Mmegi Online :: Finding the Third Mind...
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Last Updated
Thursday 13 December 2018, 12:33 pm.
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Finding the Third Mind...

My ipod on shuffle, I suddenly hear the familiar bassline, "Listen to the beat go bumph, bumph, bumph, bumph, bumph, bumph, ngoma e ya shaya". Cue: the light bulb flicking on in my head, "What on earth happened to these guys?"
By Staff Writer Fri 14 Dec 2018, 08:34 am (GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: Finding the Third Mind...








In comparison to the dog-eat-dog, extremely competitive music industry of South Africa, Botswana is really not a very easy place to be forgotten.

This is purely because it is so small in relation to its giant neighbour. How then did the  trail-blazing Third Mind, Eric Ramco Record's hip-hop dream team, slide into obscurity?  Just a couple of years ago,  Kagiso Presley Azizz Metshe, Modise 'Dee' Moletsane and Mokhabi `Bumpy' Moeletsi seemed comfortably poised to conquer the world, or at least the Southern African music scene, with an African Kora award nomination for best group in 2005 and the Ramco Loco powerhouse backing them to the finish line.

Third Mind broke onto the scene more than a decade ago with their debut album, A Player for Life, arguably the first motswako album ever released in this country. At that time there were perhaps no more than four groups in the same prominence, with Ex-Cut-Edge, Tribal Monks and, to a lesser extent, Ghetto Flavour mentioned in the same breath as the 'three little mice'.

Third Mind followed on with Resurrection in 1998 and The Second Coming in 2005. The group, in their hey-day, took the budding Botswana music industry by storm, carrying on the distinctly local hip-hop flavour, motswako, with which we are all familiar today.

Playing around with traditional folk rhythms, mixing English and Setswana verses, they created a form of local hip-hop deeply appreciated by the local music listener, paving the way for subsequent local success for other artists such as SCAR, Magosi, Zeus and many more. In the last decade motswako has become one of the most popular music forms in the southern African region with such giants as Tuks Senganga, HHP and Zeus carrying the art form to a different level.

If I calculated the numbers correctly, I was approximately five or six when the group first came out. How, then, is it possible that I came to love them so much? I actually discovered Third Mind only much later in my life. It took an older cousin dedicated to hip-hop and a little bit of luck, but eventually Third Mind's music managed to find its way to my ears, where it has stayed ever since. They represented my initiation into local hip-hop; the first time I had really given any music from Botswana a fair chance to play.
It was the first time I had listened to a local song from beginning to end, and with that toe in the door, opened up a new avenue of music for me to explore, and developed into my pride and support of local music today.

The traditionally influenced hybrid sound certainly seems to have become the trademark of Botswana hip-hop, keeping traditional instruments and clever lyrics to create music

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relevant to the average Motswana hip-hop lover. Perhaps, the major difference between local Hip Hop or motswako, as it has come to be known, and the global mainstream Hip Hop, is that the former has stayed true to the local culture, avoiding the clichŽd rhymes about guns, girls and money. It is this 'realness' and familiarity, which makes motswako so appealing.

After introducing listeners to their sound and paving the way for many of today's artists, it seems that maybe Third Mind feels they have done their bit. On the other hand, could their silence be reluctance, maybe having something to do with wordsmith 'Bumpy' Moeletsi's decision to leave the group in 2005? Eric 'Ramco' Ramogobya, the executive producer of Third Mind, says the group has not broken up, as one may be tempted to think considering the continuing hiatus but that they have merely been doing other things. Since 'Bumpy' Moeletsi's departure from the group, presumably on good terms, 'Dee' Moletsane has gotten married and moved to the United Kingdom (UK) with his wife to start a new life there.

Presley Metshe on the other hand stayed home, and has been more involved on the production side of the industry, which should explain why he has been so quiet lately. Metshe is now part of the legendary production team of PresBeat, which has been at the heart of local music revival, offering a on anything from Nomadic to SCAR.

He has even recently dabbled in folk music productions for such hit-makers as Machesa and Matsieng. His latest effort can be seen on the new Mmurubele album, an all-female traditional outfit and the most recent group to be released under Eric Ramco Records. When asked whether we have seen the last of them or whether we will be seeing another album from Third Mind, Ramco said: "There will definitely be another album."

However, it appears that they will have to wait in the queue because Ramco Records is presently busy processing works by Kabelo K-Bos Motlhatlhedi, Michelle (the first lady of the Ramco Loco crew) and Mosako.

Also, with Moletsane living in the United Kingdom (UK), it makes it difficult to get together to work on the album. However, Ramco states that "there will always be a soft place in my heart for Third Mind, because I put so much time and effort into making them a success, so even when I'm 50, and these guys are 40, we'll still be making music together". This is definitely good news for anyone who may have started to lose hope for another Third Mind album to enjoy, it seems some patience and a little faith is all that is needed before the next fix of Third Mind is ready.

 

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