Motswako music pioneer and South African hip-hop legend Jabulani Tsambo aka Hip Hop Pantsula's (HHP) sudden passing on Wednesday, has left fans in shock as they mourn the loss of a music icon.
Since the start of his career in 1997, Jabba's music had a great impact on South African youth and pop culture. At the time of his passing, he was working on his eighth album, "Drum, The Album" that's scheduled to be released in 2019.
In remembrance of him, here is a list of lines from some of the songs that afforded us a glimpse into the man behind the mic.
“We make a party feel ja ka December, or any other mother party you can remember. Banyana bare hare vaya ra camp’a, plus later hotlo kena DJ Themba. Pina ena bare etlo o bend’a, whether omoZulu, Pedi or oMuvenda.”
HHP was never afraid to show his goofy side. The "Jabba" music video was an introduction to the quirky videos that he became synonymous for. If you didn't have the opportunity to see him perform live, this is a great snapshot of what you could expect from him during his live performances.
2. Wamo Tseba M’Tho
“O nagana re dlala dijazze, I’ve been doing this for so many years'e. O mobone reaching out for your purse, busy trying to chow your queen like chess’e, sparking beef ka verse. Ka mo judge'a m’tho”
Featuring his protege Cassper Nyovest and top producer Thasman, in this banger, HHP sent out a clear message to some shady industry cats that he is not one to be messed with. Using punchlines to set the record straight, he not so subtly points out that he knows who they are and what they are saying behind his back.
“The whole crowd’s chilling, we’re Top Billing, it’s a good feeling ha banyana ba chitse. The LPs spinning, the fans grinning, bare my music e ba shapa man, dizzy. The alcohol hitting, with football kicking. The next time you have a party le mpitse!”
This song was and still is a party anthem. It is a fun song with a music video to match. The lyrics are very catchy, you only need to hear the song once for you to catch on to the groove. This track is a testament to how much he just loved having a nice time.
4. Leloko la Lekoko
“Already we’re raising these bars of opportunity, we’re taking these platinum stars and making jewellery.”
In this song, Hip Hop Pantsula brought all the North West hip-hop heavyweights one song to give us a taste of what the Platinum province has to offer. The song features influential rappers from that region at that time including ProVerb and Mo’Molemi. Being the unifier he was, as the Godfather of Motswako music, he always found a way to unite the people of Mafikeng.
“I have chance today, because of you Joe I can dance today. Without having to show you my pass, self-employed because of you I don’t call no one a Bass. Black man who’s going far now, I’m the type of brother who can drink in any bar now. Because of you Joe, I’m educated
Because of you, the black youth of today is emancipated”
HHP always claimed he wasn't the political type, but that didn’t stop him from acknowledging the past, and paying homage to those that paved the way to freedom as well as call out for unity in the country.
6. Let Me Be ft Mo’Lemi
“I don’t owe them anything, that’s just one of many things. I work hard cause God promised me everything. So I’ma do the merry thing, I’m going to sleep, drink, be happy, let you hate on this heavy thing.”
Although HHP was well-loved, there were times when he experienced the opposite. At the end of the day, the man was human. All he wanted was for people to know that he too has bad days.
7. Thank You Note: Acceptance Speech
“First of all, I’d like to Thank Jeso. To my gang le bafowethu, the rest of my fam le bana bothle bako heso.”
This is probably one of the very few songs where Jabba laid all his cards out and wore his heart on his sleeve. With this track, we got to see a different side to the musical giant. "Thank You Note" is an ode to everyone who has made an impact in his life, including his fans.
“Before I miss this boat, I thought that I should come give you a sample of my thank you note”