REVIEW

Singles Set To Light Up Mangaung

New music by Kwanza, Dezperado and the duo of Nayshen and Joel Parker will surely set the festive season ablaze, according to Thandeka Diphoko.

Music is alive with possibilities

Music is a powerful art form; a good song that hits just the right spot can raise the hairs on your arm and send an elusive chill down your spine. It can change your mood and to an extent that it makes you feel as though you have just teleported to another time, experiencing some other alien feeling, and awakening emotions you wouldn’t have thought about a few minutes before the song came on.

I’ve been in this state before, where I felt like I had fallen deep into the township, any township, listening to the rap genius of PRO, or the storytelling prowess of the Teargas trio.

In this musical trance, the kasi mood is electrical, and the boys of the hood occupy a street corner, debating this and that, from the football to entertainment. The coolest squad drives by in a red Gusheshe with mirror-bright reams, bumping their heads to the beat Oskido’s Tembisa Funk. Nearby, in a busy home of Spring cleaning hype, the tenant in the outside room is getting ready to join a group of friends for a get-together at the local shisanyama joint.

Yet, if you have a random playlist on shuffle, right after PRO comes on a song by Proverb. Here you might now want to be rocking a cypher somewhere: backpack on your back, metaphors and punch-lines on point like a pentagram, because you’re a star.  Get it? A pentagram has 5 points and so does a star, but we’ll discuss this off air.

New music alert: checha san

Illemarec’s Dezperado just dropped a single titled Checha San, but in all honesty, you either back up like the title says or you let this banger transport you through space and time to a place between the hood and a cipher; a place where street culture meets hip hop culture, and bars are laid perfectly on a soulful beat that also boasts a mean bassline.

Checha San is Sesotho rap/kasi rap, and ‘Rado (real name Otumile Shupinyaneng) represents Thaba-Nchu quite well on this track.

The production is on point, and the rap wraps it all powerfully. In other words, he’s going in hard on it.

City Life: a concrete jungle

Right after playing Checha San on repeat I finally move on, and Nayshen’s City Life barges in. I know, right? Hectic back to back.

Twenty seconds into City Life, Joel Parker hits us with a hook which repeats twice, before fully owning the joint, and immediately making you feel the transition from the “Friday afternoon in the hood” vibe that Checha San brought, to the “cyphers in the ‘burbs on Tuesday” spirit that is in City Life.

The fellas both have one verse each on the song. They rap about life in the city and holding your own as a man in the concrete jungle. The flows and bars balance each other out, and the pair ride the beat like surfers out at sea. It’s a jam that carries a message about what life in the city is like.

And because hip hop is a competitive genre by virtue, I’ll leave it up to the street to debate on who came the hardest and delivered the tightest flow and bars.

God bless Kwanza’s hustle

Now moving on to the other side of the game, to a slightly different sound; a more vibrant one, which is more of a sing and rap along jam that my playlist landed on. It’s called Project X, and is by Kwanza of My Love fame and God Bless Our Hustle (GBOH) clothing trade. Officially named Thandolethu Mofokeng, this man is indeed a go-getter of note, and has the spirit of a true hustler.

Project X is a follow-up single to the nationally acclaimed My Love, which was on high rotation on major radio stations such as Metro FM in its prime.

Steadily holding it down for the City of Roses, the song opens with him doing the traditional city reps and delivering a young flow. It’s really a club banger, and honestly quite catchy, without compromising on the message—how a young man came up from “blending in the background” to now being fly and making his own major moves.  Project X is sure going to get the party jumping and the car rides more fun. Truly, may God bless Kwanza’s hustle.

The red pen

Firstly, rating agencies can be very moody, with a standard that’s sometimes poor. But the red pen is out, and the score sheet won’t fill itself.

All three singles aren’t officially released yet, but you can keep in touch with the artists on their social media pages to stay updated.

Dezperado’s Checha San gets a 9/10.

City Life by Nayshen ft Joel Parker gets a 7/10.

Kwanza’s Project X gets jumps ahead of City Life with 8/10.

 

Thandeka Diphoko is a contributor of ART STATE. Follow  on Twitter.

FEATURED IMAGE: Kwanza blazing up the stage.

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