldberg action movie, Check Point.
Rappers and comedians both took to social media to express their condolences.
Here’s the first of many Snoop Dogg Instagrams about his longtime friend, Ricky. Rest in Peace.