Johannesburg, South Africa – Friday, 22 October 2021 – Flabba’s sixth anniversary since passing honored with DSP release of Nkuli vs Flabba.
Always loved, never forgotten, and forever missed. That is what comes to mind when thinking about Skwatta Kamp alumni, Nkululeko “Flabba” Habedi. September of this year marked six years since the untimely and tragic passing of the hip hop pioneering voice. A voice that is still missed within the current hip hop landscape.
In honour of his legacy and commemorating what would have been his 44th birthday on 17 October 2021, Flabba’s debut album, Nkuli vs Flabba, has been made available across all digital streaming platforms (DSP). The album was released as a hardcopy CD back in 2006. The 24-track album is still one of the most iconic hip-hop albums of the mid-2000s. As suggested by the title, the album was a conceptual body of work aimed at juxtaposing the man versus the media persona who went by the alter ego, Flabbadacious.
The album was lauded as it told the SAMA award winning musician’s personal experiences of township life as the basis of the album. Year defining hit singles like Is’bhamu Somdoko and Bho Fatshe, were just the lead singles which were released and epitomized the stylistic choices by Flabba. The Leave My Beers Alone hitmaker created a lane of his own through fusing comedic relief, sexual innuendos and an abrasive approach to sensitive issues, to assert his unique voice in the music industry.
Now, new and old audiences can finally relive the magic of this pivotal album in the music through the availability of Nkuli vs. Flabba. The album boasts features and collaborations with iconic and legendary contemporary artists including Kabomo, Lira, Infa, DZ, MaxHoba, HHP, Shugasmakx and Relo.
Additionally, the album was one of the first local hip hop albums to use skits as transitions and a storytelling device between tracks. The hilarious skits included mixes produced by leading producer-DJs, Black Coffee and Kentphonik, as a nod to the ever-present sounds on the streets.
The album is available for purchase across all DSP. Click here.
About Nkuli vs Flabba:
Six years after his untimely death, Flabba’s solitary solo album finally gets a release on digital platforms. Gomora’s prodigal son, as the Alexandra-native is affectionately referred to, helmed a South African hip hop classic that still holds its weight fifteen years after its release.
The conceptual Nkuli vs Flabba saw the rapper juxtapose the family man Nkululeko Habedi against his beer guzzling, rapper alter ego Flabadacious. Using his personal experiences and township life as points of departure, the Skwatta Kamp member would live up to the origins of his name; flabbergasting his audience with comedic relief, sexual innuendo and an abrasive approach to sensitive issues.
It was this irreverence coupled inventive flows, engaging storytelling and witty punchlines that set Flabba apart from his peers. Edging out his more ‘conscious’ contemporaries to a 2007 South African Music Award for Best Rap Album, he proved that Kasi Rap could be successful in fusing both the observational and commercial.
The crossover appeal was apparent with the tongue-in-cheek “Is’bhamu Somdoko” proving an infectious single. Other catchy, melodic songs included “Bho Fatshe” and the humorous “Leave My Beers Alone”. Whilst suchsongs exposed us to the lyrical and creative qualities of Flabba, the heartfelt moments on Nkuli vs Flabba gave us an insight into how his environment had played a role in his personal journey.
Flabba reveals Nkuli the devoted father on “Lesego, Daddy Loves You” – and while that serves as an everlasting dedication to his daughter, the heartfelt “Gotta Let You Go” is a tale of loss and inspired by the passing of his father and brother.
The character of Flabba is on full display on his debut album and alongside Kabomo, Lira, Infa, DZ, MaxHoba, HHP, Shugasmakx and Relo he crafts 24 tracks that soundtrack his life and unashamedly depict the experience of living in a South African township. The hilarious skits provide anecdotal glimpses of this while the inclusion of mixes by Black Coffee and Kentphonik act as a nod to the ever-present sounds on the streets.
Nkuli vs Flabba positions Flabba as the everyman – a man of the people, whose influence amongst his peers was immeasurable. The best representation of this was his ability to enlist 15 rappers on the “Is’bhamu Somdoko Remix”. From Khuli Chana and Mr Sewlyn to Proverb and the late HHP, this song wrapped punchlines, innuendo and camaraderie into one – this was sonic equivalent of a South African Hip Hop kasi… or a house built by Flabba