RIP: Old-school electro great Chilly B (of '80s "Wikki Wikki" band Newcleus)

Bob "Chilly B" Crafton, founding member of the influential 80's electro/hip-hop band Newcleus, passed away this week from complications associated with a stroke. He died at age 47.

chillybth.jpg The stroke had left him brain dead and in a coma. On Tuesday, February 23rd the decision was made to remove him from life support and he passed on not long after. Chilly B's signature moments were his classic verse from "Jam On It", his funky bass guitar licks from "Jam On Revenge (The Wikki Wikki Song)", and his booming deep vocal and sizzling synthesizer solo from "Computer Age (Push The Button)". In recent years he was involved in independent production, including working on a new Newcleus album, and touring with Newcleus. He is survived by his wife Valerie and his sons Justin, Jason, Joshua and Isaiah.
More: Jam On Productions, CosmicRock, Cold Crush, Amoeba Records, and OldSchoolHipHop (with word from his fellow Newcleus bandmate Cosmo D). A very sad day in hip-hop history (via Steve Nalepa).

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  1. Ah, this is sad. Thanks for posting.

    I recall my father driving me and my family out of New York City one night in the early ’80s. As we cruised down Route 95 through the industrial rim outside the city, my dad switched on the radio and “Jam On It” came on. We were all enthralled. A New York City dream.

  2. How sad. RIP, Chilly B.

    In the mid-80s I had Jam On It on a compilation LP called Electric Breakdance. I listened to that record so much I wore it down. I liked it even better when I played it at 45 rpm. Pre-techno!

  3. Wow. I remember in 1984 there were a handful of songs that became instant classics for breakdancers. Art of Noises’s Beatbox, Tour de France by Kraftwerk, Herbie Hancock’s Rockit to name a few. Jam On It was definitely in that pantheon and was the most entertaining of the bunch. Even our parents thought it was funny. Sad to hear of this loss.

  4. reminds me of “revenge of the nerds.”

    those fucking breakdancers have some badass moves. One of them is a moving version of one of the more difficult postures of the I Chin Ching from traditional Shao-lin Kung Fu. And there’s a lot there that’s reminiscent of Aikido. Makes me think of Capewera (I know the spelling is way off), the afro-brazilian fighting style hidden in dance.

  5. I played in a funk band in the early 1980s. This was the era of Prince, The Time, and of the white lead guitarist. That was me. The unofficial name of our group was E.B.B.B.B. (Everybody’s Black But Barry). We played this tune, and it filled the dance floor every time. Hats off Chilly B!

  6. Sad to hear this. Too young. I haven’t thought about these guys in a few years, but loved the record. Deh deh dang deh deh dang… Earthling Girl! I think I’m gonna’ dig it out and crank it (try to work up some energy for digging out of a snow storm) Sad news for sure, but thinking about him brings back good memories.

  7. RIP, Chilly B.

    The embedded video is an abridged edit … that song goes on a lot longer and has at least one more verse.

    Never knew much about these guys … sad to be learning more only on the occasion of Chilly B’s death.

  8. i just started dancin with newcleous when i met chilly.he was a great hip hop icon.he made alot for himself,im lucky to have known him at all.

  9. Wow, I hate to hear this news. I was a huge fan and still have the Newcleus music in heavy rotation in my car. God bless to his family and close friends.
    Miss Chris

  10. Jam On It was so far ahead of it’s time it was unreal. That sound will never be repeated. Wow. We’ve lost a great one. But his family should be very proud of the legacy fe left behind.

  11. RIP Chilly B. We used to listen to Joam on it nonstop on our way to the skating rink and then we would request it at the rink. It still reminds of jam skating. Love it!

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