Filed under: Features,Killa Queens,Killa Sha Special,Not Your Average,Rest In Peace,Steady Bootleggin'
Written by: Robbie Ettelson
Photo: Alexander Richter
Finishing up the tributes to Sha Lumi, here are some memories of the man and his music from his good friends J-Love, DJ Phantom, Thorotracks and DJ Peter Parker.
UPDATE: Added a quote from Ayatollah.
J-Love: It was maybe 2000 or so when I was doin’ the old Stretch & Bobitto Show – me and Lord Sear took over when Bob and Stretch left. Sear and Killa Sha were always real close, so he started coming to the show and we just clicked and we built from there. It was funny too, ‘cos you know I’m the kind of cat I snap on a lotta niggas – I don’t really give a fuck. So he went at me first – we was on the air, he called me, ‘Jason Giambi’ or some funny shit. I was like, ‘Yeah? Nigga, you look like a rapping Webster!’ We just always had that chemistry, that bond. We could just joke around, have fun – lock you in and make some banging music. He was a worker like me – he was the type like, ‘Yo, son, let’s bang this out’. Sha was like money. Writin’ a verse on the spot, goin’ in, knock it out in one or two takes. He definitely had his craft mastered. I feel like Sha was one of the nicest cats outta Queensbridge that just got overlooked, because he wasn’t ‘industry popular’ or whatever. That nigga was motherfuckin’ perfectionist, too. He would be in the booth ‘till he gets it right. I might have a hundred songs with Killa Sha that people never even heard yet.
DJ Phantom: Killa Sha was just the realest MC, and he helped a lot of people to the point where they’re in good positions – that’s all he really cared about. He didn’t care if you was Busta or just some dude from Queensbridge. He just wanted people to prosper and do well in life. Sha was a good person – he always took care of his grandmother, he always took care of his daughter. He was a really conscious person about politics and he had a good heart. That was just my good friend who took me in like his brother, ‘cos me and him never had brothers. He was the older brother, I was the younger brother, so he was putting me onto a lot of stuff.
DJ Peter Parker: It was about 5am late Friday/early Saturday morning back in 2004. We were driving back from Marley’s crib after doin’ Future Flavas. This was a routine that we followed for many years. On Friday evenings I would pick Sha up in the Bridge and drive upstate to Marley’s to broadcast Rhyme Tyme live on tape via futureflavasonline.com We would then sit in on Marley’s Future Flavas show on Power 105 pretty much every week because it came on right after our show ended. So on this particular night we’re 99% home, it’s 5am, still dark out, and I’m fuckin’ exhausted from the show and all the weed. As soon as I make that left from 21st Street onto 41st Avenue and enter the projects we hear heavy, and I mean heavy, machine gun fire followed by pistols returning fire. That shit was coming from right in front of Sha’s building which was only two blocks away. If that’s not enough Queensbridge is nothing but one way streets so the only way out was to drive towards it. I gotta admit I was a little hesitant about what to do as I slowed the car down. Lumi on the other hand didn’t batter an eyelash or even raise his voice. In the calmest of voices all he said were two words, ‘Reverse, son!’ So I backed up all the way out of the PJ’s. We then circled the circumference of the projects twice. We didn’t hear anymore shooting so Sha instructed me to drop him off in front of his building which I did. He gave me a pound got out of the car and strutted to his crib like he was on a Sunday stroll.
J-Love: He liked the big fat girls. He was like, ‘Yeah! I love it! I wanna jump inside something that weighs three times more than me!’ We used to always joke about it, ‘Yeah, you like sleeping with those fat girls, ‘cos it keeps your little body warm!’ He got this song over Busta’s ‘NY Shit’ – ‘I’m on my fat girl shit!’ He didn’t hold his tongue, he was four-foot nothin’! He might’ve been 4’10” – Sha was short, bro! But he carried himself like a giant! I seen him riff the big niggas, like ‘Fuck you, daddy! Nigga, I’ll shoot you! What!?’ [laughs] It’s little stupid shit, like me and him was always going to the diner and I’d order a big meal and he’d just order chicken noodle soup! I used to find that shit mad funny.
