Ray Jacobs — the singer, songwriter, and producer better known as August 08 — has passed away. As Complex reports, news of Jacobs’ death was first shared last night (August 28) by his sister, who goes by Blackie, in an Instagram post.
“As we all try to press through understand that we all come here to serve a soul purpose,” the post’s caption reads. “I find comfort in knowing that my brother lived a full life of abundance,” she wrote in her post’s caption. He was able to travel the world, and touch millions of people while fulfilling his soul purpose as a musician.
“I am proud to have a brother who lives on through music, and I encourage you all to keep streaming his records and telling everyone how great he is,” it continues. “08/08 = infinity. I give thanks to you all for the calls, text, and prayers. Please keep us uplifted. Abundantly, Blackie 💚.”
Jacobs’s cause of death has not been shared. He was 31 years old.
Jacobs was born in South Los Angeles and got into producing as a kid when his mother, aunt, and grandmother saw his interest in music and gifted him a drum machine, he told Office last year. He started taking it seriously as an early teen, when he moved in with his uncle and musically inclined cousins.
In 2018, Jacobs dropped his debut project, FATHER. The following year, The FADER premiered his sophomore EP, Happy Endings with an Asterisk. He released both tapes, as well as 2020’s EMOTIONAL CUH, with 88rising, the predominantly Asian American collective founded by Sean Miyashiro and Jaeson Ma in 2015. Following Blackie’s post, the label took to Instagram this morning to grieve.
“It is with great sadness that we mourn the loss of Ray Jacobs, also known as AUGUST 08,” the collective wrote. “RIP August the kindest and most talented genius you will be missed beyond words. Thank you for being an amazing mentor and a steadfast friend through all these years. We are forever grateful to you and the joy you brought in every room, through every song. Your energy, guidance and care gave so much inspiration and strength that will be carried on always. Thank you for helping us be brave. We will miss you so much, love you August. 🕊️❤️.”
In 2022, Jacobs signed with Jhené Aiko’s Def Jam imprint, Allel Sound, and put out two more projects: Towards The Sun, another short-form release, and the expansive Seasick, which seemed to serve as a bold statement of intent as he moved into the next chapter of his career. Two months ago, he shared his first single since that album’s release — the dance-floor-ready, infectiously weepy summer anthem “Bruises.”
Over the course of his short but prolific career, Jacobs collaborated with and was co-signed by an impressive cast of artists and industry leaders, including DJ Khaled and Ty Dolla $ign. When reached for comment on his passing, a representative of Def Jam shared the following statement with The FADER:
“The entire Def Jam family mourns the tragic loss of Ray ‘August 08’ Jacobs. A brilliant songwriter, an accomplished musician and a singular artist, August will remain in our memory as a beloved colleague and friend. We extend our deepest sympathies to his family and loved ones.”