Hip Hop Pantsula

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About Hip Hop Pantsula

Hip Hop Pantsula (born Jabulani Tsambo in 1980) was one of the first South African rappers to achieve mainstream success in the 2000s. Hailing from Mahikeng in the North West province, HHP (a.k.a. Jabba) rapped in Tswana and helped popularize motswako, a subgenre of hip-hop characterized by a mix of genres and lyrics in Setswana and other languages. By blending hip-hop with kwaito (a genre popular in South Africa in the ‘90s and 2000s), HHP crossed over into the country’s mainstream scene with his breakout hit “He Banna” from his third album, 2003’s O Mang. “He Banna” was driven by a sample of Ashford & Simpson's “Mighty Mighty Love,” and HHP's love of vintage soul became his signature motif on singles like “Jabba,” “Mpitse,” and “Music N Lights,” which all contained memorable samples; he famously asked, “What would summer be without Jabba? And ah what would Jabba be without a sample?” Unfortunately, the good times ended far too soon: HHP died by suicide in 2018, leaving behind an extensive catalog that solidifies him as a titan of South African music.

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