The local scene has suffered another tremendous loss this week with the passing of Marcus Hayes (aka Marcus Arrilius), one of the founding members of the emerging Welcome to the D.O.P.E. Game crew. Hayes, an esteemed father, husband, brother, friend, mentor, thinker, MC and visionary, passed away this past Friday. Although they're all still clearly reeling from the loss, Hayes's family and friends have issued an official statement, which we've pasted in its entirety below.
Before his passing, Hayes was working on a new project with David "Fat Traks" Williams titled The Mind of Marcus Arrilius and had completed eleven tracks. Fat Traks vows that he'll be finishing the project with the help of the D.O.P.E. (Don't Oppress Positive Energy) Game Crew. Never one to rap about materialism or delve into misogyny, Hayes produced music full of compelling narratives and social commentary that showcased his ill rhyme patterns.
"He was the first person to take my beats and transform them into a song," says Williams of his long time friend. "He would pick the beats out of my arsenal that every other artist would overlook. He definitely helped to make me a producer, instead of a beat maker, challenging me to produce music that I would have never thought of making."
Other friends remember Hayes as funny and say that he had a laugh that was contagious, but they also note that he had a serious side that made him a great leader. He was quick to listen to opinions but was also assertive with his responses. Hayes is survived by his wife Joanna Nakamoto-Hayes and their two children, Justice and Brooklyn.
"Marcus was the other half of my soul, and the word husband doesn't even hint at what he did for me," says Joanna. "He was a soldier for his family and yet the sweetest person you'd ever met. Our kids are the bright and happy little people they are because of his devotion, love and commitment to them. He is my love, my laughter and heart....until the end of time."
No word yet on when and where services will be held, but keep an eye on this space for updates. In the meantime, keep reading for the official statement from the Welcome to the D.O.P.E. Game crew.
We, as a family, have suffered a tremendous loss on February 1, 2013. The passing of our brother Marcus Arrilius Hayes has struck the very core of the Welcome To The D.O.P.E Game family. He was a man of principle, who welcomed all into his home.
Marcus was our leader, our dad, and our conscious. His understanding and problem solving nature has lead us to the success that we now share with you. The leaps and bounds which we have traveled over the last few months comes at a bitter price. As The D.O.P.E Game continues to strive for excellence in all that it does, we build upon the foundation that Marcus has set for us. Brotherhood, Equality, and Fellowship are the bedrocks of our organization.
We thank you for your well wishes and condolences. Please keep his wonderful wife Mama Jo and his beautiful children, Justice and Brooklyn, on your hearts and minds.
Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.