Lira

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5min3181

WE’RE mortal beings whose existence on this planet has an ending, but through a legacy one can live forever. Ask Bob Marley, Steve Biko or Flabba, who today would’ve celebrated his 41st birthday.

Real name Nkululeko Habedi, born in Soweto but raised in Alex, Flabba passed away three years ago after an altercation with his girlfriend Sindisiwe Manqele, who stabbed him. I remember that Monday morning in March when former Skwatta Kamp member Infa, confirmed that Flabba was no more. The whole Hip Hop community was frozen in shock, that ntja ya Gomora was gone.

Flabba left us with music he recorded with his group Skwatta Kamp, but we were fortunate enough to get one solo project from him which was the 2006’s Nkuli vs Flabba. The album won Best Rap album at the South African Music Awards in 2007.

I write this listening to a track from the album which he did with Lira, Gotta Let You Go. In the short song, he talks about the battling pain of losing his father and brother. This was a rare appearance by Nkululeko on record talking about his emotions, something which Flabba wouldn’t do because he was Nkuli’s Black Label drinking out-of-this-world alter ego.

Like the Kea Go Rata skit on the album where he’s in a club with a girl, tryna mack on her over loud music, but changes his story as soon as the music abruptly goes silent. He gave us himself in the album, the ying and the yang.

It wasn’t a traditional Hip Hop album marinated in lyricism and intricate rhyme schemes, like the stuff Proverb and Zubz were doing at the time. But like a proper comedian, he was far observant of what’s happening in society than people gave him credit. Kats like Lil Dicky are being given tags such as a comical rapper, while Flabba exposed us to such years ago. He was ahead of his time.

Zubz’s Heavy 8 is probably South Africa’s best posse cut, but Flabba’s Is’Bhamu Somdoko remix follows close behind. It pinned down the various Mzansi rap styles in one song, with everyone trying to channel their twisted sexual side which Flabba did so seamlessly. On the track Nkuli Habedi, he says he’s not your average rapper, but your favourite porn star. Flabba could rap, but was wise enough to avoid sounding like everyone around him who was chasing that US flow and style. He carved his own lane.

Gifted individuals live with an unfathomable and sometimes careless realness as if they know that their time on this earth won’t match any country’s life expectancy number.  His clique, Skwatta Kamp was often juxtaposed to the US’s Wu Tang Clan because of their influence in the culture and also because both groups were bigger than the average Hip Hop collective.

Writing this, I can’t help but think of Flabba as SK’s Ol’Dirty Bastard. Both are deceased, they were both comical, abrasive, genuine and intelligent. Thank goodness he wasn’t part of Club 27, otherwise we wouldn’t have received what he gave us in his last 10 years on earth.

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4min1300

HAVING Erykah Badu as the headliner to a show you’re booked at, could make most artists feel like they’re just an addition to the line-up. But Jordan Rakei made sure why people had to attend the first day of the DSTV Delicious Festival on Saturday.

The two day food festival took place this past weekend at the Kyalami Grand Prix Circuit, in Midrand. New-Zealand singer Rakei’s heart-warming performance on Saturday evening, was appreciated by those present.

Wearing comfortable sweatpants and a simple white T-shirt, after his performance Rakei strolled in the crowd without an entourage around him to guard him. “I’m really surprised by people’s reaction here. The performance was great and the people enjoyed it,” said the Tawo singer speaking to Tha Bravado on the night.

“Can we please have a picture with you,” asked random fans walking past us. Rakei gladly obliged. This was his first performance in Gauteng, but was not his first time in the country. “I performed in Cape Town last year at the Jazz Festival,” he said.

Jordan Rakei with his band at the DSTV Delicious Festival. Photo supplied

“I just want to check out the people and a bit of the festival, we leave tomorrow [Sunday] morning,” he said. He was talking while Acid Jazz band D’Influence were performing on the main stage, with a throngs of people enjoying the performance sitting on their camp chairs and appreciating a relaxed time on the lawn.

Kaya FM’s Bridget Masinga was the mc on the main stage on the night. Some of the day’s performances included Simphiwe Dana, Amanda Black and Lira. While German collective Jazzanova, closed off the night.

While things were relaxed and nonchalant on the main stage, Louie Vega had House fans eating from the palm of his hand on the dance stage. An estimate of about a thousand people were in front of the dance platform, dancing and enjoying soulful House sounds from the Grammy award winning artist-even other DJs on the line-up were going crazy, behind Vega on stage.

The festival ended Sunday with a spirited and moving performance by Erykah Badu which everyone was looking forward to.


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