The Malaysian music scene mourns the tragic loss of one of the most influential pioneers in the industry, Najee Abdullah. The news was conveyed through his personal Facebook account by his children.
“Assalamualaikum. We hereby would like to inform that our Papa has passed away peacefully in his sleep at 2.44am, 13 April 2017 Thursday,” they wrote. The legendary DJ passed away from lung cancer at the age of 50 and is survived by four children.
Najee has contributed to the local scene in more ways than one can even imagine. Also known by his moniker, G Funk, Najee’s music career didn’t just involve DJing, he was also a recording artist and broadcaster, and has played a major role in redefining the local music industry since the early ‘80s.
In the late 1980s Najee championed the new R&B/hip hop phenomenon and New Jack Swing sound in Malaysian clubs with the formation of Krash Kozz. Their debut mixtape, Pump It Up, was a hit in the booming club scene then and it successfully sold more with more than 10,000 copies. It was also certified by Billboard magazine as the first hip-hop album to be recorded by a Malaysian artist.They eventually, signed to independent music label, Valentine Sound Productions (VSP) and recorded their third album, New Jack The Streetbeat in 1993 featuring Najee on vocals.
As a DJ, Najee’s career spanned three appealing to fans from different influences and even generations throughout this time. In the ‘80s he was rocking it up at venues like Traxx and The Baze and in the ‘90s and early 2000s he was a resident at various spots like Modesto’s The Forum, Scandals and Oasis.
While he initially rose as one of the most influential hip hop, R&B funk and soul DJs, Najee progressed to becoming an expert in house and techno. In recent years he has graced the decks of Elysium, Pisco Bar and Zouk Kuala Lumpur. The legendary DJ’s passion for club culture has also influenced a new generation of artists and DJs. Here are some of the reactions to the tragic news.
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