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“’Hip-hop and Freedom’ what a beautiful song title it can be hey, We are free to use music express ourselves. Freedom in using hip-hop has allowed us to take our culture of Hip-Hop to greater heights. Look at South African Hip-Hop right now, it has brought us to levels with other genres like Kwaito and house. 22years later we still shining. I, as DJ BigRome, who love Hip-Hop still feel we are missing something which we can call our own. The likes of Bugzito, Motso, Boywonder, and Blakely are still keeping it real. Even so now what’s also missing is radio stations to free us from the death they giving us by not playing our music.” - DJ BigRome - Hip-Hop DJ & Entrepreneur.

“Freedom means the ability to remember and to return to our true Selves. For me, freedom is the eradication of external rule and the return of inner higher Self to that realm of authority and guidance. The ability to recognise, ‘Greater is s/he within me than s/he that’s in the world’. Freedom is finding peace in the silence and happiness in the immaterial. Freedom is the ability to recognise greatness and limitless-divinity within Self and others, devoid of fear and insecurity. Freedom is being able to do what I love, being with those I love. Taking time out to appreciate nature, space and the essence of being. Freedom is the ability to be me. In all my forms, expressions and manifestations. Hip Hop to me is the Mothership. It is the portal toward truer living. Its a living culture and lifestyle. A platform of sensual, educative, developmental and emotional expression. It’s boombap, it’s trap, it’s classical it’s new age, it’s ever-evolving. It’s the 5 major elements- Dj’n, MC’n, B-Boying, Graffiti and Beat boxing. It’s a blend of musical forms, a hybrid grandchild of its predecessor genres. It’s attitude. It’s rebellion. It’s a form of social protest. It’s love. It’s family. It’s playing the games we never stopped loving as children.” - Lex La Foy – Emcee & Hip-Hop Artist

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Introduction South Africa When America coughs, the whole world sneezes. “The US dollar is used in most international transactions, so it stands to reason that anything that happens with the US economy will affect international finances in a substantial way”. That is the influence that America has on the world, once their economy comes crashing down, we all suffer, pretty hectic huh? But this is not an economics lesson. I have come to realize that it is not only with the economy [That what America does affects us all], but with almost everything else. America decides what is hot and what is not. They tell us what to listen to, and what not to listen to. America points and we all follow suit. They cough, we sneeze. South Africa is a major victim of that, we suffer from what I call a ‘FOLLOW AMERICA SYNDROME’. A victim, according to Chika Onyeani’s ‘Capitalist Niger’, is one who accepts that s/he is powerless and that leads to negative behaviours, such as: • • • •

Allowing others to define one Giving up one’s self-esteem and accepting one’s inferiority Placing responsibly for one’s development on others Taking no positive action to improve one’s situation

Now, this has been preached over and over again, how we have adopted so much of the Western Culture, that ours are in danger of becoming extinct, how we follow everything they do, even that which is considered ours will not be labelled “cool enough” until an American does it. I think it is time we turned. It is time we defined ourselves. It is time we found our own voice. It is time we went back to OUR roots. We need to stop underestimating the wealth of our own wisdom. Why is it that we think so little of ourselves? Note how Nigeria gets recognition from the USA, and how they keep winning at the BET Awards, and we don’t. That is because of their originality, Nigerian artists have their own voice, their own sound. They did not go to America with a replica of the American sound. Why would one buy into something that is an exact image of their product? What do we have? We have so much, we just need to look closely and capitalize on that. It is great to be inspired, but to be influenced is another. Yes, Hip-Hop may have originated from the States, but we don’t have to sound like them. We don’t have to look like them. We do not have to sneeze every time they cough. If you cannot create something new, take what already exists, and make it better. I am Nokulunga ‘Dunamis’ Maqubela and welcome to the fifth issue of the newly reformed SAHIPHOPHEADZ Magazine. | 5

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earing the Pro rhyme alongside Mode 9 is like discovering a gold mine. Imagine the worth of the flows you gonna find with thoughts in it my songs iller than Stephen Sondheim”. That was the first time I heard his name, on ProVerb’s hit single titled ‘ProMode’. Modenine is a renowned, award-winning Hip Hop artist from Lagos, Nigeria. Born in London as Babatunde Olusegun Adewale, Modenine has made a name for himself in this music game we have come to love so dearly. It is his flow, punchlines, wordplay and lyrical prowess that has cemented his place in African Hip Hop history as one of the best emcee’s to come out of the continent. Widely considered one of Africa’s most gifted lyricists, Modenine has amassed a number of awards including three Channel O Awards in 2006 and a record breaking seven Nigerian Hip-Hop Awards for ‘Best Lyricist’. We conducted an interview with this legend and this is how it went down. Who is Modenine and how did the name come about? Modenine is a Nigerian Hip-Hop personality, part time producer, studio engineer and content provider. I got the name back when I was in school because of the unique way I handled a scientific calculator. How did you get into Hip-Hop and how has the journey been? I can say Hip-hop got into me, I loved it from the very first time I heard it. I think my big sister brought home a cassette tape that had some rapping in it, and that was it. I was hooked. When I heard Big daddy Kane and Rakim, I became a fiend. The journey has been very rough, but it is all about positivism and progress and I am pushing on regardless. All they want to hear is dance tracks, 120bpm or 140bpm trap music. In 2016 I am still trying to educate folks about the culture because some people here have an on and off switch. They flip it on when they think it is cool, for example a Jay Electronica comes to Nigeria and people around him try to talk like they know what he is all about hahaha and when he goes they flip it off and say hip-hop aint selling. With seven studio albums and five mix-tapes to your credit, what keeps the fire burning? As a young lad I have always been very stubborn. When I put my mind to something, I do it. I can’t stand people who always talk about making music and never

do it. I just stay focused and I am blessed to have a whole bunch of talented beat makers from all over the world sending me Hip-Hop heat. I really think I am driven to record projects by the beats. If i get a new batch of beats today, I can write to all of them and record in about three to four days. I get inspired by watching movies, sports and reading. I have read an article online saying that you and ProVerb are working on a joint Album, is there any truth in that? Yeah, we kinda talked about it and it might go down but your dude is mad busy with the idols project but hey, let’s see what happens. I’d be honoured to work on a joint album with him. With a record breaking seven awards for ‘Best Lyricist’, does that make you the best lyricist on the continent? Hahaha, I don’t look at it that way. If you ask anybody close to me, they’ll tell you that I am not all about the hype. I really do this for real. I just love writing clever verses sometimes the lines can go over people’s heads for years then one day it hits them like a wrecking ball. I reference history, sports, chemistry, physics, biology, martial arts, construction and a whole lot of stuff. I’m actually addicted to watching documentaries they are really good for knowledge expansion. In the song ‘Hip Hop Is Me’ with ProVerb, you talk about being ‘the survivors of those who studied HipHop from the cultural point of view and survived’. How does the diluted expression of Hip-Hop make you feel? Hip-Hop has to evolve but it kinda morphed into a lame sing song genre for the most part. I can’t complain because there’s a lot of dope emcee’s still spitting and putting out albums. Kendrick won a bunch of Grammy’s, so I guess lyricism is winning, kinda! How do you feel about the current state of the Hip-Hop in Africa? There is good Hip-Hop in Africa. I relate and stay in-touch with a whole bunch of guys from South Africa, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Ghana, Tanzania, Botswana, Zambia and Malawi with whom I have done some dope collaborations with. Those are the ones that see with their third eye. The mainstream has a lot of horrible sounding music, I can’t lie but when I watch some videos these-days I feel like throwing up, just a handful manage to pull it off though. | 7

