The hip-hop community is in mourning over the death of Alabama rapper the Last Mr. Bigg.

A close friend of the rapper confirmed the sad news to The rhymer apparently died in his sleep at his sister’s home either on Tuesday evening (April 27) or Wednesday morning (April 28).

The Last Mr. Bigg, whose real name is Donald Maurice Pears, is considered one of the most influential rappers from Mobile, Ala. Although he never achieved mainstream success, he was a local legend in the independent rap scene since the 1990s. Bigg released two albums on Warlock Records and was featured on Three 6 Mafia’s 2006 hit single, “Poppin’ My Collar.”

Bigg was also featured in a 2010 documentary, Number One with a Bullet, which examined the relationship between rap and gun violence. In the film, Bigg describes a 2004 incident in which he was shot twice in the head. He lost an eye and later donned a prosthetic eye with diamonds in it, which earned him a second rap alias, DiamondEye.

"He was known all over the Southern region," said fellow Alabama rapper Rod Maine. "He was a big influence. He was one of the originators of the local scene."

According to Twitter, the funeral for the Last Mr. Bigg will take place at the Sunlight District Auditorium in Prichard, Ala., at 2PM ET on May 9.

Upon hearing the tragic news of Bigg's death, several rappers went on Twitter to tweet R.I.P. shout outs to the influential rapper.

We send our heartfelt condolences and prayers to Pears' family and friends. May he rest in peace.

Listen to Three 6 Mafia's "Poppin' My Collar" Feat. the Last Mr. Biggs

Listen to the Last Mr. Bigg's Song "Trial Time"

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