Aron 'Eric' Aranbayev co-owned diamond merchants Rafaello & Co. and boasted star clients including rappers Sean 'Diddy' Combs and Jay Z, as well as boxer Floyd Mayweather, Jr.

He died on Monday (20Jul15) after he was struck by a car close to his home in Queens the previous night, and Rhymes has now taken to to remember his late friend.

Rhymes shared a picture of the father-of-four and added in a caption, "I can't believe they took my brother from me and from all of us. Eric u (you) were truly a shining light bro (sic). U (sic) always brightened up and lifted the energy in many situations. I can't believe this is really me typing this 2 u (to you) in ur (your) absence. I love u and miss u tremendously my brother (sic). Ur (your) family will be kept in our prayers. May God hold u and keep u family (sic). God bless... the whole... family... Eric u (sic) will continue 2 (to) live thru (through) us all. May u travel harmoniously my bro (sic). RIP Eric Rafaello and Co."

Aranbayev's family has since offered a $25,000 (£15,625) reward for information about the incident.