Did The Industry Turn Its Back On ProKid?

His talent was supreme, but Prokid’s last days on earth are said to have been sombre.



He was once the very futuristic symbol of South African Hip Hop.

But this dream, deferred, reached its end on Sunday, when the death of ProKid, real name Linda Mkhize, was confirmed. He is said to have died of seizures at a friends place.

A talented lyricist armed with a rare grasp of linguistic showmanship that enabled him to spit clean bars on cue, as well as overall lyrical virtuosity, and some superior ass writing, Prokid was tipped to be the King of local as soon as he gained prominence with Soweto. He was also a ‘Kasi storyteller’ who straddled the worlds of Hip Hop and Kwaito like none of his predecessors had dared to.

His talent continued being put on display as more singles surfaced; becoming street anthems long before SA Hip Hop had become as mainstream and as viable as it is now; Bhampa and Sekele are such standout bops in his catalogue of limited and timeless works.

This man’s talent was as undeniable as was the people’s love for him.

Yet personal accounts of his last days on earth paint a sombre picture of a man who was deeply troubled.

Amongst other things said to have had him “depressed sounding” during some of his last calls to friends, he was reportedly heartbroken by how the industry had turned its back on him. Says Zakwe, in a recent interview with TshisaLive, “…he (ProKid) was frustrated by the way the industry was treating him.”

The Hip Hop artist, who was also Pro’s close friend, also reveals in the interview that he believes Pro was “depressed.” He says Pro had called him two weeks prior to his tragic death, complaining about how no one was calling him for gigs anymore.

If it was indeed true that he battled Depression, there’s no word on what kind of care he was receiving for the debilitating mental illness.



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