One of the shows we had the privilege of taking in at the 2017 edition of Bluesfest was Ottawa rap group Flight Distance as they opened for hip-hop legend 50 Cent. It was our first time seeing them perform live since House of Paint in 2015.
We were shocked to learn that group member, former King of the Dot battle rap champion, and painter, Bender, died this past weekend in Montreal at only 37 years old.
Alexander “Bender” Buchanan died suddenly in Montreal on Thursday night from an unknown cause, possibly sleep apnea. He was 37.
“He was the type of guy who would wake up and make stuff,” said Jodoin. “He was an obsessive: He would paint for weeks on end, and that’s all he would do. Or he would make beats for weeks on end, and that’s all he would do. Or write lyrics.”
Buchanan’s mother, Dorene Inglis of Kingston, said her son’s death is under investigation by the Montreal coroner’s office. But as of now, it remains a mystery.
“He was someone who had generosity of spirit,” she said. “He was very sensitive and kind.”
The Canadian hip-hop community reacted to the news over the weekend.
RIP @Al_Bender The KOTD family feels incomplete today. We are deeply saddened to inform the battle community of a giant loss to the scene. Today we lost not only a talented battler but a loving son and brother. We love you man. Thank you for allowing us to be part of your journey pic.twitter.com/83sokSqJza