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Croydon rapper mourns loss of 'inspirational' grandad

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A HIP-HOP artist from South Croydon who sampled his grandad's music has paid tribute to his "inspiration" after he passed away.

Ryan Junior Matthews-Robinson produced a charity single two years ago using the music of his grandad Robbie "King" Robinson.

Robbie, 74, died suddenly of a heart attack earlier this month but Ryan has plans to ensure his legacy remains through music.

"The power of music is that you can live forever through it," said Ryan.

"I originally sampled his music because I thought more people should hear it and I want to keep his legacy alive."

"He wasn't just a grandad, he was a best friend too. He couldn't have been more of an inspiration to me."

Ryan, who raps under the name Ragz-CV, is putting together a special video tribute to Robbie after students from University of the Arts London came to document their collaboration.

Robbie moved to the UK from Jamaica in 1962 and recorded six albums, spanning the reggae, jazz and soul genres, eventually settling in South Norwood.

He befriended American jazz musician Jimmy Smith and the two toured together.

When not creating music he worked as a London cab driver, retiring in the 2000s.

But Ryan's own musical career spurred him out of retirement for their collaboration in 2011 entitled Paying Homage to the King, which helped to raise thousands of pounds for the Alzheimer's Society.

Before Robbie passed away, Ryan visited to play him his latest single Summer Days, Summer Nights, which also used one of Robbie's originals.

"He was saying how proud he was, and I made the original better," he added.

"He still had that ear to what was good."

Despite suffering from diabetes and having to look after his wife Mary, who suffers from dementia, Ryan said Robbie always kept in high spirits, adding: "He never felt hard done by.

"He was always a positive person."

Croydon rapper mourns loss of 'inspirational' grandad


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