Johannesburg - Rapper-turned-businessman Siyabonga Metane, better known as Slikour, has given 12 emerging rap artists the opportunity to launch their music careers.
On Tuesday, he launched the SlikourOnLife Incubator project, a compilation album featuring the young rappers, at Melrose Arch in Johannesburg.
Metane said there was no formal selection process that got the young artists this opportunity.
They voluntarily sent tracks to his SlikourOnLife web platform in Soundcloud waves and, after finding their contact details, he requested MP3s (a popular free download service) of the music he found promising.
“This was not a planned project,” said Slikour.
“I didn’t know what I was going to do with the music. I diverted from my plans in 2017 to make the SlikourOnline Incubator a reality because the music I heard moved me.
"These guys were really different and there wasn’t a formula.”
The aspirant rappers, aged between 19 and 27, come from across South Africa and the promotional video for the album has showcased each of their distinct style, hunger and innovation.
“The SlikourOnLife Incubator is giving us a chance to shine. This opportunity is overwhelming and amazing,” said one of the rappers, Jordan Ajibade, AKA Jazzy Tribe, who hails from Johannesburg.
He sees a bright future ahead and plans to tour the globe and be a world-class rapper.
Phumlani Zondo, AKA PA Fakaloice, said: “I have been waiting for this kind of opportunity since I started rapping in 2013, after completing my matric. I see myself having my own music label, signing artists and producing my own music.”
Metane has partnered with free music streaming platform JOOX and local media company Transit Ads, whose digital television network, Transit.TV, provides commuters with entertaining and informative content through its digital TV channels in taxis, as well as train and bus stations, across the country, to expose the rappers’ music.
Through the partnership, more than 13 million people will hear the songs and see the rappers’ music videos.
Transit Ads executive Shamendran Naidu said the company was lacking in its music and entertainment content, so the partnership with Slikour was a blessing as it advocated youth-oriented programmes.
The album will be available on JOOX for a month before it hits other streaming platforms.
JOOX content producer Felicity Mdhluli said: “JOOX has partnered on the SlikourOnLife Incubator project to provide a platform showcasing new hip-hop talent.”
Metane said: “I don’t own or manage the rappers. They are masters of their destinies. I am just a part of their journey. I am not selling a dream but opening up doors for them.”