Johannesburg - City Press' #Trending section has reviewed two of the most talked about recent hip-hop releases.
Here's what Phumlani S Langa had to say about Nasty C and Zakwe's new releases.
Nasty C’s flow is still the same as it’s ever been – every Nasty track sounds like a continuation of Juice Back. The production is well-structured, but perhaps a bit too heavy for this man to ride.
The track Jungle is a little more to my speed. There’s clever word play and a particular scheme comes to mind: “My Puerto Rican [ladies] looking coloured ekse, my coloured [ladies] looking Puerto Rican ese.” By no means is that groundbreaking penmanship, but it is a little witty and probably the most strenuous bar on this record. He then reverts to sharing his story of being an awkward teen who can now get with whoever he wants. Riveting stuff.
I have heard of rappers using their wealth to fill the emotional voids in their lives, but I’m tired of hearing it. This, in conjunction with hearing an MC speak about sex like he just had his first time, is something I don’t connect with. Also Kumbaya is not a fly word to have in a chorus, no matter how hard the 808s slap behind it.
American rapper A$AP Ferg appears on the popular song King which is pretty cool.
MUSIC REVIEW: Phumlani S Langa reviews two of the newest hip hop releases of the year.
HATED IT Adolescent audio
Strings and Bling
Available on iTunes at R99.99
The intro involves a praise singer passionately bringing about the opening track Ngiyabonga which sees Zakwe take a look back at some struggles and triumphs throughout his career and life. The beat slaps the speakers in that good old-fashioned way and he is able to paint a few mental images with well-rounded raps, in parts. At times, just like Nasty, he tries to convey complex thoughts inadequately.
But this is a good start, on one track alone he has already touched on more than Nasty does on his whole record. Next up he links with Kwesta on More Blessings. They ride a creepy sounding beat together and Kwesta dispatches his croaky voice for the hook. Zakwe steps to the mic using a flow that sounds like it comes from a few years ago when everyone was trying to rap like Prokid.
I must commend the beat selection on this record. Every song has that SA flavour which is something that doesn’t happen much. I prefer it when Zakwe kicks his raps in vernac. He is clearly more comfortable with what he’s saying on Hood where he pays homage to his home town alongside Beast and together they list all the elements of the hood that are dope, while corner boys whistle in that kasi manner somewhere in the distance.
He features Cassper on Sebentini which uses that high-pitched back spin siren that Future brought to the game a few years ago. The chorus sounds like something from the days when Ambitious Records had the streets locked. You know whenever Emtee or Sjava are on the hook with the auto-tune. Nyovest lets loose with more raps about his chain and Rolex. I wish Zakwe brought out more rappers from his class for this record.
Ma-E appears on Daai Deng and drops off one of the best verses I have ever heard from him. He even samples Kleva by Mapaputsi and features the man himself, and the result is perfect. I wonder why it took the game so long to realise Mapaputsi’s catalogue is straight heat.
It isn’t often I rewind local rap, but it did happened a few times on this record.
LOVED IT The rejuvenated OG
Available on iTunes at R89.99