Fred The Godson, the Bronx-based rapper and fixture of hip-hop radio, died Thursday in New York City. Fred revealed earlier this month on April 6 that he had been hospitalized after he contracted COVID-19. His death was confirmed by his publicist, David Evans, and the cause of death was due to complications of the coronavirus. He was 35.
Fred the Godson was born Frederick Thomas on February 22, 1985 in the South Bronx, N.Y. Fred first broke out in 2010 with Armageddon, a mixtape that heavily echoed earlier eras of New York rap with samples of the Notorious B.I.G. remix of Craig Mack’s “Flava In Ya Ear” and boasted features from Busta Rhymes, Waka Flocka Flame and Cam’ron. The buzz from that tape earned Fred a spot on the 2011 XXL Freshman Class, alongside Kendrick Lamar, Meek Mill, Mac Miller and YG.
He was never able to convert that early career momentum into a major label deal, but Fred the Godson was a fixture of New York rap radio and a frequent guest on Sway in the Morning and Funkmaster Flex’s Hot 97 show.
Although Fred’s output had declined through the middle of the decade, it picked back up in the year before his death. His final mixtape, Payback, was released March 20, and was his fourth project since the beginning of 2019.