Pro performs at Hipnotik Festival in 2017. Photo by Sabelo Mkhabela.

Listen to a 2005 Rap Battle Between Pro and Kaydo

Listen to an epic battle between Pro and Kaydo, which aired on YFM.

South African MC Pro, who died on Thursday morning, was a monster on the mic since he first time he showed up in the mid-2000s.

Pro wasn't just a musician, but a vicious battle MC of note. The MC, like many from his generation, earned their stripes their traditional way, by battling and rapping in cyphers. Pro was a staple in hip-hop cypher sessions, mostly Slaghuis in Soweto.

In 2005, the MC, who still went by the name Pro Kid, battled fellow rapper Kaydo on YFM, which is one of the first radio stations in South Africa to show love to South African hip-hop.


In the clip, which was shared by Twitter user @katlehoMK, you can hear Pro spitting punchlines your favorite still can't come up with to this day. His was an easy win against an unprepared and less skilled Kaydo.

Listen to the battle below:





Music
Photo by Don Paulsen/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Hugh Masekela's New York City Legacy

A look back at the South African legend's time in New York City and his enduring presence in the Big Apple.

In Questlove's magnificent documentary, Summer of Soul, he captures a forgotten part of Black American music history. But in telling the tale of the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival, the longtime musician and first-time filmmaker also captures a part of lost South African music history too.

Among the line-up of blossoming all-stars who played the Harlem festival, from a 19-year-old Stevie Wonder to a transcendent Mavis Staples, was a young Hugh Masekela. 30 years old at the time, he was riding the wave of success that came from releasing Grazing in the Grass the year before. To watch Masekela in that moment on that stage is to see him at the height of his time in New York City β€” a firecracker musician who entertained his audiences as much as he educated them about the political situation in his home country of South Africa.

The legacy Masekela sowed in New York City during the 1960s remains in the walls of the venues where he played, and in the dust of those that are no longer standing. It's in the records he made in studios and jazz clubs, and on the Manhattan streets where he once posed with a giant stuffed zebra for an album cover. It's a legacy that still lives on in tangible form, too, in the Hugh Masekela Heritage Scholarship at the Manhattan School of Music.

The school is the place where Masekela received his education and met some of the people that would go on to be life-long bandmates and friends, from Larry Willis (who, as the story goes, Masekela convinced to give up opera for piano) to Morris Goldberg, Herbie Hancock and Stewart Levine, "his brother and musical compadre," as Mabusha Masekela, Bra Hugh's nephew says.

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