808 STATE STAR’S HEARTBREAK OVER PROTEGE’S DEATH

MC Tunes tells NME.COM Mario Campbell, who appeared as a dancer in the band's videos, was "one of the most talented youngsters I ever met in my life"...

808 STATE rapper MC TUNES has spoken of the “tragic” murder of his associate NOEL COCKSHUTT, aka MARIO CAMPBELL, who was shot in the head and killed in WOLVERHAMPTON last week.

Cockshutt was part of the 808 State set-up as a teenager in the early 90s, appearing as a dancer in the videos for the singles ‘The Only Rhyme That Bites’ and ‘Tunes Splits The Atom’, as well as rapping on the MC Tunes release ‘Primary Rhyming’.

According to West Midlands Police, 22-year-old Cockshutt was found dead with a single bullet wound to the head on May 8.

His body was recovered from his flat in Hailes Park Close, in the Blakenhall area of the city.

Initial investigations by police have not led to any arrests, and as a result enquiries have been widened to incorporate his native Manchester, where Cockshutt grew up and went to school.

Speaking about his death, rapper MC Tunes, who encouraged him to join the band, described him as “one of the most talented youngsters I had met in my life”.

He said: “I got him involved with the rapping, and decided to record a track with him. I wrote ‘Primary Rhyming’ for him. The boy could sing and dance, he had personality.

“I’m gutted about it, absolutely gutted about it. He was like my little brother. He was one of the most talented youngsters I had met in my life. It’s absolutely tragic. He was a baby, a little boy, and he wanted to be something, he wanted to do it and he got shot. Not through any fault of his own. Not because of any lack of talent.”

Cockshutt moved to Wolverhampton in the mid 90s, but retained strong links with his home town, where many of his immediate family still reside.

Detective Chief Inspector Mark Phillips of West Midlands Police, who is heading the inquiry into Cockshutt’s death has issued an appeal for anyone with information to come forward.

He said: “People out there know who killed Mario and why. We have not exactly been met with a wall of silence but there is a reluctance in the community to come forward and provide details which will lead to the arrest of the persons responsible for his death.”

An incident room has been set up for information, which can be contacted on 01902 643422.