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UK music scene mourns loss of Skibadee

Drum and Bass | Thursday 10th March 2022 | Phil

Endless tributes continue to pour in for one of the most definitively iconic and influential emcees to ever grace the global rave scene. From underground pirate radio MC in the early 1990s to top dog rave spitter in the 2000s, Skibadee is a name that will forever be synonymous with the development of British bass culture. 

Along with other pioneers of rave emceeing such as the revered Stevie Hyper D, Skibadee flawlessly mastered double time vocals and went on to influence not just every rave emcee after him including superstars of the grime scene such as Dizzy Rascal and Tinie Tempah, but also vocalists and musicians of all ilks, often drawn in by his sheer skill on the mic as well as his entirely contagious and seemingly endless energy.

Such was the depth of feeling that even tributes from random members of the public expressed sentiments similar to that of losing a family member, and such was the familiarity that so many had with the beloved emcee that it was often taken for granted that Skibadee would be an eternal staple of the jungle / DnB scene. Radio show after radio show along with numerous podcasts swiftly went live with content dedicated to his memory.

The legendary South London rave emcee won countless awards over his career (which should probably have included an MBE for services to British music culture)  including Radio 1xtra Best MC Award in 2006 and the Stevie Hyper D Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2010 Drum N Bass Awards.

 

 

Have a gander at a clutch of the most touching tributes below, as well as the special 5 hour MC Skibadee Tribute Show that was broadcasted simultaneously on both Rinse FM & Kool FM.

 

Joe Muggs (The Guardian) - “...And that is what makes Skibadee as vital to the history books as any musician with a hundred times as many recorded tracks to their name. Over hundreds of hours a year, at raves, clubs and radio studios, he provided a torrent of language and music that transmitted ideas, feelings and stances, directly and only to the people who experienced the sets in full. His voice still echoes through every UK rapper you hear today and his influence endures in the living, breathing global drum’n’bass culture.”

 

Shy FX - "King Skibadee. Blueprint. Innovator. Legend. You paved the way and set the foundations. The first time I heard you with DJ Wildchild on Kool FM I knew things were about to change. A new era. You quickly became everyone’s favourite MC, and every MC’s favourite MC. Your presence on and off stage will never be matched. I would write tunes with you in mind, just to hear you spit over my tracks. It was always shelling season when we linked up. I can’t imagine this music ting without you, brother. I’m honoured to have shared many a stage with you. Blessed to have known you. Thankful for having you as a friend. You always said you wanted to leave behind a legacy to be proud of — and to that, my friend, I say you dealt with the matter. You dealt with it proper. Love you, broski."

 

Dizzee Rascal - "RIP @therealskibagram I was in the playground in primary school when I first heard people spitting the street fighter bars. You would’ve thought it was a number one hit the way everyone knew it and I was just getting into jungle but I was obsessed. The amount of tapes I listened to with this man going b2b with @mc.det or @shabbadan and others is actually mad considering I was about 10 and I didn’t have a clue what any of them looked like, they were mythical. Skibba was the benchmark for MC’s in the UK and he and other jungle and Garage MC’s before me are big part of the reason I felt comfortable spitting in my own accent. This man was part of mine and so many other people’s childhoods and although he reached many around the world he’s one of those people who make you proud to grow up in UK and say - I was there for that. Salute to real legend and bless up your loved ones."

 

Inja - "The excitement of seeing you come through the crowd.Knowing the whole place was about to get turned upside down.Seeing you on stage.We knew it was about to erupt. You didn’t have to say anything. Just seeing you there, your captivating energies resonated. Cheering just seeing you hold the mic. Waiting for your first words. Instantly singing back. I remember going down to my Grandmas in East Ham as a kid, stealing blank tapes just so I could record you and Shabba on kool fm.I’d listen and learn every bar. The combo that raised me. Arriving home to gassed friends hoping I’d recorded your sessions. Just to hear new music and most importantly any new bars the two of you may have blessed the airwaves with. As a young MC at Warning I’ll never forget being put on stage with you. Always thinking how and why. It felt pointless as much as I wanted to MC. To be a MC going back to back you was mind numbing. I’ll never even be close to your league. When I asked Pete why one night he said ‘I made you go harder’. I was hungry and as much as he said that I never felt it to be true.

You’re Skiba. The people's champion. The rave commander. The headliner. The reason I went to these raves. Just to catch a glimpse of you. To hear you in the flesh, to watch in awe. It was effortless, setting the highest benchmark of how to be an MC. Nothing last forever but your spirit and energies will live on through us all and the countless generations inspired by you King Skiba, The peoples champ."

 

Harry Shotta - "You was my hero, you was the reason I wanted to spit to Jungle, you was my inspiration & my role model. I never told you how much I looked up to you because we became mates & sparring partners & you don’t do that with your bredrins….

But now I can, and it’s too late….

We travelled the world together, we smashed up stages & festivals they said we would never be welcome on, we did it me & you bro & I couldn’t have wished to do it with anyone better….I honestly love you with all my heart & I will make sure your legacy lives on forever. Love you Ski."

 

His legacy lives on through the memories of ravers and the voices of Drum N Bass MCs across the globe.

RIP the one and only original dappa don MC, MC Skibadee. 

 

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