11:44 AM PT -- A GoFundMe has been started for the family of Pat Stay ... so far, it's collected upwards of $34,000 with a goal of $100k.
Pat Stay, known as one of the best battle rappers in the game, is dead after a stabbing incident in Nova Scotia, Canada.
The stabbing happened early Sunday morning in downtown Halifax, according to police -- and while the authorities haven't confirmed Pat as the victim ... his brother, Pete Stay, confirmed his death to CBC.
Police responded just after 12:30 AM, and Pat was taken to a hospital ... but he later died from his injuries. No one's been arrested for the stabbing.
Pat was from Dartmouth, Nova Scotia ... hardly a hotbed for hip hop, but he was still revered within the industry for his freestyling during live rap battles.
Stay had a large social media following, and dropped a new track on YouTube just 2 days ago that rips into The Game -- it's called "The Game DISS."