Kwesta’s international appeal

Kwesta (left) had US rapper Rick Ross pull up in a Porsche and chill by his grandmother’s front gate. Now that’s drip
Kwesta (left) had US rapper Rick Ross pull up in a Porsche and chill by his grandmother’s front gate. Now that’s drip

Local rap sensation Kwesta has wrapped up the year with a bang by releasing his long-awaited single, titled I Came, I Saw.

It’s a collaboration with another big international act, US artist Rick Ross.

This is after the Spirit hitmaker gave his fans an early Christmas gift last year, when he posted a music video featuring Ross and his grandmother.

In the Spirit video, they cruise through Kwesta’s neighbourhood of Katlehong in Gauteng, dancing with the community and making rapper gestures out the window of a red Zola Budd.

I Came, I Saw makes use of another classic sample from deep within the crates of what was once considered taxi House: DJ Mujava’s hit, Township Funk.

Speaking to City Press on Friday from his hometown, Katlehong, his trademark raspy voice immediately identifiable, Kwesta said that US-based liaison agent Lu Africa played a big role in seeing his dream realised.

“He was the guy who put it all together that side [in the US], and we made sure that things were taken care of financially here,” said the award-winning rapper.

The music was made via correspondence.

And, when it came to the music video, Kwesta said they were all eager, although he was concerned that the artists might feel that they were too big for the setting in Katlehong.

He needn’t have worried.

“Everyone was willing. There wasn’t any request like ‘I want my water at a certain temperature.’ Ross was the biggest star I’ve worked with, and you can feel it. Even when he is just talking to you, you feel like: ‘Yo, this is Ross’ and he is that big, he can’t really turn it off,” said Kwesta.

It is not the first time Kwesta has worked with international artists. He collaborated with trap artist Rich Homie Quan on Run It Up earlier this year and also featured US rapper Wale on his smash-hit, Spirit.

Kwesta said his festive plans involved some work and time with family.

Although he is trying to spend more time with family, he is fully booked over the entire festive season. On Christmas Day, he will perform at DJ Shimza’s 10th annual One Man Show at Mehlareng Stadium in Tembisa.

He has big dreams for 2020.

Kwesta disclosed that his company, RapLyf Records, would be making moves next year. “TLT, a duo we signed, will be dropping their album before I do. I’m pretty much done with mine, but I’m thinking of dropping it around Easter time or any time in April. My brother’s birthday is on April 15, so I’m aiming for that.”

He ended off the conversation by claiming to love where local hip-hop was headed, highlighting new acts such as The Big Hash and Flame as points of interest.

He also gave props to Osmic Menoe of Ritual Media Group for preserving the culture in the form of the SA Hip Hop Museum. The museum is set to open next year in Newtown, Johannesburg.

“I just read that they are doing the same thing in New York. The city put $3.5 million (R50 million) into that [establishing the Universal Hip Hop Museum, to be erected in the Bronx and set to open in 2023]. So, I would urge our department of sport, arts, culture and recreation to get involved in helping people from different generations get to know who Cassper [Nyovest] is.”

Meanwhile, Ross is performing at Buffalo Park Stadium in East London today.

The North West leg of his tour will take place at Mmabatho Stadium in Mahikeng on Tuesday.

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