DJ Phantom: My best memory with Killa Sha would be when me and him used to drive up to Marley Marl’s show and DJ for Killa Sha’s show. It was The Order Show – Luminatti Show at Marley’s crib. My second best memory was last year when we deejayed the Queensbridge park jam on his block, 40th & Vernon. At that time I’d never deejayed in Queensbridge – that was like legendary status, to DJ for where these people be at. That day we was just really chillin’. He let me DJ and was like, ‘Yo son, you got nice! You not better than me, but you got nicer!’ For him to tell me that I was getting better meant a lot, ‘cos it was coming from him. Another time was at Christmas when me and Sha took the 7 train to Large’s crib, and we was chillin’ with Large’s wife, his daughter, his neice. We was just there, kickin’ it, and Large was telling him to get better and feel better and all that. I’ll never forget that.
J-Love: People close to him kinda knew his health issues. We all knew the severity of it, we knew he was in and out of the hospital. It was hard enough for him to deal with, so I don’t think it was his thing to let it be out there publicly. Similar to Prodigy dealing with the sickle cell – you got it, but it doesn’t make it any easier. Getting that phone-call was one of the worst fuckin’ feelings…I dropped the phone and my chest fell to my foot. I was playing Acknowledge Greatness and I just heard the song ‘Fed Up’ and that shit just broke me down, son. I just had a cry and let that shit out.
DJ Phantom: I couldn’t believe when his grandma told me that morning, ‘cos I was sleeping! It was early in the morning when she called me – I thought I was dreaming – I was like, ‘Nah! You playin’! Don’t say that!’ And she was like, ‘Nah, he passed away’. I just woke up and I started to freakin’ cry. My mom looked at me and she said, ‘What’s wrong with you?’ I said, ‘My good friend passed away today’. Then I took my shower and I just ran out my house. I go to his house, and it’s already bad that I know that his mom’s going through it and his grandma is going through it, but it’s worse when I get to his house and I see his daughter. I’m like, ‘Oh, man…’ To be honest with you, just seeing that – I didn’t want to make hip-hop music anymore. I was gonna retire – that’s it. I was just put out The Shepard and retire. But Sha would never want me to retire, he always brought joy. He made it fun. But right at that moment, I felt like it wasn’t gonna be the same. It’s weird, ‘cos my father passed away a year ago and he helped me out through that, so now I gotta look-out for his daughter. I gotta make sure this record get’s the recognition that it needs.
Ayatollah: I first met Sha through an incredible MC by the name of Tragedy Khadafi aka Intelligent Hoodlum. We were in the studio recording for his album titled Against All Odds. Sha would come to the studio with Trag, I didn’t know he was an MC at first,until one late night session in the studio,he stepped in the booth. Me and Sha began working together on music soon after we met in the studio. He told me that he was a fan of my music,i became aware of his lyrical talent through his group the Killa Kids. Marley Marl would play them on the radio,and i enjoyed their music. To me, Sha encompassed a special gift,his wordplay,lyrical delivery, his pauses, even his adlibs would always seem to be in the right places in his verses. His rhyme style was very unique,and to me it really stood out. A lot of people didn’t know it,but me and Sha were really cool, he would come by thelab,listen to beats, eat a meal and we would just build. He was a friend indeed. A long lasting imprint for me. He was humble, I liked that quality in him,very few in the music industry are humble. Sha stood up lyrically with the best of them. I would like him to be remembered for his talent,and his humility. He was giving to those in need. A cool brother for real.
Thorotracks: R.I.P. to Killa Sha Lumi, one of the dopest MC’s and a true friend. You will forever live on through Thorotracks. See you when we get there.
J-Love: Lookin’ at death, people gotta learn to appreciate life, ‘cos you’re not promised tomorrow. I was upset that I was with him all the time – and you could’ve just snapped a quick picture here and there – but you overlook it, ‘cos that’s your man. It’s like, ‘I’mma see that nigga tomorrow, it’s nothing’. But now…I’m not gonna see him tomorrow. You just regret certain things. I just hope that his legacy gets held in a bigger light now – the people who did follow, continue to follow and the fake ones don’t even contribute to it. They can just listen to their weirdo rap. I just want people to take the time out and hear how talented he was.
J-Love feat. Tragedy, Trife Da God & Killa Sha – ‘One Hand Wash The Other’
Tragedy feat. Killa Sha – ‘Mind State’
DJ Muggs & Planet Asia feat. Killa Sha – ‘Pain Is Language’ [Alchemist Remix]
Thorotracks feat. Killah Priest & Killa Sha – ‘Wavin’ The Pen’
Killa Sha feat. Foul Monday – ‘Foul & Foe’
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