The Hip-Hop and arts community across South Africa is in mourning after news that veteran rapper, poet, and activist Ben Sharpa has died. According to still-developing reports, Sharpa passed after complications from diabetes.
South African outlet IOL reports:
Veteran South African rapper Ben Sharpa died this morning at age 41 after being hospitalised for complications with diabetes. Sharpa was prominent in the mid-2000s in the local hip hop scene.
His music touched on social and political issues in country. His album B. Sharpa, released in 2008 was well acclaimed. The album was released by Cape Town based indie label Pioneer Unit. From B. Sharpa was the massive street hit “Hegemony”. In it the artist rapped about police brutality.
In his prime, Sharpa toured Europe extensively. He performed at festivals such as Rio Loco (FR), Riddim Collision (FR), Paleo (CH), Glastonbury (UK), Dour (BEL) and Extrema (NL).
Sharpa, born Kgotso Semela, may not have been a household name here in the states but the longtime rapper, DJ and producer J-Live took to Twitter to give a salute to the South African legend. J-Live’s tweet was one of many that have cropped up since the news broke that honor the life of Sharpa.
Sharpa was 41.