Jungle and drum & bass pioneer Skibadee dies aged 47

Skibadee – the pioneering jungle and drum and bass MC who worked with Shy FX, Dillinja and many others during his career – has died aged 47.

News of his passing was confirmed on Sunday, February 27 via Skibadee’s social networks. No cause of death was given, although an update to the late artist’s Discogs page says he died on February 25.

Born in south London in 1975, Skibadee, real name Alfonso Bondzie, became one of the most recognizable voices of the UK jungle, drum & bass and rave scenes from the mid-90s to the decade next.

Talk to Grime Report TV in 2017, he said he “fell” into MCing after being taken to a jungle rave in 1993, where MC Det, Ragga Twins and Navigator were in charge of the mic. A few weeks later, he was a guest on pirate radio as Skibadee Boy.

Bondzie gradually rose to prominence after those early radio appearances, landing slots at raves like Thunder & Joy and Ash Attack’s Jungle Spirit. The latter party gave him his first residency and saw him on the mic for sets by key scene DJs such as Nicky Blackmarket and DJ Wildchild, who first featured him on legendary pirate radio station Kool. FM.

In the 2000s, Skibadee collaborated on records with artists such as Shy FX, Dillinja and Teebone, and also released some of his own hip hop-oriented tracks. More recently, he has toured extensively with the drum & bass group SASASAS, which also includes Shabba D, Harry Shotta, Stormin, DJ Phantasy and Macky Gee in its ranks.

Tributes poured in from all over the drum & bass and jungle scenes following news of Skibadee’s passing – you can read a few of them below.

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