HHP. Photo by Sabelo Mkhabela.

The 12 Best HHP Songs

Remembering South African hip-hop legend Hip Hop Pantsula through his hits.

South African hip-hop legend, HHP died this afternoon. Details around his death are still developing, as it's not yet known where he died and what the cause was.

Jabba, as the MC called himself, did a lot for South African hip-hop. From being one of the very first rappers to successfully fuse hip-hop and kwaito, to paving the way for many motswako rappers such as Cassper Nyovest, Tuks Senganga, Khuli Chana, Fifi Cooper, and many others.

Motskwako is a sub-genre of hip-hop from Mafikeng in South Africa's North West province. The sub-genre is one of the most successful hip-hop movements in the country.


Jabba has collaborated with the likes of Nas, Talib Kweli, Naeto C, Nazizi, Tumi Molekane, ProVerb, Teargas, Solo, Priddy Ugly and a whole lot more.

The MC has had multiple endorsement deals, released gold and platinum-selling albums, hosted his own TV Show, and even had his own deodorant, among other groundbreaking milestones.

Jabba returned from a short hiatus with a new EP, aptly titled Feels Good to Be Back, which had just come out two weeks ago.

Below, we look at some of the MC's most memorable hits from the early 2000s till present day.

"Tswaka"

One of Jabba's earlier hits when he was slowly becoming a superstar, "Tswaka," is classic Jabba. The song blends a catchy hook, humorous lines and an instrumental that sounds both like kwaito and hip-hop.

Hip Hop Pantsula Tswaka www.youtube.com

"Wamo Tseba Mtho" ft. Thasman and Cassper Nyovest

The very first time Cassper Nyovest was introduced to the SA mainstream hip-hop scene was through this song. A subliminal diss that was once rumoured to be directed to fellow motswakolista Tuks Senganga. "Wamo Tseba Mtho" was another welcome addition to the man's extensive catalog of hits.

HHP ft Casper and Thasman Wamo Tseba Mtho Official Music Video www.youtube.com

"Bosso"

One of Jabba's biggest hits, "Bosso," started an online trend. Fans came up with their own quirky and funny definitions of bosso (a boss), like the MC did on the song.

HHP "Bosso" www.youtube.com

"Harambe" ft. Max-Hoba

"Harambe" was proof that Jabba wasn't a one-dimensional artist. He proved he could make hits while still talking about serious issues. "Harambe" came from an honest place, with Jabba not claiming to be one of the most socially-conscious MCs there ever was.

HHP - Harambe www.youtube.com

"Music and Lights"

MTV Base ran a competition in 2009 where they asked South African music fans to vote for an artist they would like to see shooting a video with America. The people chose Jabba, and made sure the video for "Music and Lights" was as memorable as the song.

music & lights www.youtube.com

"Mafikeng"

One of Jabba's earliest songs from his sophomore album, 2001's Mafikeng. This was the best way for the MC to introduce himself as the pantsula of hip-hop.

HHP - Mafikeng (Audio) | Hip Hop / Motswako MUSIC or SONGS www.youtube.com

"Pop Mabhodlela"

Not one of his biggest hits, "Pop Mabhodlela," was more proof that Jabba could rap over any kind of beat. This song was the first trap attempt from Jabba—and it worked. But for some reason, it just never picked up.

HHP feat Tamarsha Pop Mabhodlela Official Music Video www.youtube.com

"Jabba"

Another one for the dance floor, Jabba's style was shifting to sampling oldies and giving them a South African twist. This song is proof that Jabba was indeed the jiggiest this side of the equator.

Hip Hop Pantsula - Jabba www.youtube.com

"Make Monyeke"

This song literally feels like summer. "Make Monyeke" blended hip-hop, kwaito and jazz, and is one of those songs that could be enjoyed by both young and old. And how fun was that video?

Hip Hop Pantsula - Make Monyeke www.youtube.com

"Lekoko La Lekoko"

While his 2009 album, Acceptance Speech, boasted 'musical' songs like "Wayza," "Music and Lights," the artist spared space for the streets. "Lekoko La Lekoko" is one of the most potent posse cuts to come out of South Africa, and features some of the country's greats, the likes of ProVerb, Mo Molemi, Samba, G.C., Straydawg among others rapping their lungs out over an aggressive boom-bap instrumental.

HHP Leloko La Lekoko www.youtube.com

"Mpitse"

"Mpitse" was yet another flip of a classic that Jabba turned into a light-hearted banger for the dancefloor and parties. Again, the humor in the video shows that Jabba was a happy soul.

HHP - Mpitse www.youtube.com

"Tlhabane to Maftown"

"Tlhabane to Maftown" was an oxymoron—it sounded both sophisticated and jiggy. The MC has always had a way of interpreting beats and rapping over them like the beats were made around his vocals.

HHP - Tlhabane/Maftown.mov www.youtube.com

Some of Jabba's most memorable guest appearances:


Show Dem (Make The Circle Bigger) : JR featuring HHP youtu.be


M.anifest & HHP - Jigah (Music Video) youtu.be


Goodfellaz - Teargas Ft. Pro-kid & HHP youtu.be


Reason - Endurance ft. HHP, Nova www.youtube.com


Solo and The BETR Gang - Death Or This (feat. Ginger Trill, HHP & K.T) [Official Audio] www.youtube.com


Hip Hop Pantsula - On My Own (remix) www.youtube.com





Popular

MFE Pays Tribute to PRO on The Second Anniversary of The South African Hip-Hop Legend’s Passing

Artists signed to PRO's label MFE commemorate him in new tribute song 'MAWE: VITA24' on the second anniversary of the South African hip-hop pioneer's passing.

One aspect of PRO(Kid)'s legacy that rarely gets mentioned is his label. As head of Money First Entertainment, the label he founded, PRO played roles in the trajectories and craft of artists such as Red Button, Captian_fs, sFs 5 Star and TeePee among others. The former three were official members of MFE with Red Button, PRO's protégé, being the first artist to be signed to the label.

PRO who passed away exactly two years ago today gets a tribute from his label's roster. "MAWE: VITA24" is a remix of an sFs 5 Star song titled "Mawe" that the artist released in February.

Keep reading... Show less

get okayafrica in your inbox

popular.

The 10 Best PRO(Kid) Songs Ranked

SPeeka ranks his favourite PRO songs of all time on the second anniversary of the kasi rap legend's death.