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Rapper Twista sent to hospital after fatal van crash
September 08, 2004

Chicago rapper Twista, known for hits such as ''SlowJamz'' and ''So Sexy,'' was hurt in a van crash that killed a member of his security staff.
Twista was treated and released from a hospital in Erie, Pa., after the van in which he was riding veered off Interstate 90 just after 4 a.m. Monday and rolled over in the median, police said.

Another man in the van, Chicagoan Arthur Dixon, died. Five others were hurt, none seriously. Dixon, who worked security for Twista, was the son of the legendary bluesman Willie Dixon. He also worked in Chicago as a manager for several local performers.

Thirteen years ago, West Side rapper Carl Mitchell made his recorded debut under the name Tongue Twista with an album called "Runnin' Off at da Mouth." That disc was named in honor of his rapid-fire delivery, and the following year, the folks at The Guinness Book of Records officially named him "the world's fastest rapper."
Earlier this year, Twista made big news again, becoming the first Chicago rapper ever to debut at No. 1 on the Billboard pop albums chart when his CD "Kamikaze" was released in late January.

In the years in between, the 30-year-old rapper earned the respect of many of his peers in the hip-hop world, recording cameo appearances with Sean "P. Diddy" Combs, Jay-Z, Timbaland, Shaquille O'Neal and Da Brat, among others. But platinum success eluded him until he teamed up with another Chicago talent, producer and rapper Kanye West.

"I think it's like a slot machine: You work it for so long, eventually you're going to hit it," Twista told the Chicago Sun-Times in February. "I think it was just me putting a lot of dedication and time into it over the years."

The rapper's success has not come without controversy, however: On Aug. 29, Sun-Times columnist Mary Mitchell reported that Twista is two months behind on child support payments to his ex-wife. The couple has a 10-year-old daughter who said she rarely sees her superstar father. Twista responded by issuing an angry statement denying allegations in the story.

The van in Monday's crash was headed from Syracuse, N.Y., to Chicago. A decision on whether to file charges won't be made until at least Wednesday, said the Erie area district attorney, Brad Foulk, who declined to say what caused the accident.
''It's a miracle that any of them survived because all of them, except for the driver, were ejected onto the medial strip,'' Foulk said.

The driver -- identified by police as Otis Bankhead of Chicago -- was the only person in the vehicle wearing a seat belt.

(souce: AP, and Sun-Times Pop Music Critic Jim DeRogatis)


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