Godfather of South Auckland Hip Hop Ermehn has sadly passed away

Godfather of South Auckland Hip Hop Ermehn has sadly passed away

Rest in peace Otara OG
19 July 2023 1:43PM

Rapper and former Otara Millionaires Club (OMC) member Herman Joseph Loto Sakaria, better known as Ermehn, sadly passed away yesterday, saddening whānau and fans around NZ.

The cause of death has not been confirmed, but it has been revealed that died overnight in Australia where he lived with his family. 

The rapper was dubbed the Godfather of South Auckland hip hop, and was one of the pioneers that shaped the genre in Aotearoa.

Tributes from close friends and fans have been flowing. 

Close friend DJ Sivere paid tribute to the "Otara OG", sharing a photo of them together.

He wrote:

"I don’t really know what to say. Otara OG. Glad we got to document your journey on the podcast and RnV won’t be the same without seeing your face on the barrier. Rest easy" DJ Sivere wrote. 

Ermehn's son Rhyme honoured his late father with a tribute highlighting  how great and selfless his dad was.

He recalled being a five year old and going to a fight venue together to watch his dad fight for the first time. 

"I remember the rush I felt when Dad walked out. He strided happily into the ring. He was strong, he was my hero. I was shocked. I couldnt believe it. For a moment I felt like the only person in the room."

"My Dad put up his best but he got the shit beaten out of him that night. I didnt know it at the time but my Dad had taken a crazy fight against an opponent that that nobody wanted to compete against".

"I remember being in the locker room with him afterwards. He had some ice on his head with a blackeye but I felt okay because he was still smiling and laughing. I then remember a man in a suit handing him an envelope full of money, the man said something along the lines of "Thanks for fighting him Bro we couldnt find anyone else who would do it". I will never forget this. Only in hindsight do I realise. He did it for us, he did it so he could pay the bills and keep us afloat during hard times. A man who would risk his life to provide for us. This was the kind of man my Father was."

K'Lee also told us about the impact Ermehn had on her, and said his passing had acted as an important reminder to her. 

"For me Herman is a reminder to give credit where credit is due, and to acknowledge and pay homage to those who have set the paths for us to walk - even if they're not doing it anymore, tell them when they're alive how grateful you are," - K'Lee 

It's never easy to lose a legend, Ermehn will forever be remembered and his legacy will continue to live on.