AUSTIN — One of the most well-known names in Austin music has died.
Local hip-hop legend MC Overlord passed away from health complications on Wednesday night. Overlord, whose real name was Don Robinson, was 49 years old.
Overlord, or “Ovey” as his friends called him, was a fixture in the Austin music scene for nearly three decades. He was also close friends with Austin musicians and producers Omar and AJ Vallejo with the Vallejo band.
"He was a musical partner and a helluva guy,” said Omar Vallejo on Thursday. “He had the biggest hug you could ever get from anyone."
While they knew Overlord had some health issues over the summer, the Vallejo brothers were still shocked to learn he had passed away suddenly.
"It's hard ... I can't believe I'm doing this interview about somebody so young and had so much life left,” said Omar.
"It's a big loss, it's a big loss for future bands,” said AJ, with tears in his eyes.
Overlord made a name for himself as a hip-hop artist, but he also spent the majority of his time helping young artists get seen and connected with successful artists and producers like Omar and AJ.
The Vallejo brothers performed with Overlord countless times over the past 20 years.
"He's been a stepping stone for a lot of the young artists out there, the list goes on and on and on,” said Omar.
He was also the nine-time winner of the Austin Chronicle's best hip-hop artist, and Overlord had recently reinvented himself as Big Don, making children's music and playing for the kids of the very musicians he used to perform with.
"He was a gift to everybody, and we're so sad to see him go,” said Vallejo.
One day after his death, friends and family gathered in the South Austin music venue “One to One” to honor “Ovey’s” legacy and mourn his sudden passing.
A vase of roses sits on the corner chair where Overlord would sit, watching music and helping young performers. Friends say that chair will remain empty in honor of him.
"That laugh, and those big old hugs from Overlord: those I will miss more than anything,” said Omar. “If you're listening now, we love you brother.”