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Abyss of Awesomeness

Durban South x Musick x Youth culture

Rap Scientist Releases His Single, ‘I Don’t Want No Problems’

“I Don't Want No Problems”

Up and coming artist from the south Durban township of Kwa-Makhutha, Rap Scientist (real name, Londa Mthembu) is looking to make a name for himself in the music scene. Defining his style as “authentic in terms of fusing new school rap with real bars,” this young emcee clearly has a sense of what he wants to achieve with his music. We linked up with Rap Scientist via a digital interview and he explained his plans for his new single. Titled ‘I Don’t Want No Problems’, RS said that his plans for the single are “to try get the song on radio, ’cause I believe this song can make waves in months to come.”

The kid isn’t new at all though in the game. He’s been a part of a crew known as G.N. Army, which has “played a big role as my lyrical content was enhanced by them”. So a lot of the G.N. Army days were more about growth for RS, as he did proclaim that he learnt a lot from each member of the crew (G.N. being a powerhouse of different rap styles).

When asked about his thoughts on the state of Durban Hip Hop, RS said “Durban hip hop is booming. It’s great that things have changed, and you don’t have to go to Jozi in order to make it. Cats from Jozi are coming here for a better platform.”

Stream and download the track here.

Should you wish to keep up with what this young cat is cooking, do hit him up on his social media account and page.

 

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JOEY BADA$$ SAMPLES ANDILE YENANA’S “THEMBISA (THE PEOPLE)” ON “LEGENDARY”

Joey Bada$$ is known among the Hip Hop community as one of the great up and coming acts in world mainstream music. Famous for his highly acclaimed debut mixtape, 1999, the Brooklyn rapper is obviously far from dropping the mic. Joey’s new album All-Amerikkkan Bada$$ (which dropped earlier this month) is really a work in which he strives to grow as an artist and experiment with different sounds, while still maintaining the dope rhyme schemes he is known for.

Track number 11 of the new album is titled ‘Legendary’ and it features the well-known J. Cole. Produced by Statik Selektah (an American record producer and radio personality), ‘Legendary’ is sampled from Andile Yenana’s 2003 song titled ‘Thembisa’ [The People].

A South African jazz artist, Andile Yenana is amongst the greatest instrumentalists we have as a country, and it is quite interesting to note that young and up and coming artists on the other end of the world are recognizing and appreciating South African jazz for what it is — a true gem.

I think Statik Selektah did a great job chopping up the sample, and apparently Nas called Statik Selektah requesting the instrumental that became Joey’s ‘Legendary’. That’s how nice it is, and both Joey and Cole complemented it well.

The video above is an interview in which the producer of the track, Statik Selektah breaks down how the process of making Joey’s song unfolded.

 

Article by: Njabulo Phiri

THE HIATUS: AN EP BY ONE OF EMPANGENI’S EMCEES, P.U.L.S

P.U.L.S - The Hiatus EP Cover ArtWho is P.U.L.S and what do you do?

P.U.L.S is a rap artist from Ngwelezane Township, eMpangeni. The name is an acronym for Power Unto Lyrikal Skill. Im an MC / Producer / Mix Engineer as far as music goes.

How would you describe your sound?

Well… I’m a fan of Soul-based Hip Hop, you know…. the Slum Village, Common and the likes. This resonates in my sound especially as a Lyricist. The EP in particular comprises of Boom Bap and Mid-Tempo style production .

Is ‘The Hiatus EP’ your first project? What are your plans for the project?

The Hiatus is my first official project. Of all the music I work on , I work on mine the least. So the opportunity finally came, to tie up these loose singles I been lacing since 2015, and form them in line with current material. Kwaphuma i-EP. It’s a digital project so I plan to share it on various digital platforms. It’s about the music!

Why have you titled your EP ‘The Hiatus’?

It’s titled The Hiatus because I literally took a hiatus from writing bars and being an active MC. During this time I have built myself a reputation in production circles, but when O.G’s like Spoonyology and Njabs The Beatmaker want you back on the mic, uzothini?

What can people expect from your offering?

Well…expect mature music. Expect a beat/bar matrimony.

The project is a presentation of Skhothenious and 90’s Laaities. Can you tell us a bit about the two movements and the role they’ve played in bringing the offering to life?