Your last album, AGL, was rated an average album because you decided to go commercial, would you say that is a fair view? AGL means “above ground level”. I have been widely criticized, boxed up and black balled for making boom-bap sounding music. The versatile rapper in me had to show them that I can kill any beat, and I did. With the broken English single from AGL titled ‘Dobale’, it was a hit in Nigeria and also the dancehall joint ‘I See’ which features Ice Prince, I got a lot of flak for doing it. But people forgot that a London boy like me started off doing DanceHall, hahaha. Those were just singles, THE ALBUM was above average. It had a lot of hard songs, even Canibus featured on the Teck-Zilla produced ‘Superhuman’. People were chatting shit because they didn’t listen to everything, and by the way I planned that album since 2006. It’s a once off, let’s call it “my failed demo for the industry”. I promised my core fan base that I won’t go that far trying to mix it up, if only they can show more love and support because they too have failed in that aspect, you get me? A man has to survive and it’s hard out here in these streets. What does 2016 hold for Modenine music wise? I’m always doing different things, projects with different schemes, that’s what keeps me afloat the unpredictable nature of my music. INSULIN will drop this year, so will HENCEFORTH. I also have an untitled project with Nigerian Canadian based produder Teckzilla dropping this year. And, lastly, watch out for Polimaf radio Podcast . Please list your top 5 emcees to have ever come out of Africa. In no particular order: Mizchif ( Zim ), Proverb (SA), Reggie Rockstone (Ghana ), Tumi (SA) and Mr Baron from SWATROOT (Nigeria).

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“my failed demo for the industry”

“Freedom is being able to be yourself 100 %, freedom is being able to let the inner you flourish in the outside...As an artist, i see Hip Hop as my canvas where i can have the glimpse of freedom in terms of expressing my emotions, my ideas, my thoughts, even to tell stories, as i paint the pictures through words in a form of rhythm and poetry, whether negative or positive influences that i was raised around at as an African male #SAHipHopHeadz”. - Mal G BigMal Moya

“Freedom is the state of being free or at liberty rather than in confinement or under physical restraint. Exemption from external control, interference, regulation, deciding without having to consult a single soul. Hip-hop or rap is a music genre that consists of a stylized rhythmic music that commonly accompanies rapping, a rhythmic and rhyming speech that is chanted. It developed as a culture, a subculture defined by four key stylistic elements: MCing/rapping, DJing/scratching, break dancing, and graffiti writing. Other elements include sampling, synthesis), and beat boxing”. - Driftboy Kld

“I believe freedom and hip hop are synonymous. I believe that hip hop gives us the opportunity to express ourselves and be free. Some of us only experience true freedom when we step into studio to make music.” - Silas Beats – Music Production Genius | 9

“I do feel the lyrical side of Hip-Hop is lacking but I’m watching it come to life again through artists such as Kwesta even Kid X and of course myself” 10 |


he’s without a doubt gorgeous and bold with funky and huge hair. Most importantly though, she is one prolific lyricist, hard to believe she only started rapping three years ago at the age of 19. You think ‘Rouge’, you think ‘red’, or the dictionary meaning ‘reddish makeup for cheeks’ and when asked if her plan is to light up the industry she replies “very much so, it’s time to bring ‘colour’ to this game”. Deko BarbaraJessica Wedi, widely known as Rouge, is a young and upcoming rapper with one simple aspiration: to become the best female emcee in Africa. Rouge was born and raised in Pretoria to Congolese parents and always dreamt of becoming a performer as she started singing at a tender age of 6 and by the time she was 12 she had already started song writing. The Drama and Film graduate from University of Pretoria draws inspiration from Lauryn Hill and Kanye West. Rouge recently graduated with a degree in Film and Drama at University of Pretoria and when asked how this fits in her journey as a rapper/musician she says “it helps with everything really; stage presence, interviews and even acting in videos”. Word on the street is Rouge killed Bigstar Johnson on ‘Mi Caroza’ and Nomoozlie on ‘Mbongo-Zaka’ and went toe-to-toe with arguably one of best lyricist in the country, Reason, on ‘Bua’. Even though the conclusion is not decided on ‘Baddest Remix’, many would ask if this is reason enough to declare her as the SA Rap Queen. “[Laughing] I don’t know about ‘killed’ but best believe I make it a point to stand out with my verses” she continues. Rouge’s new hit single Mbongo-Zaka which means ‘money’ has been causing havoc lately and it is not for featuring the glamorous Nomoozlie but for her lyrical performance. This is one song that symbolise how 2016 is going to be her takeover year. She explains further about the song and the title: “it’s about becoming a boss”.

Rouge’s debut single titled ‘Party’ which was a huge success, as it reached the number 1 spot on the highly popular 5FM hip hop show ‘The Stir Up’ hosted by Ms Cosmo. The single was also placed on high rotation on various radio stations across Africa. Rouges’ tremendous vocal execution and punch lines has definitely won her fans of many hip hop lovers and versatility cannot be ignored with compositions combining elements of rap, dance, hip hop and punk. It was her singing on AKA’s ‘Baddest Remix’ that people saw her artistry and this is a lane she is following in her completion of her upcoming album. “It’s definitely not just a Hip-Hop album. Singing, features with artist in different genres, incorporating my Congolese traditional sounds, different languages etc. It’s dropping in August; be ready!” she says about her untitled album. The game has been changing a lot lately, with a lot of rappers making the most money as Hip-Hop has been on the forefront of South African Music, hence a clean sweep at the 2016 Metro FM Awards. Rouge shares her thoughts on this rapid growth “I think it’s a beautiful thing. The culture is evolving and can only get better from here”. We can applaud this progress, it is fully deserved. But, ‘lyricism’ is a huge ingredient of this music genre we have come to love and it saddens us that some artists forget about it when they step into the booth. Rouge shares her views “I do feel the lyrical side of Hip-Hop is lacking but I’m watching it come to life again through artists such as Kwesta even Kid X and of course myself”. When Rouge is asked if she has learned all there is to learn about rapping “not even close. I’m a baby to this game. I have a lot to learn and that’s exciting”. Having started rapping just yesterday, it is fair that Rouge is still growing in the game and how refreshing it is that she is sounding ‘hella dope’ already and will definitely get better and better and make us ‘bua’ about her skills with reason. | 11

Introducing a brilliant ‘Heartist’


ihlali “M2KaNE” Tukani was born and raised in the humble city of East London where he lived until varsity beckoned and he had to move to Port Elizabeth where he has been based for the last five years.

M2KaNE’s music career began in 2008 when his rap crew, CliQ-OteR, was born and flourished. M2KaNE says that the move to Port Elizabeth taught him a lot about independence and after starting out as only a rapper he taught himself how to produce, mix and master. On the 31st August 2015 he dropped a project titled ‘The Heartist’s EP’, exclusively produced by Adrian “Silasbeats” Silas. The Jo’burg based East London producer linked up with M2KaNE to provide a deeply intrinsic and introspective sound that serves to show the listener how much he is exploring himself through his music. The thought triggering artistry portrayed here questions the essence of all he valued in life and how much it matters to him. SAHipHopHeadZ caught up with this talented & insightful genius of an emcee and talked about his journey thus far while picking his brilliant brain. 12 |

