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Drum & Bass pioneer from Waterloo, Skibadee, dies aged 47, his family announce – South London News

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Influential drum & bass rapper and producer Skibadee has died at the age of 47, his family have said.

The Waterloo-raised MC, whose real name was Alfonso Bondzie, pioneered double-speed delivery, which spread to the mainstream – though he never became a household name himself.

But his creativity built the foundations for the grime and drill music which would go on to conquer the world from South London.

Through tracks like Died In Your Arms and Streetfighter MC he created something completely new from a mix of the sound system scene, dancehall and US hop-hop at 170 beats per minute, with a flood of words that had a special London flavour.

A statement was posted from his family on Facebook on Sunday afternoon: “Hello everyone, as Alphonso’s first born I unfortunately come with some sad news to say that Skibadee has passed away, as a family we ask for some privacy but may he rest in peace”.

They later added: “I am extremely heartbroken with this sad news and still in shock.”

Influential drum & bass rapper and producer Skibadee

Tributes poured in, including one from Brixton-raised So Solid Crew singer Lisa Maffia: “Not to sure what to say! Another pioneer gone! My heart goes out to your beautiful daughters, family and friends. DnB finest @therealskibagram I’m sorry to hear this news. Rest well sir #skiba #RIP.”

Chart topper DJ Fresh said: “I cannot believe I’m writing this. RIP @TheRealSkibz MC Skibadee. His contribution to Drum and Bass can never be equalled. He was first and foremost a great guy I always really enjoyed spending time with. Goodbye old friend, we will keep your memory alive forever.”

Skibadee got his start on pirate radio in 1993 and went on to perform with Shy FX, Harry Shotta and Stevie Hyper D.

Shotta tweeted: “You was my hero, you was the reason I wanted to spit to Jungle, you was my inspiration & my role model.

“We travelled the world together, we smashed up stages and 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 love you with all my heart & I will make sure your legacy lives on forever.”

Charlie Tee, host of BBC Radio 1’s drum and bass show, wrote: “His own unique style of MC-ing will forever go down in the history books as the stuff of legends. A true pioneer in D&B and the most infectious aura.”

“We lost another legend,” added DJ Semtex. “Rest in peace Skibadee, pioneer, and true lyrical master.”

Other tributes came from Tinie Tempah, Mary Anne Hobbes, DJ Friction, Ghetts, Gorgon City, Plastician and Twin B.


Skibadee was best known for his collaborations with fellow jungle and drum and bass MC Shabba D from 2000.

He was also a member of drum and bass group SASASAS, who released an album Unite (DJ Mix) last year and, more recently, the single Finally.

He won the BBC 1Xtra award for best MC in 2006 and a lifetime achievement accolade at the 2010 Drum and Bass Awards.

Speaking to Grime Report TV in 2017, he said his million-words-a-minute style developed because he “was trying to do something different to what everyone else was doing”, but that it “always seemed to naturally go with the music”.

He also revealed that his stage name came from “little terminologies” he developed with friends in the 1990s.

“Most of the mandem I used to roll with came up with the term, ‘Skibadeeboiiii!’ They used to say that all the time, and it just kind of stuck with me.”

 

Picture Credit: Facebook

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