MONTREAL - Friends and family are struggling to come to grips with the sudden death of Montreal hip hop artist Paul Frappier, better known by his stage name Bad News Brown.

Frappier was found dead by passersby in a pool of blood early Saturday morning in Little Burgundy at the corner of William and Richmond Sts.

Police said his body appeared to show "marks of violence" and his death was confirmed at the scene.

Friends, family mourn

His father, Pierre Frappier, said the entire family is devastated by the loss.

Frappier said his son spent Friday in the recording studio and that he was preparing for a show he was supposed to give Saturday night in Quebec City.

Frappier was father to a two-year-old boy, and was in a loving relationship, said his father.

He lived a few blocks from where his body was found, said his father, who adopted Frappier as a baby.

Born in Haiti, Frappier moved to Montreal at age 10 with his adoptive parents.

His manager Henry Gelot described Frappier as a generous man who loved music and "left a mark on everyone who knew him."

"There was no reason for this to happen," he said. "There were so many things that were starting to take off in his career right now. It's mind-boggling."

Long-time friend and collaborator MC Nikkie said he was reeling when he found out the news through Facebook.

"I was shocked," said MC Nikkie, who had known Frappier for about 15 years.

"I (needed) five minutes to realize that it was really (true). I didn't believe it. I really, really, really didn't believe it," he said.

Noted instrumentalist

Frappier's recording career took him from a street busker to sharing the stage with the likes of Ice-T, Cypress Hill and De La Soul, as well as opening for Snoop, Kanye West, N.E.R.D. and Common.

Frappier, 33, performed a rare style of playing harmonica over hiphop beats. In 2009, he released a solo album called Born 2 Sin.

In an interview on his YouTube page from April 2010, Bad News Brown talked about how he became better at the harmonica.

"I started out rapping and doing spoken word," he said. "I'm no Drake, I'm no Jay-Z, I'm no Lil' Wayne, so I knew that was the competition. For me to step into that ring and to try to box with people of that calibre, that would be futile, that wasn't going to happen," he said.

"The lyricism wasn't really there, my penmanship is not the best, so I decided to step off the scene and stick to the background," he said.

Instead, he soon found the spotlight for his use of the harmonica, he explained.

"I started playing the harmonica for fun and quickly, quickly, quickly began to realize that nobody was doing that and that people were starting to identify me with the harmonica, so I ran with that."