Local Rapper Mourned

East Texas rapper Bigg Jake was only 21 years old when he passed away, but his music touched people of all ages.

Jake's Tapes and Records store owner Slyvester Beason, "For East Texas, it's huge! everybody knew Big Jake. He was on his way to the top. He would have been real big. To us he's just like the Tupac of East Texas."

Bigg Jake, whose real name was J.J. Morrison, died last week after collapsing at a Lufkin car wash. He was diagnosed as morbidly obese. Those closest to Bigg Jake say he was one of the nicest people anyone could meet. They also describe him as a hard worker who was as dedicated to his craft as he was to his family and friends.

"I'm pretty sure if somebody saw him at the store, whether it was rain or snow, he was out there selling cds. He had so much love for his music," his manager, Marco Morales, said.

Big Jake's dad, Benny Townsend, " He wouldn't watch TV. He'd just write music and sing. All through school and everywhere he went. Music was his life."

Big Jake started rapping in middle school. He was so focused on his music career, that he'd even sell mix tapes between classes. Bigg Jake's strong Christian upbringing was reflected in his lyrics. Family members believe that's one reason so many fans connected with his music.

"He wouldn't have anything downgrading a female or anything profane in his lyrics. Everything he rapped about was about god or jesus. J.J. wanted positivity to come out of his music," his mother, Lois Morrison Townsend, told us.

Big Jake toured all over Texas and even recorded in Los Angeles shortly before his death. He came back to Lufkin to prepare for the release of his new album. Big Jake's managers tells us that album was completed before his death and will be in stores this summer.