Please break down your stage name, M2KaNE, for us. Originally I was referred to as the ‘IceMan’ due a very subdued demeanour I had about me in my High School days and to be honest it has sort of stuck to me to this day, both the name and the demeanour, hahaha. ‘M2KaNE’ however is a name I gave myself due to, firstly how common I thought the name ‘IceMan’ was and secondly, and most importantly, not only how unique my current stage name is but because of how it was actually taken from my full birth name. The logic behind it is a Hip-Hop way of saying my name so through analysis of my name you will be able to identify where my stage name comes from. Having started music in 2008, how has the journey been so far and what would you say has been your highlight thus far? It has been eventful, extremely eventful like any journey really. Stemming from my days with ‘CliQ-OteR’ to the birth of the ‘O.T.E Artistry’ to where we all are now, so much has happened. It has been more behind the scenes really, as we have aggressively carved our craft into shape, be it through penmanship, production or the broader art of song writing. We have all worked hard at it and this helps us provide our listeners with some excellent music. The ‘O.T.E Artistry’ hosting its very own event last year has to be the highlight for me. Individually I have worked with some impressive artists like Ginger Breadman

and MarazA, but the way the Artistry was able to unite as a cohesive unit and bring all that we embody to life on that night will stay with me for the rest of my life. What are some of the challenges that you had to surpass? There are so many challenges artists, especially Hip-Hop artists, face in this country. The most glaring and important I have faced really is how people find it extremely difficult to vindicate the value they place in artists. It doesn’t matter really whether it is monetary, verbal or social support. The most inroads are through verbal support but these things work in unison and most will talk about your music but not be willing to financially invest in it, some will financially invest but will not really share or talk about your music. What I have noticed is that no one really supports you until you are established, essentially a time when you no longer really need it as much as you did, and this goes for listeners, fellow artists and promoters. This is my 5th year in Port Elizabeth and my first pay cheque from a performance came in the 5th one, when I think about how seriously I present myself as an artist who genuinely wants to make a living off of his craft I immediately see how difficult it is to be an artist nowadays.

question I am constantly asking myself: Do I determine the value of my artistry through the admiration of others or do I find it mine? You asked me how well it was received which was great and it meant a lot to me but is that adoration and praise more important than the quite incredible process of bringing that music to life? That’s what I don’t really know yet and I am trying to establish and the best way I feel of doing that is through the music so expect a series of audible thoughts highlighting that mental journey that I am currently on. The industry can be a cruel game, what kind of a plan do you have to make a career out of Hip-Hop music? he frustrations of being in obscurity as an artist led me to teach myself a lot about the industry and the ideology that it is a cruel game is very true, it is thus imperative to educate yourself as an artist so that you aware of the dangers. The most important thing is to be innovative and pioneer ways of burning a hole in the game and we at ‘The Artistry’ pride ourselves on that. It’s all about consistency and patience and we at O.T.E have both in abundance.

Do you have any plans of quitting your 9 to 5 and fully focus on the game? Hahaha not yet, might have plans of How would you describe your sound? relocation but nothing like that yet but who I always find it difficult to answer this knows what the future holds, we’ll have to question because I can’t really describe wait and see. what type of music I make. I can only really tell you what it is like and I bring Which artists and producers would an intense, truthful feel whenever I make you like to work with? music. It varies from time to time but that Kendrick Lamar, I’d love to one day has to be the most enduring trait to my work with Kendrick Lamar, that would sound, maybe I am yet to find my sound or be a massive honour. I have a number of find the words to describe it I don’t really producers though Timbo, Kaytranada, know, I guess time will tell. West, 40 but locally it has to be Wichi 1080, a monstrosity of a producer. What is a heartist? It stems from ‘Heartistry’ which is my What does 2016 have in store for you? way of describing a deeply passionate, A full mixtape will be dropping in December. powerful and almost volatile portrayal of art, Heartfelt Artistry. This embodies everything that I am as an artist and ‘The Heartist’ is my idea of the personification of those traits. How has The Heartist EP been received and what does it symbolise? I am humbled to say that listeners were very impressed with it and I have to extend a massive thank you to Adrian Silas for all he did on that project, it all came to life quite well and it signals the start of a deep intrinsic exploration period for me. This question is actually quite conveniently structured as this EP symbolizes a

Facebook: M2KaNE Instagram: m2kan3 Twitter: @M2KaN3 Soundcloud: /M2KaN3 YouTube: M2KaNE TV | 13


he theory of evolution states that modern organisms are descendants of ancient organisms and that modification accumulated over time explain the apparent changes and differences among modern forms of life. All organisms share a common ancestor, we are all under one umbrella, with our differences of course. Hip Hop (the umbrella) has different elements, namely; rapping or MCing, graffiti, breakdancing, and DJing. Hip Hop is a culture, it is a lifestyle. With all these elements, one I will be focusing on is ‘rapping’ or ‘MCing’. What is a rapper? What is an MC? Is there any difference between the two? If so, what is the difference?

“spoken or chanted rhyming lyrics. The components of rapping include ‘content’, ‘flow’, and “delivery”. Rapping is distinct from spoken-word poetry on that it is performed in time to a beat” Hip hop heads argue that there is a difference, and the new kids, well, don’t see or know any difference at all, most of them. This question causes a stir within the hip hop society. Everyone can rap, but 14 |

not everyone can MC. Who are the modern organisms, and who are the ancient descendants. Google defines rapping as “spoken or chanted rhyming lyrics. The components of rapping include “content”, “flow”, and “delivery”. Rapping is distinct from spoken-word poetry on that it is performed in time to a beat”. Whereas the term “emcee” is derived from the abbreviation M.C, it is short for “Master of Ceremonies”, and also implies “Move the Crowd”. An MC is a person who raps to inspire people with intelligible, concise and riveting content. MCs take their game to the next level. They contort words and flows in ways few would dare. They take time to actually make their words count. There are MCs creating art and contributing to the culture and then there are rappers who are packaged products of record labels who are contributing to their own coffers with little regard for contributing to the artform and its evolution. They are both fighters but the degree and depth of their skill is very different. Think Tumi and Da Les, what is the difference between the two? Now you know.

Nokulunga ‘Dunamis’ Maqubela [@Dunamis23] | 15

I look at this young man and I think of a saying ‘fortune favours the brave’ because what South Africa has in Tweezy is a rare diamond that even though it is rough, and yet to be fully polished, it shines the brightest. Some believe in luck but when you are this talented, things will just fall into place. You might not have heard the name Tweezy before, which is highly unlikely, but I can bet my last dime that you have been pumping the super hits that he helped create. Born Tumelo Mathebula in Soweto, Tweezy has definitely taken the South African HipHop music industry and made it his playing ground in the shortest amount of time. At 23 years old he has managed to have 8 of the singles he produced to be nominated at the recent Metro FM Awards. It is always intriguing to find out how these artists, especially Hip-Hop artists, got their ‘artistic’ names and Tumelo breaks down ‘Tweezy’ for us with humour: “It was extracted from ‘N-Tweezy’, which was extracted from ‘N-20’. ‘N-20’ is a name I got in high school when I was in grade eight. I wore a jacket with the letter ‘N’ on the left side and the number 20 on the right side of the jacket throughout orientation week so that’s how people at school identified me. The name stuck with me till matric [laughing]”.

