Definitive Jux artist Camu Tao died yesterday afternoon (May 25) as a result of lung cancer.
Labelmate and friend Aesop Rock announced the passing on his Myspace page.
Tero Smith aka Camu Tao was diagnosed with lung cancer 2 years ago and had been undergoing chemotherapy. Tao was pronounced dead at a Columbus, OH hospital.
Tao was a member of Columbus, Ohio's MHz crew with Copywrite, RJD2, Jakki Tha MotaMouth & Tage Proto, The Nighthawks with fellow Definitive Jux artist Cage, the Weathermen and the duo S.A. Smash.
El-P posted the following on his blog about the passing:
Today, at around 2pm, our dear friend, family member and musical collaborator Tero “CAMU TAO” Smith passed away in his home town of Columbus, Ohio. Tero had been quietly fighting for his life for the last year and a half after being diagnosed with lung cancer.
To those who knew Tero, he was an almost uncategorizable force of nature. Wild, hilarious, proud, loving, tough, outspoken, spontaneous and brilliant. He wore his heart on his sleeve and he dripped creativity, leaving inspiration and awe in the hearts and minds of anyone who was fortunate enough to see him work.
We, his friends and family, have truly had our collective hearts broken by his passing. Not only because of the loss of our friend, but because of the loss of his contribution to those who never knew what we knew about his talent and his potential. He was the secret that no one wanted to keep and we always knew that one day his vision and his heart could change music forever the way he changed all of our lives.
His departure from us all 1 month away from his 31st birthday is nothing less than a tragedy… nothing less than a crime. he was a gift to us all and he is irreplaceable. Rest in peace, Mu. We will love you forever. May god bless you and your family.
Tero “CAMU TAO” Smith
born 6/26/77, passed 5/25/08
jaime “el-p” meline (on behalf of many, many wonderful and broken hearted friends)"
Tero Smith aka Camu Tao was 30.