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Benjamin "Big Shot" Cruz

RAPID CITY- Benjamin Henry "Big Shot" Cruz, 31, of Rapid City passed away unexpectedly at his home on Sunday, August 27, 2017.

Ben was the son of Laura (Hunter) and Maximino Cruz, Jr., born November 27, 1985, at his grandparents' home in Las Vegas, NV. He enjoyed visiting Texas while growing up, but he spent most of his life in Rapid City, his real hometown.

Ben worked as a driver and dispatcher for Rapid Taxi until the time of his death. He was a kind, sweet man who loved everyone and was loved by all in return.

Known as "Big Shot" in the music industry or "Biggie" to his friends, Ben was the heart and soul of South Dakota rap music. He loved performing, but also wrote excellent lyrics and designed beautiful album covers. Highlights of his career were opening for Tech N9ne and his Canadian tour where he was eagerly welcomed in every province. Big Shot was a mentor who encouraged others to follow their dreams and helped them achieve their goals. He found greater joy in their success than in his own.

A celebration of Ben Cruz's life was held Saturday, Sept. 2 at 4703 Greenfield Lane, Rapid City. Many local rappers and those from far away honored Big Shot's memory with musical tributes.

Private family graveside services will take place in later September at Pine Slope Cemetery in Belle Fourche.

Ben is survived by his sister and brother, Ashley Hunter and Michael Hewitt, Sioux Falls, SD; his grandmother, Beth Morey, Belle Fourche, SD; his aunt, Char Gamble, Albuquerque, NM; and his grandfather, John Hunter, Nisland, SD.

Ben was preceded in death by his father, Maximino Cruz Jr.; his mother, Laura (Hunter) Langford and stepfather, Randy Langford; his grandparents, Paula Cruz and Maximino Cruz, Sr.; and his grandfather, Jay Morey.

Condolences may be left at www.klinefuneralchapel.com

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