PARK SLOPE — An underground rapper who proudly sang of his Park Slope roots died Tuesday at the age of 39.
Robert Diaz, who was known as Pumpkinhead, died at a Somerville, N.J. hospital of undisclosed causes, the Daily News reported.
Diaz grew up in Park Slope and attended P.S./M.S. 282 with hip-hop artist Talib Kweli, who tweeted an homage to Diaz.
Just finding out I lost a great friend today. RIP Robert Diaz AKA Pumpkinhead. Robert and I went to PS 282 together in Brooklyn, 4th grade. We then reconnected when he became an MC during the indie era of the late 90s. He signed to Makin Records, I signed to Rawkus. Then PH went on to reinvent himself again in the new battle rap era. He LOVED MCing and was great at it. To lose such a great human being so early in his life, man. No words. There is a fraternity of artists who were around for all of this. PH inspired us all. He will live on thru us even though his physical presence will be missed. RIP Robert Diaz.
Diaz stayed true to his Park Slope roots in his music and even penned an ode to his home neighborhood on his 2003 album, "Beautiful Mind."
He rhymes in the song about loving Park Slope and calls out other local rappers who claim to be from Flatbush.
The lyrics include: "Yo, where you from kid? Park Slope! That's my 'hood y'all...Rep your hood, be proud of it."
He describes how the neighborhood was changing, singing, "10 years ago my 'hood was a nightmare...All the dealers is gone...All I see is lesbian bars."
He adds, "My hood has changed...remember when we were little fools we would throw rocks at the hookers down at Douglass pool" — a reference to the "Double D" pool in Gowanus.
Diaz was a married father of two young sons and his wife is pregnant with the couple's first girl, the News reported.
He competed in rap battles and released several solo albums. On the New York hip-hop scene, he was known for "humorous punch lines and a gregarious personality," Rolling Stone wrote.
"To say he was a legend was an understatement," rapper Immortal Technique wrote in a Facebook post first reported by Rolling Stone. "PH always had jokes, man. He was never unprepared to tell you about yourself."