Funk musician 'Big Bamn' killed in I-75 crash

Posted at 11:49 PM, Jan 15, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-16 10:03:37-05

CINCINNATI -- Ken "Big Bamn" Smith's skill on the drums was almost unmatched.

Smith should've been playing a show Friday night in Evansville, Indiana with Cincinnati funk group Freekbass and the Bump Assembly.

Instead, he was killed Tuesday in a crash on Interstate 75, leaving behind an unfinished album and stunned bandmates.

"It's kind of like you-against-the-world type thing, and with Bamn, I felt like I could take on anybody in the world," Freekbass said.

Smith got his start with Bootsy Collins and the Rubber Band. Some saw him as a father figure, even though, at age 30, he was younger than most.

"It was spiritual because he knew me and he knew what I needed, and God would speak through him to me," Mike Cobb said.

Smith also was sole provider for his five children. His wife also was injured in the crash. Musicians have put up a GoFundMe page and started a fund at Fifth Third Bank.

And they plan to finish the album, with a release sometime in the spring.

"Everybody's wanting to be involved and do remixes, and it just seemed like the logical thing to do and the right thing to do," Freekbass said.

A memorial service is planned at Crossroads Church on Saturday, Jan. 23 at 2 p.m.