Skhothenious and 90’sLaaities are movements that I make most of the music with (and the moves I make are under the two). I joined Skhothenious in 2010 as a producer, so I’ve learnt so much being there. 90’s Laaities is my latest movement; it’s an expansion of SKT in a way because the ideologies remain the same. Bot movements are dedicated to art, design and music. I myself play a major role within both movements so it’s an inspiring journey.

What is your take on the current state of KZN and Durban Hip Hop in particular?

KZN Hip-Hop needs to move forward! Cross-over and experimenting is the future. I think we are stagnant, but on the other side there is some dope music coming out of KZN.

Where can people find your music?

Soundcloud, Hulkshare and Audiomack mostly.

What are the SIX bars that define you? [either yours or someone else’s]

“Punchline yanton’, I’m on my real life steez / lotta lazy young’uns out here tryna be like me / unlike y’all I won’t be falling for these weak pipe-dreams / a visionary on the mic, the EMP Spike Lee / I won’t be sorry for telling how I see it / I’m a vintage cat like Felix , Making music how I see it “

You can follow P.U.L.S on Facebook for more info on the project. Here’s the link…

Let’s support our own.

Interview by: Njabulo Phiri

HUCKSTER PRO: AFRICAN YOUTH MAKING IT HAPPEN FOR THEMSELVES IN THE ICT SECTOR

Huckster Pro Pty Ltd Logo
Huckster Pro seeks to launch their first web application that will compete against big names – such as Google, eBay, and Facebook – within the next two years.

What is Huckster Pro and what do you do?

Hucksterpro is a digital media company based in South Africa and registered under the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission in line with the Companies Act of 2008.

What inspired the name, “Huckster Pro”?

The name ‘Hucksterpro’ is a combination of two words, one being Huckster and the second being Pro. We chose it based on the fact that it deals with selling goods, and can be also associated with writing media advertisements, because we also offer those as services as a Company.

Who is behind Huckster Pro?

The co-founders of Hucksterpro met at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in 2012 where initially the idea of establishing such an entity took light. Lethukuthula Nkomo, one of the directors, is an Honor’s Degree Graduate in the discipline of Public Policy, whereas Mnqobi Duma is a third – level Media & Communications student.

What separates you from the other internet companies?

What separates us from other Internet companies are the technologies, approach and methods we use to render our services. Most South African based Internet companies use CMS, or template-based tools to develop websites, but we start our projects from scratch. That’s because we are always driven to develop our web-based applications the way that our clients envisioned them to be, not from something that already exists online.

What challenges have you faced whilst setting up your company?

As a start up company, the toughest challenge that we encountered was that of finance. We had very limited resources. Luckily, the Internet business doesn’t require that much funding, but it is always a problem because you have to market and advertise the business. Since the Internet based business is so open, and there are lot of computer programming technologies to do the same thing, we also battled with deciding which technologies we should use to better serve our clients efficiently.

Why have you chosen the ICT sector?

We chose the ICT sector for a couple of reasons. The first being that we were in love with the idea of participating the sector. The second crucial reason was that we saw the opportunity of an open market, where by we could generate income, based on the huge number of services that we could render for our services. On top of making the web a better place, we also felt like black “african” people have been sort of idle in the ICT sector, so we wanted to make a difference.

What impact does technology have on culture and where is Huckster Pro in the bigger scheme of things?

We’re in the 21st century, what some people refer to as “the information age”. In the modern day, technology is a relevant and viable tool to pass and get access to information. Focusing solely on the Internet, there are tons of different outlets that share information regarding whatever a person is looking for as far as information is concerned. So to be precise, technology has had both the positive and negative impact on the society and culture. As Hucksterpro, we are more focused on sticking to the positive side, where by we can engage with our clients, through business principles, to invent websites and Web based applications that will add what’s already happening today. We have the tools to make that happen. We ate just waiting for ideas from other individuals to work on with.

What are your plans for the next two years?

We plan to be a very stable company in the next two years. That being financially. We are also planning to have worked on numerous projects with people who are equally aspiring. As Hucksterpro, we are seeking to have launched our first web application (sorry that I can’t speak about it now) that will compete against the big machines that are already in place today, such as Google, eBay, Facebook, etc.

A big thank you to Mnqobi Duma, of Huckster Pro Pty Ltd, for the interview.

You guys can get in touch with Huckster Pro through their Facebook page here.

And… make sure that you visit their website for a complete list of the services and products they offer. Let’s support our own.

 

Interview by: Njabulo Phiri

SmG RELEASES HIS SOLO PROJECT, TITLED ‘FREE DELIVERY’

Free Delivery DropsWho is SmG and what do you do?

