Oliver Wang over at Soul Sides reminds us that Weldon Irvine took his life three years ago last month. He's also has posted a couple of Irvine tracks and an interview conducted in 2000. In the interview, Irvine talks about his early career and notes the substantial links between hip-hop and soul, especially soul in the 70s, that had contributed so much to his later career. I regularly get depressed about the weakening of those links, since a lot of rappers and even producers nowadays either don't even know what they're sampling or act like they don't care about it.
Irvine's albums can be a little hard to find, but I'd particularly recommend Spirit Man and Time Capsule. Also, Madlib released a tribute album last year, attributed to Monk Hughes and the Outer Realm, although that's not the place to go for an intoduction.