Speaker after speaker at the memorial service for the late Linda “ProKid” Mkhize, reiterated those words in their speeches and quotes from the lyricist’s famous verses.
“Yo Hip Hop, wassup!” were the first words that were spoken at the packed Newtown Factory (former Bassline). The raucous applause set the mood for the afternoon memorial.
Everyone in attendance would sing along to every rap of his that was recited and were quick to stand up and dance throughout the performances.
Gift “Maggz” Magubane, rapper and close friend of Mkhize couldn’t hold back the tears as he spoke about his brother.
“I wish I had called him every week. I’m broken that we can’t make music anymore. We are talking about the stalwart of Soweto, everything a rapper should be. He represented where we’re from... a down to earth solid character.” Magubane said Mkhize would do more for others than himself sometimes.
“The biggest thing he gave me was belief. We have lost. One thing about him is that he has engraved himself in our memories. I will forever honour him.”
Mkhize was part of the underground scene of hip hop in Soweto and was an essential part of Black Sundays and the Asylum Tribe.
Enzo, a friend from the Slaghuis days, said he didn’t know of anyone who could spit rhymes the way Mkhize did.
“I met Pro in the early 2000s and I had just got off the cab. There were cyphers everywhere. His lyricism was on another level.”
The Black Sundays crew remembered Mkhize for how he would always be at the sessions helping to put the sound together.
One more time for the #1 #Soweto boy. #ProKidMemorial. There will also be a cypher in Jabulani on Saturday before the funeral on Sunday at UJ Soweto campus @ReporterStar @TheStar_news pic.twitter.com/3qV9UYbSPL
“Something special happened at Slaghuis, he started spitting in vernac, SA hip hop changed forever, he kicked it in a way that has never been done before, he would come up with a line like magic,” Enzo said.
Gigi LaMayne, Dr Sipho Sithole, Amunishn and more speakers spoke about how humble and nurturing Mkhize was.
Syd Money, who managed the rapper’s brand, spoke on Mkhize’s lyricism. “Our journey together led us to some of the most unconquerable feats and for that I am deeply grateful. Walk on young soldier, walk on as you pass through this life to the other side, we are with you too. I’ll miss you, your country will miss you because you are from the South Western Township where they get down kid. I love you and I’ll never forget you. Love you to death brother.”
Performances came from several hip hop acts including Saudi Western, Mkhize’s former group, 985, IVY league and Teargas.
A tribute video and some of Mkhize’s famous battle raps were also played. Mkhize’s protégé Red Button performed with his brother Sandile Mkhize.
Kwesta told the story of how he was introduced to Mkhize’s first album Heads and Tales.“ The day I pressed play on that album is the day my life started. The only reason I exist and that I am here is because of Pro. What I loved about him, he was the same in real life as in the bars. He wore that proudly. The blueprint of what I lay down is because of this man. Death got a good one today. Death better be proud.”
. @slikouron focuses on building black brands fully. "We have to teach creatives that it's not just about getting Rands but fostering relationships. The biggest deal that black people can have is coming together." #ProKidMemorial @TheStar_news @ReporterStar pic.twitter.com/MIiDPsVo4O
Siya “Slikour” Metane touched on the business of being black in the industry and at large saying that black people were best when they supported each other fully.
“What we do together when the music is done will determine the value in our industry.”
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Gauteng Sports, Arts, Culture and Recreation MEC Faith Mazibuko encouraged the family to stay strong and urged the artists to inspire the young upcoming talent.
There will be a ProKid Tribute concert on August 26 where most of the hip hop fraternity will perform. All funds will go towards a trust fund for ProKid’s daughter Nonkanyezi.
Said Mkhize’s cousin Nhlanhla Mohlauli: “After the funeral, we will have time to show appreciation. We don’t have enough words to show gratitude. We all know that black families have problems. I am so happy the family was able to hold it together. Regardless of what was written on front pages. We learnt a lot from unity. To the industry thank you. Thank you to everyone that has contributed. It’s the first time we find so many people trying to achieve such elegance.”
The funeral will be held at UJ Soweto Campus on Sunday. Mkhize will be buried at Westpark Cemetery.