Combat Jack: In Loving Memory Of My Pal Reggie Ossé

I know the popular thing to do right now is to tell you all about the stellar career of Combat Jack. But you should all have heard about that already. You should know that he made the term Podcast a household word. Or that he was a young hot shot attorney for some of the flyest of Hip Hops royalty back in the day. 

Youve heard him tell some of the most amazing stories in entertainment history both on Back Spin and on The Combat Jack Show podcast. And while all of these things are beyond amazing, they dont tell the entire story of the man we lost this week.

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RIP to Reggie “Combat Jack” Oss. Hip-hop just lost an important voice. In this throwback episode of #BLX his light shines as he takes us back to the Brooklyn area where he grew up #ItDontEverStop Still haven’t subscribed to BET on Youtube?

I want to tell you not about Combat Jack but about my pal Reggie. You see, when I think of him, I think of my friend and not just the entertainer. Of course, we talked about the rigmarole of the entertainment industry, but we also discussed everyday topics. 

I talked to him about life, food, parenting, family or the ins and outs of adulting, things like that. He possessed a wealth of information on so much more than just music. And I dont know of a single soul that knew him well, that didnt benefit from his advice at some point in life.

He was always cool, but it was more than that. He was funny. Reggie was slick with his words in a way that would allow you to accept it when his joke was about you. There was never any malice behind it and you knew it was all out of love. 

He was one of a very few people who could check me on what I was doing and Id really listen. You see, he co-signed me very early on in my career. He understood what I was doing and why I was doing it. 

While others wanted me to conform, he let me know it was OK to stand out on both faith and principle. He cheered for me when others had no idea what to make of me. In fact, it made me loyal to him because finding a genuine friend in this industry is hard. Really hard. So, when you get one you appreciate it. If you’re lucky, theyll be genuine, and he was 24 karat. Priceless.

RIP Combat Jack, A True Hip-Hop Renaissance Man

Reggie “Combat Jack” Oss died on Wednesday morning, just a few months after revealing that he had been diagnosed with colon cancer. Oss is best known for his role as the host of the Combat Jack Show, a pioneering hip-hop podcast. The show began in 2010 as an online radio show, before eventually transitioning to a podcast format.

Even the smallest of wins were made gigantic by just a few simple words of praise from Reggie. He was someone you could go to with the most menial of accomplishments and hed make you feel like a ticker tape parade was being prepared in your honor. Because even if it was small potatoes compared to what he had done in his own life, it was a big deal to you. And he cared that you were happy about it. He paid many more dues than I ever will and made many more moves than I may ever make, but he always made me feel like every step I took was a testament to something greater that was waiting for me around the corner if I just kept persevering. 

I got the word from my friend Josh at about 10:00 AM  on Wednesday that Reggie was gone. The legend, the man, the myth, the rock star unicorn that I looked up to in this world of music and entertainment and in real life, my friend Reggie Ossie was no longer with us. I wanted to scream and shout and cry and fuss and vent and smile and mourn and laugh about memories. I did most of the above in seemingly five minutes flat. 

I was one of a handful of people who knew the truth about the situation. Knew that this could be the outcome. But always the hopeless optimistic and a woman of faith, I hoped it wouldnt happen. I heard the news of his illness weeks ago and kept my mouth shut about what I knew was happening in real time. 

Because a real pal knows how not to say anythingeven when they know its newsworthy. And even when they are a journalist. I could have posted a career boosting story with the facts I was given. But that isnt who I am and its not who I ever want to be. He was family, simple and plain. And family protects one another. 

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So, I fell quiet. I wanted to collect my thoughts. There was so much I felt at the appropriate time I would say to him. I would tell him that he was a hero to me. That in every single move that Ive made in this industry over the years, that I stopped to think about what moves I thought he would make in my given situations.

More than a few times, I choked on the smoke coming off of the strides he was always taking far in front of me on our career paths. I was always trying to figure out how I should change up my pace in order to simply keep him in my sights. I knew, I would always be far behind him, but as long as I could see him running in front of me, then I must be doing something right.  

He was literally a human benchmark for what I wanted to do within the industry and I couldn’t have asked for a better guide to look up to.

He never knew any of that, as I never told him. Maybe it was pride or maybe it was fear that if he knew, he would start looking back over his shoulder in an effort to shake me off his trail. I wanted to thank him for always remaining in motion. I watched him blossom in the broadcast arena in the last few years and I envied him. Im not too big to admit that. In fact, it kept me on my toes. I wanted to tell him this too. 

I also wanted to tell him how much I always appreciated him supporting me in my endeavors to work on behalf of the culture instead of the industry. It can be a lonely place in this world we live in when you are resting on your laurels instead of signing on to what is being dictated by popular culture. He would come to me privately and praise me for sticking to my guns. It meant more to me than he ever knew and I wanted to say it. 

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Sadly, my time was cut short. When my phone rang on Wedsnesday my bestie on the other end didnt even have to say the words. His silence was everything. I knew. The tears camethe screams came. The sorrow followed. They have yet to leave. 

However, I know that when I stop to marvel in the beauty that, although rare nowadays, still exists in this world hell be there. In every sunbeam and warm summer breeze, in the smell of the fresh flowers of spring, or in the crisp night air of fall, in the seductive allure of fresh baked cookies or in a pissed off New York Giant fans yell (all of which are my favorite things) I know that he will be there. And somehow all of us who love him will feel it and find some peace. I refuse to believe he would have had it any other way. 

My thoughts and deepest condolences to the family, friends and fans of Reggie Combat Jack Osse. 

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