HHP believed Cassper Nyovest would be the next Lil Wayne

Jabulani 'HHP' Tsambo.
Jabulani 'HHP' Tsambo.
Image: Tebogo Letsie.

Late rapper HHP saw great potential in Cassper Nyovest and believed that he was destined for greater things.

Long-time friend Seabelo Modibe revealed on Tuesday at HHP's memorial in Newtown, Joburg, just how much HHP  loved his musical prodigy Cassper Nyovest.

Although their relationship had more downs than ups in recent years, Modibe told attendees of the memorial service that the two had smoked the peace pipe. HHP, who was found dead at his Randpark Ridge, northern Johannesburg, home last week, will be laid to rest on Saturday.

Modibe described how HHP always spoke highly of Cassper Nyovest, who is arguably one of the biggest artists in South Africa.

Cassper Nyovest’s success could be attributed to HHP, who introduced him to the industry as his hype-man and went on to feature him on some of his songs including Past Time and Wamo Tseba Motho o.

Cassper Nyovest, real name Refiloe Phoolo, went on to start his solo career and got it together after a couple of years when he eventually released his hit single Gusheshe with OKMalumKoolKat.

“Jabba [HHP] if he truly believed in you, he believed in you. I remember the day he wanted a hype-man and opted for Cassper. He went to Mahikeng looking for someone else, this person did not pitch-up but Cassper pitched-up. He called me later telling me that ‘the person I wanted didn’t come but there’s this young boy I liked … but hey, he’s not [all] that but I believe he’s got confidence’,” said Modibe.

“He kept on telling me that ‘this guy [Cassper] is because he told me that he’s going to be bigger than Lil Wayne on our first encounter, I think that’s the guy I want to work with because at least he’ll help me with my own confidence’ because Jabba was not a confident person."

He believed that Cassper around him will boost his confidence. Modibe, who had been friends with HHP for over 17 years, spoke about how HHP’s family will now be Cassper Nyovest’s responsibility. “Jabba and Cassper … they have breathed air into each other’s mouths when things were bad,” he said. “I like it when they differ because their differences are genuine, they are coming out of love. That is why Jabba will always, when he speaks, say that ‘I love Cassper’ [and] Cassper will always say  'I love Jabulani’.”

Addressing the same service, Cassper Nyovest said that HHP did not want to sign because he believed he could become more than just an artist.

"My biggest dream at the time was to sign to Jabba and as he would always put me on the spot he told me that I'm not an artist that should be signed I could be a businessman and should be as big as Lil Wayne.

"He would always tell me that 'I can't sign you' and eventually I ended up having to do my own thing and he was right, I ended up blowing up in a way that I also couldn't understand," said Cassper Nyovest.

He also spoke about how he met HHP two weeks and "he looked me in the eyes and said 'Nyovest I love you', I told him I loved him too and we carried on speaking but he carried on saying 'mara kea go rata' [but I love you]".

Cassper Nyovest took to the stage at Bassline on October 30 2018 to pay tribute to his “big brother”, HHP, and had the crowd in laughter as he remembered how the late hip-hop star humbled him.

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