“winning any award means that there is an increase to your brand value and such awards or accolades help you determine how much your music is worth” 16 |

Tweezy started producing while still in High School in 2008 after being introduced to Fruity Loops 3 and went on to work with the biggest of artists from Chad Da Don, Kwesta, Dream Team, Kid X, to the sensational singer Bucie. This was of course after he worked with the Supa Mega AKA, the achievement that he calls his “biggest breakthrough”. He says of his early years: “that year [2008] I met up with my close friends Butho, Shakes, Eliston, Ejay, Sabastian and Lerato to form a crew called ‘Ghetto Prophecy’. The music we put out into the industry with that group was my introduction into the music industry. My biggest breakthrough was when I worked with AKA after successfully creating a song

with ‘The Fraternity’ (Bheka Mina Ngedwa) and one of the members gave me AKA’s number to try and send music to”. Tweezy says that the greatest stand out in his production skills is how versatile his sound is as well as always finding a way to make it sound indigenous. When asked what sets him apart from a whole lot of other producers he said: “I am a very talented youngin, but what sets me apart from the other producer is how dedicated I am to the craft and how hard working I am when it comes to achieving my goals”. Tweezy has produced Hip-Hop hits such as AKA’s ‘Run Jozi’ ft. K.O, ‘All Eyes on Me’ ft. Burna Boy, JR and Da LES, ‘Sim Dope’, L-Tido’s ‘Dlala Ka Yona’, Dreamteam’s ‘What’s Your Name’ ft. Donald and Naak Musiq, DJ Sliqe’s ‘iLife’ and Chad Da Don’s ‘iVibe’, just to name a few. When asked to clarify the difference between a beat maker and a producer he started by saying “it is simple”. He added by saying “a beat maker just composes the instrumental. A producer directs the song: pitches the instrumental to the right artists, directs how the artist should deliver the verses and chorus on the song, arranges the song and also could add compositions to the song to take it where it needs to go”. And with that, you just got schooled. The reigning South African Hip-Hop Awards Producer of the Year says the winning the award was a “great feeling”. When asked what the award means to his brand he says “winning any award means that there is an increase to your brand value and such awards or accolades help you determine how much your music is worth”.

expect more of his raps. The question on many people’s thumbs is if there is any kind of pressure from the likes of producer and rapper Nasty C or if it something he has been working on. And to clarify this Tweezy says that he has always wanted to be an artist. “I have always wanted to be an artist. I just figured if I introduced myself as an artist simultaneously as a producer then the people would be confused and overwhelmed on supporting what I have to offer. I just dropped my first single of many as an artist and I feel this time I have a better chance of breaking out as an artist because of the successful year I’ve had as a producer” says Tweezy. To create this awesome music Tweezy uses a 17” MacBook Pro with bootcamp for Windows OS, FL Studio 11 with VSTs and Soundkits, M Audio 49key midi keyboard and M Audio 5” monitors. Tweezy says that he is fascinated of how the game is growing into bigger heights as far as the standard is concerned and the fact that we have so much more potential in terms of the new artists and producers. When asked to share some of his wisdom with kids trying to make it big he said that “what I have learnt in the game is that an upcoming musician needs to learn as much as they can about the music industry to know what kind of moves to make as a producer artist or [a] brand. Also, I have learnt that building a good working network brings you closer to achieving your goals at a shorter space of time”.

Tweezy says that he would like to work with other artists in different genres to improve and maximize his versatility and music experience and says that 2016 will be a great year for him as an artist and a well exposed brand. He concluded the interview by saying “Tweezy will, God Earlier in the year Tweezy surprised many willingly, be the best newcomer this year”. by picking up the mic and started rapping. To be honest, most people were shocked as the single got mixed reaction. We all know that as a producer Tweezy is talented and as for his raps I guess it is too early to tell. Tweezy says that we should definitely | 17

FORTUNE If you are a post 90s generation or have no idea what real Hip-Hop is about, you can move right along to the next page, this one is not for you kids. Stay, if you want to acquire some wisdom and life lessons.


ortune Masina, a veteran in the game [you will probably recognize the surname] launched his debut album ‘Abomrapper’ (a collaboration series) in 2004, which introduced the likes of Kabomo and Clint Brink to the music 18 |

“Hip-Hop has given me the life I have, without Hip-Hop, I wouldn’t be who I am”

scene. He then went away for a while, I’ll rephrase that, he went away for a decade, [YES! 10 YEARS], until he released a follow up album in 2015. I do not know where he was, but wherever he was, must have been good (or bad), whatever it was, ‘Abomrapper2’ was definitely worth the wait. I feel his fans feel fortunate to have been blessed with this masterpiece. “I wanted to make an album that the young wouldn’t necessarily get, because they already have so much, whilst us the older folks don’t. This album caters for my peers, the people who were raised by the 90s music, the first generation of HipHop parents in South Africa, people who still value skill and understand the culture of Hip-Hop. The mature ear, people who aren’t fooled by the brands and the glitz and glam”. Plenty of times we have seen rappers lose their authenticity to the turnup and trends, to appeal to the masses commercially, and in the process turn away from the real rap, but Fortune keeps it real. “Hip-Hop has given me the life I have, without Hip-Hop, I wouldn’t be who I am, it made me think as an entrepreneur, it made me a good writer, it made me tell stories better, and it’s afforded me and my family a luxurious lifestyle. Hip-Hop taught me to think for myself, it taught me that I am worth something, it gave me the confidence to stand up and say, ‘I CAN DO THIS’. Why would I turn around and rape something that has given me so much? ... Selling out? The word itself offends me”. Fortune on staying true to the rap artform: “People like to say it’s what the people want, but the people have nothing else as a reference. So if the guys that are big now really did that boom-bap rap, it would change things, and the same consumer would turn, but no one has the courage to take that knock initially, everybody is afraid of losing the top spot, but it takes courage [to represent the art-form], education, [educate the people what the art-form is], and support. [People want to make everything about themselves, and that’s where you lose. We should get into

the culture of supporting each other, hype each other up, because when we work together, we can never lose]. The young ones need the older people to shed some wisdom, the older people need also the energy of the youth to keep them alive, we don’t rap the same, but the wisdom is always the same”. The rapper is also very strong on family (blood family and chosen family), “At school when my friends spoke about wanting to be accountants and doctors, I wanted to be a family man, I love family”, he says. What’s next for Fortune? A book is on the books, as he will publish one on relationships in the second quarter of 2016, quite suiting as he calls himself a ‘Relationship Realist’. “Don’t think relationships happen by chance, or somebody figures you out, you learn about them, if you want anything to work, you spend time on it. They are so easy to get right, it’s just that none of you want to understand them, you are too much in a rush. Relationships are basic, if you know and love yourself”. He continued to say, “I wanted to have a book that will pose as a big brother to especially young women, because not a lot of them have that open channel with their brothers, some of them don’t even have older brothers, so they go into relationships blindfolded, and they get hurt, and they would like to have a male figure that they can bounce off, somebody who is not trying to sleep with them”. As for ‘Abomrapper3’, we are definitely going to have to wait another 10 years for it, “I won’t take out another album, until I have something new to say”. Fortune will still be putting out stuff and collaborating with other artists though. For now, we can expect ‘Abomrapper2.Live’, which is a live interpretation of Abomrapper 1 & 2.

Written By: Nokulunga ‘Dunamis’ Maqubela @Dunamis23 | 19

FB: A-reece Twitter: @reece_youngking IG: theboydoingthings 20 |

“The boy doing things”. You might have heard, or read that and boy, honesty can never get this truthful. ‘A-Reece’, born Ronald Lehlogonolo Mataboge in Pretoria West in March 1997 and his ambition is very clear and evident. He says “I am a rapper signed under Ambitiouz Records who basically just makes money off making good music which people hopefully can relate to”. A-Reece was taken from his star sign, Aries which was suggested to him by his big brother (P Jay of Benchmarq) because he was fascinated by Astrology. As you know with rappers, simplicity just does not prevail and cool is the name of the game. He said of his name “I spelled it as A-Reece to give it a special name. Above; Reality; Exceptionally; Emotional; Conscious with; Everything. The hyphen was just so it looked cool and have people ask ‘what does the A stand for?’” The ‘boy doing things’ is not just a slogan to A-Reece, as he sees it as his alias as he feels like he never ceases to amaze the people when it comes to the art and because he is always working at getting better as an artist in many ways. He went further to explain this meaning “this slogan is also for the people who have trouble pronouncing or remembering my name, which happens a lot. You might not know or remember THE BOY’s name but you’re most definitely interested in him because he’s DOING THINGS. When it comes to the process of making songs A-Reece says that, ‘THE BOY DOING THINGS’ is the more braggadocios, blatant, cocky, sexual etc. type, you will understand once the album is done and out”. A-Reece draws inspiration from the likes of 50 Cent, Khuli Chana, HHP and AKA. Having started writing at a very young age (while still in Primary School) the teenager has seen and worked a lot for a long time. A-Reece’s claim to fame came with his song ‘Casper Picture’, dedicated to the prima donna Cassper Nyovest. The song created controversy in the game and people got asking “who is this young boy throwing shots at Cassper”. The ‘I couldn’t’ hit maker says that the song had more pros than cons for him and his career and even though he never got a reply. ”No, I didn’t reply. He actually liked the song and tweeted that people should download it on the day of its release”. The boy has been doing this and by the age of 17 he had already released 3 projects, ‘Forever King’ released August 2013, ‘Browniez’ and ‘The best things in life are free’ over 2 years. The ‘Browniez’ EP was released when A-Reece was working with pH,

