Stepa J. Groggs, one-third of Injury Reserve, the Tempe hip-hop group that found national recognition in recent years, died June 29 at the age of 32. The group announced Groggs' death earlier this evening through posts on Facebook and Twitter. No cause of death has been announced.
Groggs, whose real name was Jordan Alexander Groggs, formed Injury Reserve in 2013, along with Ritchie With a T and Parker Corey. They dropped mixtapes Live From the Dentist Office and Floss in 2015 and 2016, respectively, then released their first, self-titled LP last year.
"The Arizona rap trio are in the big leagues now, having dropped their first album on Loma Vista Recordings, and it’s evident on this track that they are yearning desperately to let their work shine to its utmost. In this, they largely succeed, showing themselves to be a band bent on growth and evolution," Phoenix New Times writer Gerrit Feenstra said in his review of Injury Reserve .
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Jeremiah Gratza is the owner of President Gator Records, which released Injury Reserve's mixtapes and their 2017 EP Drive It Like It's Stolen on vinyl, and is director of operations for Stateside Presents, which oversees Crescent Ballroom and The Van Buren, two venues where Injury Reserve have performed in the past.
"It's just really sad," Gratza says. He says that in his experiences working with the group on albums and shows, they were warm and kind people. "His loss will have a big, big impact in the local music scene. Our deepest and sincere thoughts go out to his family and friends at this time."
A GoFundMe has been started for Groggs' partner and their four children.