The 32-year-old’s clothing brand and label, Dank Of England, confirmed the news, writing on Instagram: “I can’t believe I’m writing this… it still doesn’t feel real… Rest In Power my brother.”
Black The Ripper was best known for his 2018 album Money Grows On Trees and the mixtape, Holla Black.
As well as his music career, the rapper, real name Dean West and also known as Ital Samson, was a prominent advocate for the legalisation of cannabis in the UK.
His Instagram page features photos of himself with cannabis in public places, including in front of the Metropolitan Police headquarters, and he would also share news articles about the medicinal benefits of the drug.
The London-born rapper had been staying in Montserrat, in the Caribbean, before his death, according to reports. No cause of death has been given.
TV and radio presenter Jama shared several pictures of herself with West, describing him as “a lovely soul”.
Paying tribute, rapper Chip posted a picture of the pair together and said: “RIP my brother.”
In a separate tweet, the star wrote about how mourners would not be able to attend the funeral due to the coronavirus pandemic, adding: “I know the people would wanna come out for him. RIP Black The Ripper.”
Wiley, who had collaborated with West, paid tribute by saying: “Time to release some music #LetsGo RIP @BlackTheRipper #Legend.”
Krept, from rap duo Krept & Konan, tweeted: “No way black the ripper. R.I.P man f***ing hell what a horrible year.”
Grime star Ghetts posted: “Light one up for Black the ripper. Very sad news man.”
Actor Michael Dapaah, best known for his Big Shaq alter ego, said: “Real sad news RIP Black The Ripper, my condolences to his family & loved ones.”