pH, arguably the best producer in the game which got everyone thinking that he signed to Raw X Productions and with that it would seem a great thing. What went wrong at Raw X Productions is a question on everyone’s mind. When asked the question he coyly said “nothing went wrong. And I never really signed on the dotted line. It was just a co-sign that benefited both of us, I’d like to believe”. Having being bubbling for some time, A-Reece is finally buzzing and his latest song ‘I Couldn’t’ featuring the award winning Emtee pays testament to this. When asked about what has been his stumbling block A-Reece said “just school really. Having folks on your neck about your school books and how important education is was really putting pressure on me. But all of that taught me how to practice patience more than anything”. A-Reece is said to have denied an opportunity to join ‘Ambitiouz Entertainment’ earlier while still in school but he was told to matriculate first and he took this as a blessing in disguise rather than letting it hurt his feelings. “Nah, it did not hurt. It actually encouraged me to work hard on getting good grades, finishing matric and start chasing this dream. It also encouraged me to take the time to think about my life and what I really want for the future”. After matriculating, A-Reece finally went on to join Ambitiouz Entertainment which produced award winning Hip-Hop artists Fifi Cooper and Emtee. A-Reece sees this as the key to his dreams and shares his feeling on finally being signed: “It means a lot. It means I have a proper opportunity to share my craft with the world for it to be embraced. It also means that the game is finally gonna change again, because of me this time”. When Reason was asked as to which four rappers he would take to a lyrical war A-Reece’s name came up, and that a huge deal. The lyricist though remains humble in claiming the crown, just as yet but the plan is simple, to be a great. “I don’t wanna put myself anywhere right now. I’m just experimenting with every department in music. My goal is become a great artist more than just a great rapper” said A-Reece. The lyricist is currently in studio working on his debut album which he is yet to title. “I don’t have a title yet. It’ll come to me when the time’s right. I’m not gonna disclose the features I’m putting on the album. It’s a surprise. But on production you will definitely have RUFF , LUNATIK , TWEEZY and probably even more as time goes”. A-Reece’s plan for 2016 is simple: “Awards, Corporate deals And More Blessings”. | 21


fricans have for some time been asking for a queen and it might be that the prayers fell in the ears of a 6 year old girl listening to TuPac Shakur, Nasir Jones and Missy Elliot. If you are what you eat then your music should be what you listen to, is it not? If that is true, then this young lady is pure greatness. Born Clementina Mulenga in Lusaka (the capital city of Zambia), in June of 1989, Cleo Ice Queen is definitely one of the most gifted female HipHop artists to ever come out of the African soil and she shares the same sentiment “Cleo Ice Queen is the first lady of African Hip-Hop. She is diverse, multi-talented, richly blessed, a go getter and a visionary. She is more than just Hip-Hop, she is music, she is sound!� says the Queen. This fabulous model and reality TV star always make it a point to showcase her versatility and undoubted work ethic every day and you might recognise her as the runner-up of the Big Brother Africa in 2013. Having started performing from a very young age at her own birthday parties, Clementina picked up a mic for the first time at the age of 11 and the only thing she been dropping ever since is bars on bars. After completing her high school in Lusaka Clementina moved to South Africa where she completed her higher education in Business Management at Midrand Graduate Institute. 22 |

From an early age, Cleo has always been aiming for success and superstardom and she never let anything get in her way. She said about her inspirations and aspirations “I got the inspiration to rap from as early as age 6 or 7. Coolio, TuPac, Nas, JayZ, JaRule, DMX, Lil Kim, EVE, Missy Elliot, Lil Bow Wow, Uncle Snoop, they all inspired me. I wanted success. I wanted superstardom. I wanted to be the best. I still do hahaha”. Cleo went on to discuss how modelling and acting fit in her brand “modelling comes in because my face is affiliated with success and luxury and all things good, sugar, spice and everything nice hahaha. So that’s why a lot of brands want to be affiliated with me. Acting I’m yet to fully dabble into but I’m doing a lot of presenting, for TV and radio”. When a house song said, ‘music is an international language spoken and understood by all’, I guess Cleo Ice Queen was listening and took notice and used this to her advantage. Having to cater for both Zambian and South African fans, the question is whether she has to be conscious as to what language to rap in when writing her music and she definitely sees no barrier. She answers “Well I strongly believe music is a universal language. I feel I have no limits”. After years of crafting her craft, it was in December of 2015 when the Queen released her debut album titled ‘GeminIce’, a master piece of a project it has to be said. When asked about how she feels about the album she said “GeminIce is the first ever female Hip-Hop album to be released in Zambia. History was made. Period!”. The lyricist and eye candy also took time to talk about her nomination as the Best Female Artist in the 2016 version of Zambian Music Awards: “it feels great. I put in a lot of work in 2015 so the recognition is much appreciated. A win is all we are hoping for. Credentials, credentials, credentials... it’s the name of the game”. With Hip-Hop growing as a genre in the local market and collaborations across Africa, Cleo has been lucky enough to explore the industry in both South Africa and Zambia. Even though she feels the South African industry is a notch higher, Cleo has decided to go home and be hands on with the industry in her native country. “Well, both industries have grown tremendously. South Africa however takes the cake because it is really booming. And it’s great to see artists that I was on the rise

with excel as well. The likes of Emtee, Nadia Nakai and Gigi LaMayne. They make me so proud and I am also motivated to work harder. I moved back home to Zambia because I felt my role is to propel our industry to greater heights with the exposure I have, introduce and educate my people about diversity and different sounds and to be a pioneer of a sort” says Cleo Ice Queen when asked about how South African Hip-Hop industry compares to that of Zambia. We have seen a host number on female emcee’s coming up and it would make sense that a tag team there and there would best benefit the game overall, or not. Cleo shares her views if this would build a long lasting dominance, or if it will work better if everyone holds their own. “Hip-Hop is a game, it is a hustle, and it is work. That means there will be competition, healthy or unhealthy, who knows [laughing]. There will be some holding of hands, team work and unity, and there will be some people feeling like some things ain’t fair etc. that’s just how the game, the work and the hustle goes”. Quickies with Lefoko El Tone & Cleo Ice Queen What has been your biggest challenge in your career thus far? Biggest challenge.... balancing all the work I do and not giving up. What does 2016 hold in store for you? 2016 is gonna be grand. Prepare for a metamorphosis of the Queen. What message do you have for young aspiring African girls who would love to be like you? Don’t be like me. Be like you and be the best YOU that you can ever be [blowing kisses]. Which city do you prefer between Lusaka and Johannesburg and why? I can’t choose between the two. When I’m in one city I miss the other. What are the three things you can’t live without? Music, God and family. How does your normal day look like? It looks like another day to go get that paper by any means necessary hahaha. All legal and moral codes observed. Who is Cleo’s celebrity crush? Kaladoshas Where would you like to see yourself in 2026? 10 years from now? Hip-Hop and media mogul! | 23

