Last weekend, we were shocked to learn about the death of Cadet (Underrated Legend), who was killed after his taxi collided with another vehicle while driving him to a gig at Keele University in Staffordshire.
The 28-year-old rapper from south London, whose real name was Blaine Johnson, was developing a reputation thanks to his passionate freestyles which pushed personal narrative and storytelling over catchy hooks.
After news of the rapper’s death broke in the early hours of Saturday morning, tributes began pouring in on social media, including from his cousin, Krept (of Krept and Konan) and Stormzy:
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Your last words to me were literally “Just know i love you, for real for real” and i am so happy that was our last convo. I am so so broken right now cuz. I love you and i am so proud of you. You finally started getting the recognition you deserved. And to everyone just so you know he actually felt the love and recognition and he was so grateful for it. The cleanest hearted person. We would literally do anything for each other. Rest up cuzzy. I will keep your name alive until my last breath. Love you cuz❤️?? Long Live @callmecadet
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Look at what everyone is saying about you, I proper don’t even know what to type this feels mad weird. I was gonna write a long speech about how I met you and what you’ve done for me but where does man start. Everyone loves you look at what everyone has to say about your heart and character. This guy ALWAYS, as in literally every single time I see him greets me with a “I love you lil bro”, the last few times we’ve seen each other that’s all we say, we haven’t even caught up, man just sees you and you say you know I love you lil bro and I say bro from early I love you. This guy has saved my arse when I was dead broke and made it a duty to let me know you’ve got my back, like that’s all you say and remind me. IThis man exudes love. I can’t even explain how clean hearted you are, look what you mean to everyone. No one will ever forget you big bro, words can’t do anything justice right now but rest in peace to the absolute REALEST and I can say that with my hand on my heart. Love you bro ????
On Sunday, fans gathered in Hyde Park to remember Cadet. His mother, who was in attendance, told the crowd: “I’m so proud that his music has touched you in whatever way, enough for you to come out….It gives me so much pleasure.”
Krept also spoke at the memorial, where he urged the crowd to resolve any issues they had with loved ones before it was too late. He and Cadet fell out when they were younger but had recently made up and released new music together.
“I am so glad that me and him were able to resolve our situation before this happened,” he said. “If I didn’t it would’ve eaten me up for the rest of my life.”
There were also numerous tributes from Muslim voices across social media. Cadet converted to Islam as a teenager and his relationship with the faith was often a prominent theme in his music.
In the wake of his death, there was some discussion about the role of Cadet’s music in light of his religion. However, this energy was soon channeled toward a GoFundMe page set up in Cadet’s honour:
Rather than beefing on whether music is haram, refocus your energy. If you’re not going to donate, go Hyde park, if not then make Du’a/ pray. Today really humbled me so im doing this for Cadet and the sake of Allah with the hope that when I leave this world he is pleased with me. https://t.co/2lmKBo94SC
— Buki kekeré ?????? (@Bukikekere) February 9, 2019
The GoFundMe hoped to raise money to build a well as a tribute to Cadet. The idea was based on the principal of Sadaqah Jariyah. As the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said: “When a man dies, then his good deeds stop except for three: a Sadaqah Jariyah (continuous charity), a beneficial knowledge, or a righteous child who prays for him.”
Once finished, the well will fulfill Sadaqah Jariyah by representing how Cadet continues to help others even though he has passed.
At the time of writing, the GoFundMe has already surpassed its £2,600 target.
In the past few years, Grime has arguably set the tone for mainstream music in the UK, shaping popular culture and becoming immensely competitive in the process. While Cadet may not have been a household name, his deeply introspective lyrics meant he stood out from a lot of his contemporaries. He was going to be big.
We wanted to end by sharing a clip of one of our favourite Cadet freestyles, where he touches on everything from his journey in Islam to his fraught relationship with his father:
Rest In Peace.