Today the Malaysian music scene sadly lost one of its pioneering DJ’s Gabriel Mustaqim or as he was lately known as Jeneral Kai.
I would like to thank him for introducing me to a world of music that made a substantial difference in my sound when I was a radio broadcaster back in the 90’s. I had this idea of doing a show called “Funky Fridays”, so my brother Zak took me to Gabriel’s “Singles Shoppe”, (they were, in their patois, “bros”) which was a treasure trove of mixing equipment and music. I remember going giddy when he introduced Tupac Shakur to me. That show had people calling me up saying they didn’t want to work and just wanted to dance. Thanks in huge part to the music that Gabriel had in his shop. Soon after, he became such a big name, and we would go to the clubs he was playing at, like groupies.
He is symbolic of the 90’s in KL where there was a confident vibe, and attitude was everything. Time Out UK once voted KL the fourth best place to party in the world in the late 90’s. I like to think he played a big role in that.
It’s incredible how a friendship can be based simply on music. My last conversation with him was way back in 2013, when I asked him to remix a couple of Rihanna songs just for fun, and to give it that Gabriel touch.
He passed away yesterday from complications from an asthma attack, which led to a discovery of kidney issues, soon after which he slipped into a coma.
Gabriel, thank you for the music. I end this tribute with some words from Tupac, which is so fitting for Gabriel, as it would be the kind of thing he would say.
“Dear momma don’t cry, your baby boy’s doin’ good / Tell the homies I’m in heaven and they ain’t got hoods”
— Tupac Shakur, Thugz Mansion