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othibedi Sehata was born, bred and a proud resident of the South African capital city Pretoria, known amongst many locals as Cap’City, and is a proud representation of the city’s HipHop movement. As product of a rap duo, ‘Complex’, Thibe Da Kid is on a mission to assassinate microphones, murder beats, and kill shows, all with a genuine smile. This multi-talented artist aims to be recognized as the best solo artist of his generation. In an industry where rhythm ‘n poetry has been replaced with gibberish, for the sake of quick buck and cheap Twitter followers, Thibe Da Kid has invested his time in learning the real art of music and rap music from beat selection to rhyming to style, from subject selection to music business. Like a dedicated genius lab scientist, Thibe Da Kid has all together managed to find that rare winning formula. Although Thibe Da Kid has been in the game for a young minute now, he has ambitions to last longer than most of his idols. Lefoko El Tone had an interview with this star on the rise. Don’t believe the hype on the streets, Thibe Da Kid gives clothes a good dressing like salads but he’s a musical force to be reckoned with. Who is Thibe Da Kid and what is his role in Hip-Hop? Thibe Da Kid is a versatile, witty and innovative artist born and bred in Pretoria, Capcity as you know it. He simply plays the role of making good music that everyone can relate to. I promote peace and I aim to inspire. What got you into rapping and who inspired you growing up? Well, simply my on and off romance with music as a kid inspired how I got into it. I was somehow always a part of music from choirs, talent shows etc. but I did not realise until I started helping a close friend of mine work on his music that I fell in love with the process of making music, plus hearing myself after recording (laughs). But growing up music was always a part of the household and my mom for one plays

a huge impact on that. She always was a music savvy person, buying CD’s, always listening to radio. She’s a huge foundation to my music career, and plus she always does all she can for the family as a single mom and for that I’m blessed. What drives you to keep chasing the dream of being an entertainer even though it seems to be rough at times? For one, my obsession with music from making music, to being on stage and showcasing my talent really. The experience is something else. This to me is a form of expression, how I deal with things at times. As I only write or make music on experiences from me and the people around. Another is that I was raised to know that easy come, easy go. So yes, there will be hardships but isn’t that what makes victory sweet? The love from my listeners is also another fuel to the fire. What would you say has been the greatest challenge in your career thus far and how are you moving past it? As an independent artist you do everything yourself from resources, distribution, marketing and branding yourself unless you have a team. Luckily I have been blessed to find people along the way who believe in the vision and I have seemed to cover most of those aspects. But really as an upcoming nowadays you could have everything in terms of the numbers but I feel it is not just on talent but who you know can call you a favour. And really my whole approach to this is from my music concepts and my quality not because I’m connected to a certain individual. All in all, that affects a lot of artists in the industry, whether it’s TV, radio etc. How would you fare your previous project #ChildsPlay? (Laughs) I always like it better when people give me feedback, instead of me giving feedback. But really, the mixtape for me is the perfect foundation for me as a rapper and the direction I want to go as an artist. It’s original, has songs for everyone and most importantly it’s good, real music no doubt. The production is really on point too | 25

What are some of the humbling things that you learnt in your pursuit to being a great Hip-Hop artist? Patience, which for me is not an easy trade but I am certainly learning to work on it as you can see Hip-Hop is competitive on every note, so you have to stand out in What does your mother’s support some way. I have realised a whole lot of mean to you? what makes me different to most cats so Everything really, I cannot even emphasize you have to choose your moves wisely on how much of a role she plays and just because it could only backfire on you. talking music only now (laughs). But she is a huge part of my backbone, keeps me What does the future hold for Thibe focused, hungry and I learn a lot from her Da Kid? and I love the fact that she’s genuinely God willingly, great and beautiful things. loving my sound, so I am down with that. I can only have faith that the best is It Certainly makes the creative freedom forthcoming. easier to trigger out. She has been there for me since I started this so I know she What are your favourite cartoons? got my back. (Laughs) too many to mention, but to name a few Batman, Silver surfer, Afro What does #Weirdo mean and where Samurai, Naruto, Bleach ,Captain Marvel are you hoping this project will take (Shazam) the list goes on and on and on… your brand? Weirdo simply means following your heart What is the first thing you’d buy if you and doing what you love doing. Your had R1m? cutting edge makes you who you are and Buy my mom a house. on this project I basically explore that fact of dealing with my differences and finding What are the three things you can’t my place in this big world. I’m hoping live without? this EP will break me into the market this My bible, family and music. time as it is much more planned for that. I am planning more videos for campaigns What is Hip-Hop? on this project, and then I’ll simply tackle Hip-hop it’s a way of life, a culture, and what is next after. a form of expression in many ways from fashion, to dance, to illustration, you name How would you describe your sound? it. It’s a real form art expressed in so many Powerful, magical, fresh and not for the different ways. faint hearted (laughs). But on a serious note, if you really listen it speaks to the If Hip-Hop was a hot lady, which SA soul. local would resemble it? Nomzamo Mbatha Growing up you were a great soccer player, what are some of the traits that you learnt in soccer that you are Face book : Thibe Da Kid (Like my page) using in your brand building? Practice makes perfect! You have to work Twitter : @Thibe_dakid hard to reach the best limits and there Instagram :thibedakid is always room for improvement. So I Sound cloud: Thibe Da Kid am always looking for ways to better my Youtube : Thibe Da Kid brand. I have identified a lot through and learned it is all about perfect timing too, as Blogspot : far where you are as a brand. thanks to MPH Da Boy Genuis. The sound is out this world and really it proves how versatile I am. Technically it is my first solo effort and I that is how you should do it as I am still being told today about how I should have made it an album.

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Sammy Sosa is without a doubt one of the most prolific baseball field runners to have ever played the game. The Dominican born superstar has played for a few of high profile baseball teams but it was Texas Rangers when he hit his 600th career home run to become the fifth player in Major League Baseball history to reach the milestone. Sosa had preciously hit his 400th home runs in his 1,354th game and his 5,273rd at-bat, the quickest in National League history. Although a great man on the field, controversy followed him as it was found in 2009 that he actually was found to have tested positive for performanceenhancing drugs. Sammy Sosa has since retired a great ambassador of the game and a wealthy man. Sammy Sosa, real name Samantha Lehoko, is definitely one of the favourite Hip-Hop bae’s at the moment, an ambassador of note. Having started out as radio presenter at UCT Radio, Samantha took a job at YFM as a host of a morning show Made Different. Samantha also took a job at eTV’s Club 808 doing a gig guide where she got to experience some fun in front of a camera. The charm she extruded scored her an opportunity to work on a bigger screen at Channel O’s Turn Up. It was only after joining Vuzu Amp as a host of ‘The Hustle’ (a reality series about unearthing a Hip-Hop superstar) that we got to know about her love for Hip-Hop. Although her role behind the TV screen was growing, controversy soon followed her and she had to leave Metro FM. Sammy Sosa has since found her voice at Power FM where she continues to love her life of a radio presenter. Although Samantha did not get her name from the legendary baseball prayer, she could not hide the similarities between the two of them “we are both well known in our respective fields and we equally make a mark. He is a legend and negativity followed him, same as me. I can safely say we both ‘came, saw, and conquered” said Samantha. It is no doubt that Samantha is a multi-talented entertainer and she cannot really choose between MC’ing, radio or TV, even though she says that she