SmG is a character that is created by Simangaliso Shabane.Straight outta Nazareth Pinetown, in Durban. This character is in a form of a rap artist focusing on addressing our struggles and motivates change.

How would you describe your style and sound?

I don’t like having a style ’cause it limits me. I’ve grown to understand how to manipulate words so it’s easy to create any flow and keep a consistent Delivery.

Is this your first solo project? If yes, what are your plans for it?

YES!!! #bigsmiles. I’ve connected with a few progressive people, it’s still on the low though lol, we’re looking to release 3 music videos for the project with my team (Creative Unicorns).

Why have you titled the project “Free Delivery”?

Free delivery is a project that has a collection of tracks I did since 2012 and my recent tracks. The concept was to make it a free project from the start and it still is and now the distribution will be more easier ’cause people can access it online.

Free Delivery Cover Art_SmG
The official cover art for ‘Free Delivery’. Courtesy of Creative Unicorns.

What can people expect from your offering?

Well, people can expect the best rhyme style South Africa has ever tapped into, really intense and energetic music, word play and concepts that people experience on a day to day basis and every track is different but nice on its own way.

For those that don’t know, SmG is one half of the rap duo known as Hidden Key Element; can we also expect something new from HKE?

Hidden Key Element is home. That’s where everything started. My nigga Queasy‘s working on his EP but ’til everything is off the way I’m sure we gon’ do something.

What is your take on the current state of Durban Hip Hop?

I really feel hip hop in Durban is the best in the country ’cause Durban rappers are busy killing the game on the mainstream! Durban is at the forefront of South Africa on every popping genre right now.

Where can people find your music?

People can find me on:

Instagram @Official_Smg,

Facebook @SmG Creative Unicorns, and

Twitter @officially_SmG.

What are the SIX bars that define you? [either yours or someone else’s]

“You can’t walk on my shoes, my struggle is barefoot” // “flow nice, tongue moving like I raised a flag, but giving up is not my nature fam”.

Lemme save the other other bars for your download when the project is out lol.

 

On this project, SmG worked with the legendary Abdus on one song and the really good and upcoming OB, the incredible Refiloe Makhetha, Anelisiwe and Apple; a close friend and a brother Linda. Edison, OB and Kay Band on the production. The project drops today (22 March 2017), mid-day, and will be available for all to download.

Let’s support our own. Peace.

 

Interview by: Njabulo Phiri

 

KIDS SKATEBOARDING IN RURAL KWA-ZULU NATAL: A SORT-FILM BY HUCK MAGAZINE

We are skate-boarders because we want to live a life which is good and awesome! ~ Andile Msomi

This documentary, by Huck Magazine, follows young kids from a rural community in Kwa-Zulu Natal as they follow their passion to become skaters. Shot in the communities living in the area known as The Valley of a Thousand Hills (known for its beautiful landscapes, and a world tourist destination), the doccie shows how a sport one can only expect to find in bigger places such as Durban or Pietermaritzburg is changing kids’ lives in an area quite remote from a metropolitan set-up.

Big up to the guys heading the Indigo Skate Camp movement, who are responsible for training the youth on how to master this beautiful art-form.

3-MINUTE REVIEW ON SAMPHA’S ALBUM, ‘PROCESS’

samphalabumcoverprocess
This is the official album art for Sampha’s album, titled ‘Process’. Photo Credit: http://www.pitchfork.com

This album is the first offering from the UK-born artist who is not new to the game, but has worked mostly behind the scenes with Grammy award-winning artists like Kanye West, Drake and Solange. He is truly talented, from producing to singing. You can ‘t box this artist and his latest album is not short from greatness. The album doesn’t have any major features and it definitely comes with the quality of production you would expect from Sampha. He takes you on his musical journey with unexpected twists and turns. You need to have an unbiased ear to listen to this one in order to gain appreciation for the man’s work.

Some of the well-known singles from this musical genius include Blood On Me and No-One Knows Me (Like The Piano).

Review by: Sindiso ‘Sinklowdeep’ Xaba

UNFINISHED BUSINESS: AN EP BY 3RDBRICK

unfinishes-business-3rd-brick-artwork
The official cover art for the Unfinished Business EP. The image is intellectual property of 4Sight Media.  

Who is 3RDBRICK and what do you do?

3RDBRICK is an artist who appreciates music as a whole. I’ts the lifestyle I live and the culture I follow to the T!

