Jabulani Tsambo, popularly known as HHP (Hip Hop Panstula) or Jabba, was born in Mafikeng in the North West Province on 14 September 1980, later moving to Pretoria, Gauteng where he completed his schooling at St Alban’s College.
A Mostwako MC, he was well versed in many local languages, but mainly rapped in Setswana.
The star displayed a love for music from a young age, teaming up with his high school friends to start the group Verbal Assassins as a teenager.
With the help of Chicco Twala they created their debut album Party before disbanding in 1997.
HHP later went on to release a number of albums including Introduction, Maftown, O Mang?, Acceptance Speech and Motswako High School.
In April 2018 the artist mentioned in a Twitter post that his album DRUM would be his final. After being questioned by a fan on the social media site about when he would drop the album, and whether or not it will be his last, the rapper responded: “Yes it’s my last.”
During his extensive career, HHP had been nominated for numbers awards, including a BET for Best International Actin 2010. The star also won over the hearts of thousands when he took to the dance floor as a contestant on Strictly Come Dancing SA in 2007. Eventually winning the competition alongside partner Hayley Bennet.
In 2016 reports surfaced that HHP had tied the knot with former Big Brother Africa contestant Lerato Sengati. The two were very private about their relationship, but the rapper finally confirmed the rumours in an interview with Slikour, saying: “Being married is amazing.”
However, in 2018, the rumour mill was buzzing once again, this time with news that the couple had separated.
STRUGGLE WITH DEPRESSION
It was not always smooth sailing for HHP. In an interview with Gareth Cliff in 2016, the musician admitted that he had attempted suicide three times.
“This voice came to me and said, ‘Dude, if you really want to die, you need to live. If you really want to die, you need to do that shit that you’ve always wanted to do and you’ve always been scared of doing and one of those is speaking my mind’,” he told Gareth.
Days later the star had reportedly checked into rehab for a 10 day period to “clear his system of anti-depressants.”
The rapper was also candid about his struggle with depression, telling DRUM in an interview: “People won’t remember HHP for Music & Lights any more – they’re going to remember me for reminding them that they have to do something for someone else.”