'I'm losing it' - Rapper HHP found dead at home in suspected suicide
"I'm depressed. I'm going out of control. I'm losing it."
Those were the heart-wrenching last words hip-hop legend HHP left before he took his last bow.
The Mahikeng-born, North West, rapper whose real name is Jabulani Tsambo, allegedly committed suicide yesterday at his house in Randpark Ridge, western Johannesburg.
Witnesses told Sowetan that the 38-year-old's body was discovered by his helper in his bedroom.
One of the first people to arrive at the scene was Thabiso "Thasman" Tsotetsi, his long-time collaborator and producer.
He was meant to meet up with him yesterday, and when HHP's wife Lerato Sengadi called him he thought it was about the meeting, only to learn of the rapper's passing.
An emotional Tsotetsi said after his friend's failed suicide attempts in the past, he believed that he had bounced back and was in good spirits.
He said he was shocked to see his lifeless body on the floor of his bedroom.
He was depressed and we spoke a lot about that.
Tsotetsi wouldn't confirm that HHP hung himself, but said all indications were that he took his own life. "It's a forensic case now, the police are involved. Let them declare the cause of death."
HHP had opened up about suffering from depression.
Two years ago, Sowetan reported that he had admitted to attempting suicide three times in 2015 and that he had visited a suicide website for information on how to end his life.
Tsotetsi said they were shocked by the turn of events yesterday. "He was bubbly, he was fine. We had been speaking about a project he wanted us to work on.
"He was depressed and we spoke a lot about that. His mother had asked me to talk to him, but I believe he refused to take medication," Tsotetsi said.
In one of their last interactions, Tsotetsi said HHP uncharacteristically snapped at his manager over a booking for a gig scheduled for Sunday.
After several failed attempts to reach him, Sengadi got hold of the helper to look for HHP, and that's when she made the grisly discovery.
"I never thought he would do it. He once tried it, and didn't succeed. I thought my guy was fine.
"He would lock himself up, and when I saw him do interviews on Metro FM and Motsweding FM I thought he was fine," she said.
HHP released his EP Feels Good To Be Back through Universal Music two weeks ago, and was on a promotional radio tour.
"The last two weeks have been quite energetic and exciting for his new partnership with Universal Music," the company said in a statement.
Throngs of celebrities, fans and relatives congregated in his yard late yesterday.
They included Shugasmakx, Amu, Tuks and Lection.
-Additional reporting by Pertunia Mafokwane