How would you describe your sound?

My sound is mostly musical. I don’t follow trends, I prefer to have substance in my raps because to me rap is Rhythm And Poetry.

Your EP is titled ‘Unfinished Business’, why particularly that title?

Simply because I have a lot to say and one body of work could never be enough to spread my wings far enough. I still believe I will rise to greater heights!

The song, ‘Back In The Day’ is one where you sort of reminisce about your early days in the game, can you tell us more about those days and the influence they had on you?

When I came in the game, lyricism played a huge role and you could always take something away from any project you listened to hence the artist mentioned on the song. That era shaped me to be who I am and how I understand the music; and the lyrics became therapeutic to me.

On that same song, ‘Back In the Day’, you mention a lot of Hip Hop heads (from Durban) who’ve influenced you, but you highlight that Musa Mission was at the fore of these influences. Can you share with us why?

For me, Musa Mission was the voice of the people. He was my version of Nas. The poet; conscious and informative. That’s why he appealed to me ’cause I learned more about the art-form through him.

What can you say will be Durban’s contribution towards the bigger picture that is SA Hip Hop?

Durban has been sidelined for the longest time in the Hip Hop scene as a whole in South Africa due to how everyone saw us as the vernacular-based city when it comes to Hip Hop. We have a lot more to offer than our predecessors (Zuluboy or Zakwe, Manelis or Abdus) have had to offer in terms of vernac. So in the wider scale we have our own history to share in more than just vernacular bars — no disrespect to the aforementioned artists. They laid the foundations!

What have you got to say to people who follow your music?

I am an artist. I will always voice my opinions because music is therapeutic to me. It’s how I offload (that which is on my mind). I can only rap about what I best understand, and hope the listener has something to take away that can enlighten their understanding as well.

What are the SIX bars that define you? [yours or anyone’s].

I am Hip Hop.// I believe in voicing one’s opinion.// Lyricism is mostly important to me.// I believe in myself more then anyone.// You’re never too old to learn.// Music is universal; your background is your foundation and you’re human before you are an artist.//

 

All in all, this is a great project. There’s a nice balance  of storytelling on both the man himself and his musical journey. You can stream the EP on this link.

Interview by: Njabulo Phiri.

Calliez releases his single, titled ‘Voices’.

abyssThis Durban-based emcee is not at all new to the game. Those who are familiar with the Durban underground Hip Hop scene might remember him from the days of Caprice, a duo to which he belonged circa 2011, along with Sihle ‘Flowmatik’ Mlungwane. Calmin Arnold, also known as Calliez when on stage, is one of the best in terms of painting a vivid picture using words. We got ahold of this Durban native to find out more about his single, why he went quiet in the game and what listeners can expect from him this time around.

Who is Calliez and what do you do?

Calliez – a sideline outtie who sits on the bench for a living.

How would you describe your sound?

Blacksheep, lonely, rejected and sideline sound/music.

You’re not new in the game — please tell the people why you went quiet.

Well, it takes time to get the mind right, another pair of eyes to get the sight right and isolation to keep the heart in check… and I quote myself from the single I just did “I was pressured and had to leave on a journey of faith and belief, that opportunity created the thief, my place was taken (stolen) now I start from beneath, I dug the trenches with my teeth, the foundation was for a chief.”

What is your take on SA Hip Hop right now?

My response for this one is “THE SUPER MEGA”!!! [laughs] By the way Hip Hop is now S.A’s biggest culture.

Where would you say you draw inspiration from?

Sihle Mlungwane (my bench mate), poverty…and from my other black sheep.

What defines artistry, for you?

808s and Heartbreaks — an album by Kanye West.

Can we expect a project from Calliez anytime soon?

[laughs] Jay electronica and Dre make me not want to use the word soon…but as “soon” as I meet the right connections…we’ll drop a genius.

Where can people hear your music?

We can Facebook (Calliez Aswad), and who knows maybe you (reading this) are the connection I’m seeking.

What are the SIX bars that define you? [They could be your bars or anyone’s]

Ok, these are my own and at the moment these define me:

“Guess who’s the ass today (me), safe to say I learnt well from master Ye (Kanye), the only thing short is a Kardashian hey, but she can only come my way if my cash is straight, and things are looking like I never dashed the straight (Smirnoff), or crashed or ate, crooked like I stole and drank the crate (case of beers)”.

You guys can listen to Voices by Calliez here.

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