It’s been nearly a month since MC Skibadee, a founding member of the jungle and drum & bass genres and still one of the most recognized MCs on the planet, passed away suddenly. The news was broken by his daughter on Facebook on February 27 and the D&B community has been in a bit of a shock state ever since.
Perhaps just as much as his own family, Skiba’s friends and colleagues in the world of D&B have been hit especially hard with the news of his passing. His comrades in jump up supergroup SASASAS, for example, are now mourning the loss of their second MC in just four years, after MC Stormin passed of sickle cell anemia, also in February in 2018. Through his grief, fellow group member and friend of almost 30 years DJ Phantasy managed to share some thoughts with Your EDM:
What I could say about Skiba could fill an encyclopedia but what one of main things I loved about him was his humble attitude, the way he embraced everyone he met. If you were a big artist or a new artist trying to make your way in this music business, he showed everyone the same love. He loved the ravers, the people who came to listen to him, listen to jungle / drum & bass. He always wanted a photo with the ravers. He started the “Money Shot” – that picture you now see artists doing all over the world – he started that, including everyone in everything he did.A true legend, an inspiration, an icon, there will never be another like him. I am so blessed to have worked with him so closely for so long and to have been able to go all over the world with him creating so many incredible memories. We will do everything we can to make sure his legacy lives on.
Other colleagues and friends are just as devastated, from every genre and period of drum & bass. We caught up with Viper label boss Futurebound, and he had this to say:
Skibba inspired so many generations of youth in the UK & beyond to become MC’s, Producers or to fall in love with D&B culture. An inch perfect entertainer who lit up the dance each and every time.
From the moment he burst onto the scene in the 90s right through to present day, he was the perfect example for how any artist can achieve longevity in the industry. One of the hardest working artists, always striving to be better at the craft he owned.
It was an absolute honor to release a single with him on Viper & above all else I’m so glad I had the chance to actually hang out with him over the years. A real fun character who made everyone around him feel welcome & happy.
Gone far too early, rest well Don there’s a void in our scene that can’t be replaced.
RIP Skib, The G.O.A.T…YNWA x\
MC Coppa mirrored these sentiments from an MC’s perspective:
He was your favorite MC´s MC Icon. The guy or girl you looked up to as a legend, looked up to Skiba as a legend. On top of all this accolade and adulation, amazingly he remained the salt of the earth. Lovely human being, legend and massive inspiration to me and a whole generation and then some. Real pleasure to know you Alphonso, share a stage and a laugh as well as being a massive part of my young life, growing up listening to drum & bass and being the reason why I was drawn to it so deeply.
Miss you my guy, thank you for literally everything.
Another contemporary, DJ Rap, simply said this through a lot of tears on the day he passed, reflecting the sentiments of fans and friends alike:
Today we lost too soon another bright light from our scene. Skiba, may your voice be as loud in heaven as it was on earth.
Check out an excellent Rap set featuring Skibadee here.
As with every great artist leaving us, the joy we have left is Skiba’s art. We should never forget that. Their art is what keeps them in our hearts. RIP, Skiba.
While family and friends are still grieving, fans and the extended music and arts community are making sure Skiba’s light is still burning bright with artwork and events all over the UK. A mural painting vigil brought fans together in both Birmingham and Bristol over the weekend while SASASAS dedicated their massive Rampage set to their fallen brother.
— MC SHABBAD 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 (@shabbadan) March 20, 2022
The tributes keep coming with Harriet Jaxxon dedicating her RinseFM show tonight to some of Skiba’s best sets at 10 PM GMT (5 PM EST, 2 PM PST in the US). Link here to listen and it will likely be on YouTube later in the week for those who can’t catch it live.
View this post on Instagram
Of course it wouldn’t be real tribute if there wasn’t a big, blowout party in Skib’s honor in his hometown of London. On Saturday, April 23, Fabric will throw a day party for the legendary MC for those in London.
For any other official news about Skibadee and events around his memory, his daughter Asia is running his Facebook page now. The family haven’t released details of his cause of death and have asked for privacy in the matter. For those wanting to donate to his family for funeral and legal expenses, a GoFundMe has been set up. Click here for more details.
Skiba will be missed but his work lives on.
Featured image photo and art cred: Mick Mowgli