News One is reporting that Karryl "Special One" Smith was laid to rest over the weekend. Smith was half of the female hip-hop group Conscious Daughters, who debuted in 1993 with their Ear to the Street LP. The LP reached the Billboard Top 25 R&B/Hip-Hop charts. The Conscious Daughters' Facebook page states that Ear to the Street sold more than 400,000 copies and yielded a cross-country tour.
With three singles and three videos from that project, the Conscious Daughters gained national recognition. Smith and Green were protégées of politically conscious rapper Paris.
Adisa Banjoko of News One writes:
Special One and her rap partner Carla Green aka CMG's single Fonky Expedition inspired young women coast to coast to pick up mics and represent for the ladies in rap. They also gained critical acclaim with the album Gamers (1996) and Nutcracker Suite (2009). Conscious Daughters were in the process of recording their fourth album at the time of Smith's passing.
Initially, when Smith's passing was reported, the cause of death was unknown. On the group's Facebook page, it states that Special One died of complications resulting from a blood clot. Smith's memorial service was held at First African Methodist Episcopal Church in Oakland, Calif. Many of her closest friends and family spoke openly about Special One's commitment to others, her loyalty, her ability to make people laugh and her skill as an MC.
All Hip-Hop.com reported that hip-hop historian Dave "Davey D" Cook expressed his condolences via Twitter Sunday. "To those of us who knew Special One and to her family and her partner CMG who found her in her apt … Hugs, prayers & support," Cook wrote.
RIP to a rap pioneer.
Read more at News One.