Minister Nathi Mthethwa pays tribute to Hip Hop Musical Artist & Skwatta Kamp Founding member Nkululeko ‘Flabba’ Habedi
I was deeply saddened to learn of the violent death of the popular rap and hip-hop musical artist, Nkululeko Habedi, better known as “Flabba”. I have been informed that he was stabbed to death at his home in Alexandra Township.
He was 38 years old.
“Flabba,” as he was called by friends and fans, was a founding member of the multi-award winning hip hop group, Skwatta Kamp which was formed in 1996.
During the first decade of democracy and freedom, the group released five albums and was widely acknowledged and recognized as one of the most successful hip-hop group in South Africa in terms of its album sales and its public recognition.
Essentially, the group gave a musical expression to the ghetto or township experience and played a pioneering role in giving an artistic voice to the young urban urban generation growing up in post-apartheid society.
In fact, they were an example of a voice of a generation that had discovered it's mission and was fulfilling it.
This they did at a time when the country was undergoing a radical social cultural and political transition in its effort to define and identify itself during the first decade of democracy and freedom
Thus two of their albums, “Mkhukhu Funkshen” and “Washumkhukhu” released in 2004 and 2005 were considered significant for their socio-political content. Each sold over 25,000 units. Much as “Flabba” was a member of the group, he was also recognized and well-respected as a distinct producer, creating music for some of his contemporaries like rapper JR’s comeback album. He also worked with many famous artists and featured on tracks with HHP, Lira, and Kabomo.
Most importantly, at the height of his career, he also shared the stage with the likes of Will Smith and Ludacris during their visits to the country. He has been featured on popular television programmes including the hugely successful SABC1 show, “Live Amp”.
He pursued a distinct solo career that saw him release his debut album Nkuli vs Flabba that featured the popular single, Isbhamu Somdoko which earned him a South African Music Award (SAMA) for Best Rap Album in 2007.
His untimely death is a huge loss for the industry as he proved himself to be a young gifted and creative musical artist who still had much to offer the music industry.
Most importantly, Skwatta Kamp and Flabba used music as an instrument to open up business opportunities for themselves and thus bolstered the confidence of many youngsters to follow suit. Today the hip hop musical genre is an established discipline with the sector with a huge following.
We offer our condolences to his immediate family, his friends, the hip-hop fraternity, fans and followers in the country and beyond. We have lost a gifted artistic voice that will be missed, but his legacy will live through his musical contribution. May his soul rest in peace.
For further information call Spokesperson for the Minister of Arts & Culture, Sandile Memela at 0828003750.