The 8th of August 2018 marked one of saddest days for SA hip hop as the industry lost one of its most iconic giants. Hip Hop legend, ProKid died on Wednesday night after suffering a severe seizure. The Soweto musician and rap artist was known for being one of hip hop’s most skilled lyricists and for impressing audiences with original bars that weaved the ambience of township life into each song.
ProKid has opened for major international hip hop acts but his influence on the current generation of hip hop artists may be what he is most remembered for. He was one of the few artists that were able to create the transition from the kwaito era to South African hip hop while still paying tribute to both genres. While we mourn his loss, we celebrate his life and his contribution to the landscape of hip hop. Here are some of the songs that cemented the legend’s place in the halls of hip hop history.
Uthini Ngo Pro
This song has one of the catchiest hooks in SA hip hop. “Uthini Ngo” Pro was arguably one of ProKid’s most popular songs and one of the first songs that came to mind whenever the artist was mentioned.
Ungaphel’ Umoya Son
Pro was known for being empathetic and inspirational and “Ungaphel’ umoya Son” is a testament to that.
The single “Sekele” embodies everything about Pro’s ability to embody both his local and international influences. Sekele’s infectious beat and sound has traces of black American krump music, and yet, the dancers in his music video groove to the beat of the song with mostly kwaito-styled dance movements infused with some hip hop street dancing. Pro’s “Sekele” tells us everything about his talent and ability to blend and create something new out of what has influenced him.
ProKid has never been ashamed of his township routes and this track is an ode to his hometown. From the first few seconds, you hear the recognizable whistle that has become synonymous with Sowetan kwaito and hip hop. Pro then delivers impeccable flow and paints a vivid picture of life in the South Western Township. The excitement, oneness and even the hint of danger makes Soweto so cool that you’re proud to be from there or really envious if you aren’t a native.