By JASON CHEAH
Legendary Malaysian deejay, Najee Abdullah, 50, passed away from lung cancer on April 13 in Kuala Lumpur. He had four children.
Najee, born in Malacca, was also known by his stage name G Funk. Najee’s career spanned deejaying, recording and broadcasting.
He had played an important role in redefining local dance music culture in the late 1980s by championing the new R&B/hip hop phenomenon and New Jack Swing sound in Malaysian clubs.
Najee was a Michael Jackson impersonator in his younger days in Malacca. He moved to KL in the late 1980s.
The aspiring deejay trained under Jakeman, and started his club career alongside him, at Traxx and then Baze at Wisma Central in KL.
Najee, who swiftly rose as one of the headlining deejay names in the then fledgling hip-hop scene in Malaysia, steadily moved from the club scene and went on to recordings and organising urban music events.
Najee was part of pioneer hip-hop group Krash Kozz’s second line-up in the early 1990s, which featured Noramin (DJ Moshi Moshi) and Joe Siva. The group, signed to independent music label Valentine Sound Productions (VSP), recorded its third album New Jack The Streetbeat in 1993 with this line-up, featuring Najee on vocals.
Through the years, Najee continued to create productions, remixes and mix-tapes inspired by the very building blocks of funk, soul, classic R&B and disco. In recent years, he also took on house and techno music.
Najee, better known as G Funk in the clubbing circles, played at legendary dance clubs in the Klang Valley, including Baze, 11LA, Modesto’s and Zouk.
On the airwaves, Najee had been a major presence, with some 20 years of airtime stints on Time Highway Radio, Radio Rediffusion, Traxx FM and Red 104.9 up until the end of last year.