The Austin music scene is reeling following the death of Donnell Robinson who was better known as MC Overlord, one of the city’s most prominent hip-hop artists.

MC Overlord. 1997 Shelley Wood for American-Statesman

Though he never achieved widespread commercial success outside of Austin, he had a loyal following within the city. He remained a perennial presence in the Austin Chronicle’s Austin Music Awards rankings for best hip-hop artist for years, even during the long period in which he put performing as Overlord on hold to focus on his children’s music project Big Don.

“H e built his own lane,” local journalist and hip-hop promoter Matt Sonzala said on Thursday morning. “He toured a bit…but he mostly was that Austin artist who really existed in Austin and thrived on his own.”

“In basically every interview I have done about ATX hip hop I mention Mc Overlord, Donnell Robinson,” rapper Terrany Johnson, better known as Tee Double, wrote on Facebook early Thursday morning. “Anybody doing hip hop in Austin downtown and with a live band owes it to Overlord as he was first.

“We stood side by side and never had a beef and shared in each other success as if it was our own. My heart has skipped a beat from this news… he was a gift on earth as he is now in heaven.”

Robinson was hospitalized for several weeks over the summer and friends a fellow musicians rallied to help him hosting benefits in local clubs.