finds radio to be more fun. When asked about her views about the Hip-Hop game so far in 2016 she added “2016 has been an amazing year, the level of Hip-Hop has been phenomenal from the sound, content and flow. I mean we have the likes of Nasty C and Emtee breaking in. People understand not to follow the American lifestyle and their rhythm. We have our own sound, message and style”. The 25 year old Sammy Sosa was born in East London to politician parents who tried their level best to convince her to be a politician too but that did not materialise because she always had her heart in the entertainment industry. So far it’s proving to be a great decision and there is no way you can imagine her as a Politian. Done did it? Exactly! The humble and sexy goddess studied Arts and Photography post high school and she says that even though her qualification currently plays no role in her career currently, it might come in handy one day. “It is always good to have a certain skill because you might need it in future” she says. The multitalented entertainer and vocalist says that she has no talent “I am just a humble lady. No weave, just different and loves fashion”. Sammy Sosa says that young ladies should not strive to be like her but rather be the best of themselves they can ever be and they should always stay true to their identity and roots. Quickies with Lefoko El Tone and Sammy Sosa What is the last hip-hop song you listen to? Desiigner – Panda Who is your favourite SA Hip-Hop artist? Nasty C, Emtee, Riky Rick… Who has the best SA Hip-Hop album? We have great albums out now, but I am currently enjoying MaE (Township Councillor) and Da LES’s (North God). What are the things that you cannot live without? My son (Karabelo), tap water, my cell phone and music. | 29

pH, the overall Hip-Hop Music Creator and Artist. 30 |


orn Gift Nkuna in Giyane, Limpopo, pH is a prominent heavyweight beat maker and a record label owner of Raw X Studios and describes himself as an overall creative and creator. He says “I’m a creative artist, a music producer, rapper & sound engineer”. Having recently dropped his album titled ‘From Giyani with Love’, pH has shown a side of him that many people did not know he has, and that is a rapper. When asked about how he fell in love with music and also rapping he responded by saying “My urge to create. I’ve always been interested in how things are created. Music seemed to grab my attention the most. I then gradually became a producer and rapper”. Raw X Studios is well known for producing the best sounds in the local Hip-Hop scene and has for some time been seen as a got to go place if you want to produce chart topping hits. Even with the high statue it was able to reach it a short period of time, pH does not feel settled for what he was able to achieve with it. He said about the label “I was hoping for it and more. We haven’t done half the work we could do. Raw X is still in its baby stage, but we are growing to becoming what I planned for us to be and more - ‘Hip-Hop’s Kalawa Jazmee’ ” In 2007 pH graduated as a Sound Engineer from the Academy of Sound Engineering at the SABC. In 2008, he invested in building a professional recording studio and named it Raw X Studios. Within that period he worked with artists such as Zubz on his “Cochlea – One Last Letter” album in which he produced numerous tracks for him. Soon thereafter, he was producing for the likes of MXO, Reason, Simphiwe Dana and many other unsigned artists. From Khuli Chana’s ‘Tswa Daar’ and multiaward winning album ‘Lost In Time’ to AKA’s ‘Alter Ego’, to K.O’s smash hit ‘Caracara’ and album “Skanda Republic’ and Reason’s debut album and smash single ‘Yipikayay’, Raw X Productions has been responsible for lots of hits and pH attests this success to hard work. He explains this “[it is down to] hard work and staying true to your art by not compromising your art for trends or money. It’s a difficult route to take but gives it longevity as a brand and artist”. pH says he would love to work with Kanye West, Kendrick Lamar, Hugh Masekela, Thomas Chauke, Penny Penny, Travis Scott, Wizkid and Justine Beiber pH went on to break down the title of his album for us. “From Giyani With Love is a title I got from my cousin, he has always wanted to create something and title it that. When we

completed the album he suggested I should call it that. I took it on. It basically illustrates pride of who I am and what I do with my music”. With a flock of producers who failed as rappers, people will always complain and say some of the producers should never pick the time and just handle the keys. Although he has come to be a well renowned producer in the Hip-Hop game, pH started out as a rapper and he feels his raps have been received “good overall” even though it was his production side he wanted to show off with the album. “The album does not sell the rapper but more the producer whilst introducing me as a rapper. So I think it’s fair to say that people want to hear more before they can conclude their opinions” he said about the album. In 2010, he was invited to Cape Town to the Red Bull Studios to be part of “The 24hour Project”. The concept was simple: to record, produce and print a full new album in 24hours, which they managed to do. In doing so they hold bragging rights as the first in Africa to achieve this. With FGWL, pH took a journey to where he comes from and celebrates his homestead and his language, Tsonga. With Limpopo being slept on, even though it produced a whole lot of creatives, pH shows his pride with this album and welcomes everyone else to his upbringing. pH shares his view on why Limpopo is a slept on Province and says: “Pride is a huge part of it. Durban celebrates themselves more than Limpopo does. FGWL was intended to change the perception and thinking by our own people. I wanted to show that we [are] no different from any other province in SA. We just need to be more expressive and proud of who and where we come from, which can be approached in many ways”. FGWL was released in 2015 and features artists as Thandiswa Mazwai, Khuli Chana, Moneoa, Yanga, Reason, AKA, Towdee Mac, Proverb, Kabomo, MaE, Mandoza and HHP. pH mostly raps in his native language Tsonga and follows the likes of other musicians such as Penny Penny, Thomas Chauke and Mchangani. With a successful 2015, pH intends on keeping the fire burning and has shared his plans for 2016. When asked what he has in store for the year he went on to say “a sophomore album titled “D2”, Ricco a new Raw X singer, rapper Producer & ADVO (rap group)”. pH’s message for aspiring musicians is simple “put Jesus in everything you do, he’ll show you miracles”. | 31

By: kg is really original anymore but Tumi kept it original with this one. Pure rap; zero gimmicks!


ack like the prodigal son, Original God body, the army of one”. June 16 2015, Tumi Molekane decided to release a surprise album, accompanied by an open letter. Nobody saw this one coming, not much marketing, if any, was done for this one. It is known without a doubt that Tumi is a legend in the game, one of the best locally and respected across the globe. So many years in the game, and he has managed to stay relevant. After the rapper/poet dropped ‘Hello Kitty’ and verses on tracks like ‘Bump The Cheese Up’, a lot of people were a little sceptical about the direction Tumi was taking with his sound and therefore we all had no idea what to expect on this album. It might not have won album of the year at the South African Hip-Hop Awards but it is one of the best albums dropped in the year of 2015, amongst a few others. 2015 was a very good year for SA Hip-Hop with good quality music being produced. Last time we had so many classic tapes being dropped in a single year was back in what I’d like to call the Golden Era of SA Hip-Hop, 2005. Prokid dropped Heads & Tails, Tuks ‘Mafoko A Me’, Skwatta Kamp, Proverb, Zubz, H20 and a few others, although that was a different era altogether, which produced the best of SA Hip Hop. ROTK has a very unique and diverse sound, featuring artists from across all music genres like Freddy Mashaba, Something Soweto, Busiswa and a few more. We are in an era of Hip-Hop where no one

32 | Lyrically: 5 Production:


This 12 track offering is a beautiful work of art, from the production to the lyrical content. If you found this album playing anywhere without the knowledge of the artist, you’d know it’s an African album. AKA does the intro, titled ‘Return of the King’, to this album, the same way that Tumi did the intro to AKA’s Levels album and absolutely kills it. ‘Visa’ featuring Busiswa (unexpected collaboration I must say), ‘Broke People’ featuring Something Soweto, ‘In Defense of My Art’ featuring Reason & Ziyon should definitely get airplay. It doesn’t get any more radio friendly than that.

