When the news of the death of popular Nepali rapper Yama Buddha was released on January 14, it took only minutes for music community, other artistes as well as his fans to take to social media and mourn the rap icon.
The 29-year-old rapper was found dead in the bathroom of his residence in South Harrow, London on January 14. The news first came as a shock to many as they found it hard to believe in the beginning.
“Loss of a great talent RIP Yama Buddha(Anil bhai)…Im still shocked….,” singer Nabin K Bhattarai posted on his Facebook page. Actress Priyanka Karki wrote, “I really hope you call or text and say ‘Its all fake. Im okay. Im fine…’ I do not want to believe that you are no more!”
Amid such posts on social media, his family source in Kathmandu on January 15 confirmed that his dead body was found in his bathroom.
“His body was taken out by police officials in the morning. We can’t say what actually had happened to him until the postmortem report is out. The postmortem will be done on January 18 and the result will be released on the same day,” informed the family source on condition of anonymity.
On January 14, BBC Nepali Service reported that the hip-hop-artiste had committed suicide. But the family source declined to comment on “whether it is a case of suicide or not.”
However, the source added, “His father (Ambika Prasad Adhikari) is in Kathmandu. His mother Urmila Adhikari and sisters Anita and Asmita Adhikari will arrive here from Australia on January 16. After their arrival, we will decide on who will fly to London.”
The body of the deceased artiste is currently kept at Northwick Park Hospital, Harrow in northwest London. “He had been living in London with his wife and was working at Royal Mail Service in there,” the family source added.
Anil Adhikari, popular with his stage name Yama Buddha, was born in Salakpur, Morang in 1987. One of the famous rappers of Nepal, his songs reflect social problems like girls’ trafficking, problems of street children, et cetera prevalent in Nepali society.
Yama Buddha rose to fame with his hit numbers like Saathi, Footpath Mero Ghar, Yo Prasanga, Didi, Antya Ko Suruwat, Mero Juttama, Aaudaichu Ma,and Aama among others. And as per his last tweet on January 11, his “new album Khatara is coming soon”.
Rapper Nirnaya Da NSK recalled him as “a humble and down-to-earth” person. Remembering his first meeting with Yama Buddha in 2006, he shared, “When I met him for the first time I felt he was a talented artiste. We did ‘Rap Battle’ together. He came in my radio shows too. There are only a handful rap artistes in Nepal. Demise of such a talented artiste is a great loss to the Nepali music industry.”
Nepali hip-hop community was “a great fa” of Yama Buddha who made “appealing and heart touching songs” according to another rap artiste Girish Khatiwada. “We had performed on same stage in an education fair few years ago. I feel like losing a member of my family,” he added.
Along with making music, Yama Buddha also conducted workshops and mentored aspiring rappers in different events of rap music. One of his students was artiste Prechya Bajracharya, who shared, “He was my mentor in Raw Barz. He had also conducted a workshop.”
Recalling Yama Buddha’s love for music, she mentioned, “He was very passionate about hip-hop music. It won’t be wrong to call him a legend of Nepali hip-hop music. And he created space for the new rappers too.”
A version of this article appears in print on January 16, 2017 of The Himalayan Times.