A young woman from South Africa took a journey alone, to a foreign land known as the United States of America, for a vacation. In those three weeks she experienced New Jersey and New York in ways she never in her wildest dreams believed would happen – but there were a few moments where she had to stop and pause to digest what was going on in her life. Those moments where life seemed so surreal because they were not only unexpected, but things that other people could only ever dream about. I will never forget Scott McKenzie for giving me one of the greatest gifts any person has ever given me – he gave me a big brother whose vision and leadership was so infectious that it pushed me harder even when I thought I had reached my limit.
The night after we recorded the podcast remains so engrained in my memory for two reasons: I was the first South African on the Combat Jack Show, and secondly; the pure kindness that Reggie, Pete and the epic Combat Jack team had shown me was something out of the movies. It was a kindness that had become so foreign to me and one that changed my life forever. We recoded our podcast and went for dinner, then Reggie did the most incredible thing (knowing my love of ice-cream) – he called the team from Mikey Likes It Ice Cream to open up shop so that we could taste the ice-cream. 8 unforgettable flavours. 30 minutes in the shop at midnight, in downtown New York. This was really MY life. It was really a moment that was happening and I just couldn’t believe it. I called my mom – feeling a joy I hadn’t felt since the day I lost my dad. I was happy, that carefree kind of happy. To date, outside of the day that I met Madison – that is by far the best memory I have of New York.
Today, as I sit in the darkness of my room, allowing myself to go through the emotions, listening to some of the songs that remind me of you – I keep going back to the conversation about how he wanted to come to South Africa and a piece of me feels empty. Empty because 2018 was supposed to be the year that we made that happen. Finally – I was going to introduce my mom to the man that reminded me of the importance of kindness and openness but today I’m writing about how in shock I am about losing you.
Two years ago you invited me to your studio to hang out and that ended up being not only one of the most incredible parts of my trip, but one of the most defining moments of my life. Fast forward to two years later and the reality of having lost you to cancer has me in a chokehold. Not only because you were taken from the world so soon, but also because I’m still recovering from losing two other people I loved to cancer just a month before God chose to also call you home. I’m struggling to breathe. It’s painful, a pain I thought I had gotten used to but clearly something I undermined.
It’s been a week since the news of your passing broke the internets, a week of the most inexplainable emotions, and I’m finally at a point where dealing with this reality doesn’t feel so far removed anymore. I’m breathing, barely breathing and dealing with a heart that feels like it constantly breaks with every second that your picture or name pops up on my screen. We’ve really just lost a legend.
Reggie Osse was a great man, one whose impact on hip-hop will be spoken about forever, but to me – he was a stranger that the internets brought me closer to, and gave me another brother – even if it was for a short two years. I never expected cancer to steal you from me too, it wasn’t something we had planned – it wasn’t something we were expecting and still in your biggest moments of suffering – you found ways to keep everyone else calm.
On Christmas eve of 2017, I prayed for two things: a sign from my dad that he’s still around and looking over me, and one from Reggie to show me that he’s atleast paying some attention – he always looked out for me from a distance. Both of those prayers were answered on the same day, Boxing day of 2017.
As the world continues to spin, and life keeps moving I hope you’re looking down on us while engaged in conversations with the other greats, and smile knowing that we will continuously remind the world of your legacy, and impact those around us by showing the smallest amount of kindness to strangers because that can change someones world. You contributed to the lives of many through your podcast, and will continue to do so through the podcast and the people whose lives you touched. You’re engraved in our memories forever, and so I hope you smile when you loom down on us, the same way we do when we read your tweets, listen to your podcasts and surf through your pictures – rest easy big brother, your legacy is forever – we’ll make sure of that.
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Internets, You know what it is man, Dream those dreams, & then man up, woman up, and live those dreams because a life without dreams is black and white, and the universe flows in technicolor and surround-sound. Blaow! #RIPCombatJack —— The Combat Jack Show was my first podcast I listed to and weekly looked for Reggie's thoughts on everything from hip hop to politics to heated debates on #JortsBack . My deepest condolences to the Ossé family and LSN #combatjack #reggieosse . . . . . #100DaysofJustDeAndre via #The100DayProject #100DayProject
Thank you for your contribution to the world. You’re always in our hearts. Rest in peace and power.