“One thing I always loved about Hip-Hop is how you would hear someone’s name, or something you don’t understand, and it took you on a journey to understand it and you end up discovering worlds not confined to Hip-Hop.” Tumi went in really hard on ‘Radio Freedom’ which features Kelly Khumalo. “One thing I always loved about Hip-Hop is how you would hear someone’s name, or something you don’t understand, and it took you on a journey to understand it and you end up discovering worlds not confined to Hip-Hop. That is why Hip-Hop sells so well. It’s that power of the word to engage people. When making radio friendly, I wanted to do more than sell a product, I wanted to sell ideas, the ideas I grew up with. Ideas like negritude, self-determination liberation and insurgency” this is what Tumi had to say about the track. This is not your SAMA kinda album, and definitely not your turn up kinda album. this is that sit at home and pay some attention kinda sh!t, that long drive alone kinda sh!t. Couldn’t have found a better title for this album, Yes the King is back. Believe the hype.

Creativity: 5

Delivery: 5

Overall: 5

By: kg Fifi Cooper started singing at a tender age of 9, in Mafikeng, awesome singer she is. Personally I prefer her singing over her rapping. After a couple of verses Fifi dropped on other people’s projects, which made us wonder what she could do when not featured, she finally dropped her debut album titled 20Fifi last year. Her first single titled ‘Kisses’ featuring AB Crazy might not have gotten that much hype but the follow up single ‘Monate C’ caught the necessary attention and the industry started taking Fifi Cooper seriously.


irstly, I would like to congratulate Fifi Cooper and her stable, Ambitiouz Entertainment, for bagging all those awards at the last Metro FM Awards that took place, even though I’m not so big on music awards because I feel they do not represent what especially Hip-Hop stands for but hey, it is what it is. Fifi Cooper, the self-proclaimed first lady of Motswako, although a new comer, she has been featured on a couple of tracks with the likes of Tuks, Molemi, and Notshi, just to mention a few.

“turn up, don’t really care what you are saying, as long as we dancing, don’t really have to make sense” It was her feature on Khuli Chana’s 2015 hit ‘Mnatoba wena’ that got people wanting to know who Fifi Cooper is. Even though she wasn’t rapping on the track, she did justice to the hook. SA Hip-Hop has not produced a lot of female rappers in the past, or women in Hip-Hop generally, but 2015 was different. We saw woman take their place in the industry. Fifi Cooper, Gigi LaMayne, Shaz Lehipi, Ms Cosmo, Moozlie etc. have done well in the year 2015 with award winning hits and albums. We have had female rappers before but none of them ever get to this level of the game, winning awards, getting booked for shows regularly and making money. It’s good to see women doing well in Hip Hop.

Lyrically: 3

Production: 3

20Fifi is a typical 2015 album. Her delivery is tight like leggings on a thick lady and her lyrics are not too bad. I won’t front and say Fifi Cooper is a wack rapper. I know wack rappers, a whole lot of them in SA. If only I could drop names haha. As mentioned previously, Fifi Cooper sings too. 80% of the hooks on the album were done by her. The talent is there, no doubt. But the final product is questionable. The album sounds like one song being done over and over again. The production is just too much of the same thing, kinda also makes her flow similar on the tracks. Anyway, is it me or does Fifi Cooper sound a bit like Notshi?? No?? Okay, maybe I’m high. Features on the album include Kwesta and we know that nigga don’t play games on features. Emtee appears twice on the album, on a track titled ‘Kuze Kuse’ and he totally killed the hook, dope dope track. Emtee also makes an appearance on the last track titled ‘Angeke’. Fifi Cooper might just take over the mainstream. She is a female and has what the industry needs right now. Her sound is not different. It’s the same thing as what everyone else is doing in the industry right now you know? That “turn up, don’t really care what you are saying, as long as we dancing, don’t really have to make sense” kinda sound. Yup just that Fifi Cooper just does it with flair. Track 11 titled ‘Sad Song’ is a beautiful song, beautifully laced vocals in there. This is one of those albums one would play on a Friday/Saturday evening, to get amped up for a night out

Creativity: 3

Delivery: 4 | 33 Overall: 3

By: kg


ho is this Blaklez of yours?” This is a question I get a lot from people when I bring up Blaklez’ name in Hip-Hop conversations. “Really??” is my response all the time. But I cannot blame them. Most people who claim to love the art that is HipHop, or SA Hip Hop in this case, were not really listening to Hip-Hop during the times when The Anvils (a crew Blaklez used to be a part of) were called the ‘Punchline Kings’. Hip-Hop has new fans, hence the new conversations. The conversations went from “Who’s the dopest in the game” or “Who drops better music” to “Who has better swag” and “Who sells more records”. It is not really about the music anymore. Although Blaklez has always been in the game, he took a long break and only came back in 2013 with his debut solo album titled ‘Black Beast’, which I still feel he should have pushed more before dropping this one. Apparently this album ‘A Broken Man’s Dream’ sold 36 copies only. Don’t quote me on this because I can’t prove this to be a fact. But, should it be true, this would be some real sad shit because this is a good album. In fact, it is better than most albums I have heard recently. I hope the 36 copies sold shit is some sort of a hoax. ABMD is definitely one of the most slept on albums of 2015, since the year gave us some of the dopest albums. ‘Freedom or Fame’, a single he released in 2014, was on high rotation for quite some time and it gave us the musical direction Blaklez was taking on this album. The single has a remix that features Reason and PRO, which is not included on the album.

34 | Lyrically: 5 Production:


Blaklez was versatile with this album. There is a personal track like the intro track ‘DeJavu’, produced by Draztik and Mercedes B where Blaklez touches on quite a few aspects. He talks about the love he has for his daughter, the loss of his mother and grandmother and mentions how they would be proud of him had they still been alive. Lines like, “Dark times made a man out of a childish me, the pain could never silence me” and “My intention is not a mystery, cause I’m a see through and that’s a negative for people who don’t see the truth” that reveal how open Blaklez is on the album. You also have tracks like ‘Blue’ featuring Zano produced by Silas and ‘Stranger’ that you would bump your head or dance to. And then there are ‘feel good’ tracks like ‘Spoko’. Blaklez is so talented; one really cannot deny his lyrical wit, so effortless. Even though on a few tracks, like ‘Casino’ featuring PdotO & Cano, he did what everyone else in the industry is doing right now with this whole Hip-Hop-Kwaito sound, I appreciate the fact that that is not the only thing he did on the album and he actually makes sense in his rhymes even in attempts to make you dance, unlike saying shit like “Krapa Fasa Baba Let’s” and the listener is left to wonder what the hell is meant by that. But hey, these rappers are too deep man, way too deep. One of my favourite tracks has to be ‘Beijing’ featuring Nkoto, a very soulful, heartfelt and personal track. The beat almost sounds like the one used by Drake on ‘Fireworks’. What is a Hip-Hop album without a love song? I always ask haha. I’m not too sure about ‘Fire Burn’ as a Hip-Hop love song though. It is too House for me. Sounds like a House track that Blaklez is featured on, not one I would expect in a Blaklez album as Blaklez featuring the other artists. ‘Fire Burn’ is generally a dope joint but not sure about it being Hip-Hop. ‘Word Is Mine’ featuring Reason and PdotO is another one of my favourites and Reason totally killed his verse, no, no, no Blaklez came out nicer. Ummmh, well okay. I can’t decide who was nicer between Blaklez and Reason, you decide. The production on the album is very proper too. Other features include N’Veigh, Buffalo Souljah, and Eindo. This is a great offering, so laid back and balanced. Blaklez was able to give us a 2015 sound, without losing himself as a lyricist, something that many fail to do.

Creativity: 4

Delivery: 5

Overall: 4.5 | 35

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